21 Core Competencies

21 Core Competencies Of Successful Salespeople Measured by Tracking
According to Dave Kurlan

1. Has Written Goals
Is committed to them.
Has internalized them.

Life plan? Business Plan? Daily action plan?

2. Follows Written Goals Plan
Knows what must be done and why.
Has developed action plans.
Follows action plan.
Has determined possible obstacles.
Has a plan to deal with the obstacles.
Has check points.
Debriefs daily.

Visualization? Capture tool?

3. Has Positive Attitude

About self.
About company.
About marketplace.
About learning.
About growing.
About value of what they have to offer.
About value of what company has to offer.

4. Takes Responsibility

Doesn’t externalize (doesn’t blame others, company, prospect, their past, etc.).
Knows it’s up to them.
Knows the only things they can control are their activity and behavior.
It’s OK to fail.
Doesn’t play psychological games like: if it weren’t for you, ain’t it awful, yes but, kick me etc . . .
Does the behavior they need to do at the appropriate times.
Learns from inappropriate behavior.
Accepts challenges.
Doesn’t rationalize

5. Strong Self Confidence

High self image.
Is not affected by what others think.
Understands that getting a “no” is a good thing.
Doesn’t take a “no” as failure.
Learns from each behavior they perform.
Realizes that there is a lot to learn and it’s ok not to be perfect.
Understands that “role” failure is a way to grow and does not affect how they should feel about themselves.

6. Supportive Beliefs

OK to hear “no”.
OK to “fail.”
OK not to get approval.
OK if I upset someone.
Calls at the right levels.
Knows she/he has “rights”.
Has a self-image of 10 (on a scale of 1-10).

7. Controls Emotions

Is not lost for words.
Doesn’t take things personally.
Knows what to say or do at the appropriate time.
Is a “third party” at the event.
Is prepared for whatever the prospect does.
Doesn’t panic.
Doesn’t become excitable.
Doesn’t strategize “on the fly.”
Stays in the moment.
Doesn’t over-analyze.

8. Doesn’t Need Approval
Will ask the tough questions.
Will go for “no.”
Will bring things to closure.
Won’t accept “wishy washy” statements.
Will confront.
Gets good “up-front contracts.”
Gets “personal needs” met outside sales.
Deals with stalls and put-offs.

9. Recovers From Rejection

Doesn’t affect their self-image.
OK with “no.”
Understands that they aren’t being rejected personally.
Willing to put themselves in “high risk” scenarios.
Puts last episode quickly behind them.
Probes for alternatives.
Offers options.

10. Comfortable Talking About Money
Able to bring it up in interview.
Brings it up at the proper time.
Knows what prospect will invest before they present solution.
Knows and believes how important margins and profitability are for an account.

11. Supportive Buy Cycle

Makes quick decisions about personal purchases when they find what they want.
Establishes goals for what they want.
Doesn’t care much about price when they buy.
For a major purchase (other than a car) they usually shop only one store.
A major purchase is usually over $1,000.
Usually doesn’t do research for a major purchase.
A major purchase usually takes less than a day.

12. Consistent, Effective Prospecting

Knows how many calls they have to make daily.
Makes the agreed upon calls.
Is on track with number of calls.
Debriefs calls daily.
Learns “lessons” from each call.
Is proactive at getting referrals (has a plan).

13. Reaches Decision Maker

Goes for the top.
Gets past gatekeeper.
Able to talk the decision maker’s language.
Is comfortable talking to tough decision-makers.
Is not intimidated by them.
Gets their attention.
Get appointments.

14. Effective Listening/Questioning

Helps prospect do the talking.
Knows what questions to ask.
Asks lots of “How” and “Why” questions.
Knows why they are asking them.
Knows the “pains” your company can solve.
Doesn’t get emotionally involved.

15. Early Bonding & Rapport

Helps prospect to relax.
Gains comfort level.
They are relaxed themselves.
Knows when they don’t have rapport.
Shares with prospects when they sense that they might be uncomfortable.
Deals with problems up-front.
Establishes good “up-front contracts.”
Displays sincerity, believability, warmth and trust.

16. Uncovering Actual Budgets

Is able to establish what prospect has in the budget.
Helps prospect discover what they are willing to invest.
Is able to help prospect quantify their “pains”.
Helps prospect find the money if they don’t have it.
Helps prospect gain conviction that they must spend it or close the file.
Is creative in helping prospect overcome their concerns about investing what it will take.
Is firm when it comes to money.
Sells vs. Negotiating.

17. Discovering Why Prospects Buy

Has taken the company’s capabilities and translated this information to questions that will elicit pain.
They understand their prospects’ business and the related pains.
Has internalized the “pain finding” questions.
Has internalized the “pain funnel” questions.
Helps prospect discover their own “pain.”
Is not afraid to ask the tough questions.
Doesn’t solve problems before their time.
Helps prospect to “own” their pain.
Gets 3rd or 4th degree pain.
Makes sure there are compelling reasons to buy.
Gets prospect to quantify the pain.
Will attempt to “close the file” if there is no pain.
Gets to the business results and personal wins of the prospect.
Doesn’t do “dog and pony shows.”

18. Qualifies Proposals & Quotes

Knows when to bail out.
Gets to all the key players.
Knows decision criteria.
Helps influence decision criteria.
Knows where he/she stands all the way.
Understands what it costs to play in the game.
Asks the “right questions” before they complete the quote.
Is willing to walk away.
Knows decision making process.
Knows for sure how well bases are covered with each buying influence.
Knows the time line for decision.
Knows the probability of sale.
Knows the probability of your company getting the deal.
Knows how they stand against the competition.
Has inside “white knights” (coaches, champions) in all their accounts.
Always knows what will happen next.
Good “up-front” contracts.
Deals with potential concerns, apprehensions and potential risks prospect may have.
Has qualified for money.
Doesn’t have “happy ears.”

19. Gets Commitments and Decisions

Knows how to get a “monkey’s paw”.
Has good “Up-Front” contracts.
Gets “yes” or “no” decisions.
Doesn’t “roll over” when they get a “no.”
Finds out the “conviction” level.
Is willing to hear “no.”
Always knows what will happen next.

20. Strong Desire for Success

Has goals.
Is “money” motivated.
Willing to take risks.
Has the incentive to perform tasks that may be uncomfortable.
Is self-motivated.
Undying urge to become the best.

21. Commitment – Doing What It Takes for Success

Is a winner.
Does what non-winners won’t do.
Is willing to risk.
Will put themselves in “high risk” situations
Willing to force a “no” from the prospect.
Unconditional even if: afraid, uncomfortable, or in disagreement over goal.


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