Teller or Seller? Traits of Successful Salespeople

Much has been written about what characteristics make a successful salesperson.  Without reading any of the common discourse, you might guess some of the more obvious traits: motivation, ambition and determination. We conducted our own research in an effort to avoid reiterating the obvious and stumbled upon an insightful article by Terri Levine entitled “The Top Ten Ways to Know You are a Teller or a Seller.” Levine, a sales and marketing business coach, argues that the distinction is crucial. We challenge you to consider – are you a teller or a seller?

Tellers vs. Sellers
Give information Leave decision to the prospect
Present features Translate features into benefits
Avoid rejection Risk rejection
Try to win by showing knowledge Win by closing sales
Use rational level Use rational and emotional levels
Reactive Proactive
Want structure & stability Accept uncertainty as the norm
Identify needs Identify wants AND needs
Everyone comes to your door You go to everyone’s door

Whether you’re a salesperson looking for employment or an employer looking to increase or improve the quality of your sales force, consider how Levine defines a seller. If you need help finding the right seller for your team, we can help.

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