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The Four C’s of Great Salespeople: Part 3

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Feb 25, 2022

We have identified the four Cs of great salespeople and how mastering these traits will lead to better relationship selling and advanced selling skills.

This week we are focusing on the critical trait of Courage. There are two primary challenges for salespeople that require the most courage.


Over the last two weeks, we have been building a blog series on the four Cs of great salespeople. So far, we have covered curiosity and confidence. Last week we focused on confidence and the three areas where that confidence is most evident during the sales process. Great salespeople are confident in; their company's value proposition, that they do not need to be liked to win business, and most importantly, their approach and sales process.

This week we will be focusing on the critical trait of courage. Great salespeople are always courageous. The question worth asking is, where does that courage come from? Maybe the other question worth asking is, how did they get that courage?

Mark Twain once said, “courage is resistance to fear…it is mastery of fear…it is not the absence of fear.” Great salespeople will always have moments in their sales process where they are challenged. Where they will need to have what Susan Scott calls a “fierce conversation.” For more on that topic, I encourage you to read Susan’s wonderful book titled Fierce Conversations.

It is my judgment that there are two primary challenges for salespeople that require the most courage:

  1. Providing pushback. The prospect has said something that is just flat-out wrong. They want to do something that is just not right. As a salesperson, you have two options: you can simply remain quiet and let it go, or you can push back and challenge the prospect. Remember – it is never ok to confront or challenge people. But is ok (and quite frankly essential) that you challenge the statements that people make. And this starts with asking permission. One example would be; “Hey Mary, you just said something that I have a divergent opinion on…would it be ok if I offered a different perspective?”
  2. Walking away. Salespeople hate what I call the “Crowded House” moment in a tribute to the rock band’s 1986 hit single “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. You know the words- "hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over." But what if it is over? Wouldn’t you want to know that so you could move on? Would you be concerned about wasting your time? Of course, you will only walk away if you have something else (other deals, other prospects) to walk away towards. If your pipeline is empty, walking away can be hard to do.

Do you want to be more courageous? Suppose I told you that you can be just that. Look for moments to push back (ask permission and be nice) and prospect like crazy, so you are operating with a full pipeline. Remember – you would like their business. But you certainly don’t need it.

Learn More About the  21 Core Competencies!

Topics: relationship selling, advanced selling skills


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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