What makes a great salesperson

By Richard Branson 25 October 2017

Selling is about a lot more than your product – the buyer is investing in you as an individual as much, if not more, than whatever you have for sale. One person who knows that better than most is Peter Rosengard, widely known as the greatest life insurance salesman in the world.

I’ve got to know him over the years as he has gone from life in insurance to founding The Comedy Store and introducing comedians like Alexei Sayle and Rik Mayall to the public. He also made time to discover bands such as Curiosity Killed The Cat, and famously sold the biggest life insurance policy from a cold call ($100 million to David Geffen).

After reading some of my top 10 quotes on subjects such as adventure and collaboration, Peter got in touch and suggested I write a similar top 10 on selling. I thought it better to ask Peter to share his own insights on the subject.

Before too long he had sent me his ‘Top 10 Best Rosengards’, following on with a further 11 more suggestions, and then an extra five for good measure. So here are all 26 of Peter’s top 10 tips on becoming a great salesperson, ranging from the practical to the motivational.

1.    Be enthusiastic

2.    Be persistent

3.    Have courage

4.    Behave with integrity

5.    Have chutzpah

6.    Listen

7.    Don’t take rejection personally‎…’next!’

8.    Make the calls

9.    Ask for referrals‎ from clients. (‘Can you help me?’ – four  very powerful words.)‎

10.    Make a goal

11.    Prepare

12.    Know your product

13.    Keep sales production records

14.    Use storytelling

15.    Think big

16.    Be self-motivated

17.    Be self-disciplined

18.    Think ‘out of the box’

19.    Be serious and fun!

20.    Service your clients‎

21.    Smile – if you see someone without one, give them yours!

22.    Be active – action cures fear

23.    Have self-belief

24.    Be persuasive

25.    Be self-motivated

26.    Have a positive attitude

Peter lives and breathes these attributes, and describes how they have helped him earn, lose and earn a fortune all over again in his book Talking to Strangers. The Adventures of a Life Insurance Salesman.

What do you think makes a good salesperson?