Top Salespeople...

1. Spend 60% to 70% of a sales call letting the customer talk.

2. Are better than others at recognizing and responding to objections--even silent ones.

3. Are more effective than others at identifying and prioritizing customer needs.

4. Typically offer product or service recommendations after 40% or more of the time has elapsed in the call.

5. Present recommendations more in terms of customer benefits than in terms of product features.

6. Are more enthusiastic than others about attending sales-training seminars.

7. Listen to motivational tapes in their cars and read inspirational books at home.

8. Talk more frequently about what they've achieved than about what they haven't done.

9. Smile more than others do.

Source: "Benchmarking the Sales Function," a report based on a study of 100 salespeople from small, medium, and large businesses, conducted by Ron Volper Group, White Plains, N.Y., 1996.