News From LBD
 October 2009 Vol 1 Issue 8

What Makes People Successful in Business & Sales?

You've probably wondered this at some point in your life. Usually this question arises after a particularly tough day, week, or month. Have you ever asked yourself "Do I have what it takes?" Have you ever asked yourself if there are certain personality types that succeed in "closing the deal" and wondered if you are the right type? Does it require a strong work ethic, persistence, or drive? Or do you need to be a "glad-hander" or "back-slapper"?
Actually, these personality traits aren't necessary. Sure they can help. Extroverted people are more natural at networking and it's effortless for them to approach strangers (i.e. new prospects). Whether or not an extrovert or an introvert will be more successful as a business or sales leader has a lot to do with your customer or prospect. If they are introverted, like many engineers or doctors for example, then an extrovert may turn these people off.

Likewise, an introvert is going to be challenged keeping up with the extroverted personalities of marketing managers. But these are just tendencies, generalizations that are useless in evaluating your own personal situation.

What matters are the personality traits like a strong work ethic, persistence, drive and attitude. And let's add to this list another very important trait - flexibility.

Flexibility of behavior, flexibility of method, and flexibility of attitude, combined with drive, persistence, and a strong work ethic will make your outer communication style irrelevant. You can sell to any personality type. If you are an "introvert" you can learn to "do" extroversion as needed when selling or training new people and groups. In your personal life, you can still be an introvert. If you are a natural extrovert, you can learn to tone it down a little to connect more effectively with introverts.
Being flexible can make you quite successful. There is no one personality type that best succeeds in business. Just as there are different types of customers and prospects, there are different types of business and sales leaders that can "naturally" or "flexibly" sell to them.
What Leaders are Reading

"How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In" by Jim Collins.

Collins looks at how some really great companies have crashed, and offers some insights in how to avoid the traps and pitfalls that brought these companies down.  It's a great cautionary read for any business leader.
Outliers - The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Through case studies ranging from Canadian junior hockey champions to the robber barons of the Gilded Age, from Asian math whizzes to software entrepreneurs to the rise of his own family in Jamaica, Gladwell tears down the myth of individual merit to explore how culture, circumstance, timing, birth, and luck account for success-and how historical legacies can hold others back despite ample individual gifts.
Join Our Mailing List

"Good Enough"
Sales is really pretty simple. Or at least it is when you do it right. People go into sales thinking that all they need to do is be nice, build some rapport through small talk, and they'll start making sales. Sometimes this is true. We call this the "Good Enough" syndrome. They're "Good Enough" to convert some of their leads into appointments. They're "Good Enough" to turn some of their appointments into sales. They're "Good Enough" to close some of their sales. For some people "Good Enough" is good enough.

Is being "Good Enough" at selling good enough for you? Are you reading the latest sales books? Do you have goals and plans of accomplishments you are going to achieve ... IN WRITING? Are your sales goals designed to stretch you or will they keep you on the level of just "Good Enough?"

If "Good Enough" is not good enough for you, consider a third party look at your sales leadership development. Contact LBD today. 

John Branstad
John Branstad


"Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag."

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
John Branstad