I’ve been thinking a lot about sales superstars lately — Ongig is scaling up our sales team and I’ve been studying sales pros such as Brian Tracy, Michael Bernoff, Stan Billue and Tom Hopkins. Plus, I nerded out on The 80/20 of Hiring Superstars (in which I learned that the average superstar generages between $12 million and $100 million per year in revenue for you!) and wrote about a cool sales recruiting tool Yelp uses last week.

One old-school sales pro (now passed away) who doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves is Chet Holmes.  Chet is famous for helping to double the revenue of many of the businesses of Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and one of my heroes).


I wanted to pass along to you the 5 key qualities Chet recommends that a sales superstar should possess:

  1. Ego — They should have huge self-confidence and “bullet-proof” armor when it comes to rejection
  2. Empathy — They should be able to put themselves in the shoes of the person they are trying to partner with.
  3. Superior at Core Skill Sets — They should be solid at core skills like time management, organization and follow-up.
  4. Market Knowledge* — They should be experts more on the benefits to a client in the market as opposed to just the features of the product they are selling.
  5. Coachability — They should be highly coachable, meaning they should constantly be investing in developing themselves.

*Update Note — Since writing this, I have learned that if you have a commodity type product, then you don’t need a salesperson with market knowledge (they can just be a strong extroverted relationship sales type of person) whereas if you have a unique product that requires some education to the clients then you typically need a more analytical/introverted sales person. 

The first two ego and empathy, are by far the most important qualities a sales superstar should have. And your salesperson should have both.

If a sales rep has only strong ego/self-confidence, then they are going to be cocky and difficult for others to work with. And if your sales rep is only empathetic, then they are likely just a relationship sales person who is liked by prospects — and doesn’t have the killer instinct to close.

If you want to dig in a bit more on this, here are some Chet Holmes tips on sales recruiting.

Thanks, Chet!


About the Author — Rob is the Co-founder & CEO of Ongig, the first-ever Employer Branding SaaS that allows employers to attract the best talent in the world faster (including by letting candidates and employers make comments to each other in an open dialogue!). Yelp, Autodesk, GoDaddy, Auction.com and BMC Software are among the early customers of the Ongig SaaS.

Rob Kelly

Co-Founder and CEO at Ongig
Ongig transforms your job descriptions to quality candidates and diversity. Ongig supercharges your job descriptions through video, images, pictures, chat, social sharing, microsite creation and much more. Jobs can be more easily found through Artificial Intelligence-based job search and all pages are Mobile and SEO optimized. Ongig's professional copywriting team will even rewrite your job descriptions. Early clients of Ongig include Salesforce, Yelp, GoDaddy, Verizon, Intel & Autodesk.

Related Posts

An Irish Blog: Hunting For A Tech Job In Silicon Valley About me Before I tell you about my experience of job hunting in the IT Mecca that is California, I guess I should introduce myself. So here goes! My...
What’s Your LinkedIn InMail Response Rate? The value LinkedIn places on an InMail is $10 each. Of course, you can get a volume discount if you buy the LinkedIn Recruiter seat. Several of my...
The Top 7 Reasons Hiring Is Being Reinvented…Right Now! We here at Ongig believe that the hiring world is being radically shaped.Not to be dramatic, but we think that this will affect each of you re...
5 Reasons Why Job Postings Are Dead We’re calling it first: the classic old style job posting you have seen a thousand of – and may have even posted a few yourself – is on its deathbed. ...
Exclusive Stats: The Impact Of Tweeting Job Descriptions According to ERE.net roughly 30% of all hires come through a referral. A referral pipeline can be easier to build in the early and mid-stages of a com...

by in Hiring