Sales Success: Why Personality Is Overrated and Process is Key

Sales Success: Why Personality Is Overrated and Process is Key

Most people believe that all great salespeople embody a specific persona.

You know the type.

Confident. Sociable. Outgoing. Heard before seen.

The quintessential extravert.

Jarrod Best-Mitchell was born this person.

In fact, scribbled at the bottom of his report card were those all too familiar words every extraverted child has heard before:

“Jarrod talks too much!”

Those same traits deemed disruptive and unsuitable for learning environments were the exact attributes that some believe allowed him to excel in his current profession.

As a successful sales coach who has trained 100s of sales professionals, generated over 2 million organic views of content and regularly delivers scripts on the fly, Jarrod firmly believes it is not personality but process that makes a salesperson great.

During his interview feature on The Value, he shared the key elements of selling that you’ll need to know if you want to excel in a sales career.


Set Goals & Nurture a Positive Mindset

Goal setting is critical to achieving success in any arena. What goes hand in hand with this is the internal conversations you have with yourself about achieving those goals.

Sales can be a daunting career as much of the work involves persuading persons to buy a product/service, buy it from you and act urgently on the opportunity. A multitude of obstacles, many of which are out of your locus of control, stand in the way of you taking persons from initial contact to final sale.

Positive self-talk is crucial in keeping you committed to the process and in driving you toward successful actions.

Jarrod considers “try” a word of doubt.

Instead, he affirms, “I am going to hit target”, then proceeds to write down the goals he wants to achieve but also writes down what he wants customers to tell him such as “we have the budget to take on this project.”


Become an Expert

The next step to becoming an excellent salesperson is becoming an expert about your product or service by improving your product and service knowledge.

Forbes explains why knowledge is important in sales.

Firstly, customers are more likely to believe your product or service is best for them if they are convinced you are an expert.

Secondly, your customer service rating is improved when clients believe they can rely on you to answer the questions they might have.

When you expand your knowledge of the things you sell you can establish credibility and build trust with potential customers. The confidence inspired in prospects from your commitment to becoming an expert can aid in moving prospects quickly along the sales funnel.


Understand your Buyer

Renowned sales coach Victor Antonio states that in order to influence prospective customers to buy, you need to take time to understand them. Understand what’s important to them, what triggers them to buy and what they need from you so you can offer solutions that gently nudge them into making a decision.

The best way to understand your buyer is by asking questions. While you may not always have the opportunity to interrogate every prospect you encounter, you can develop a buyer persona based on interactions with a few of your early clients. Future interactions can be used to refine the persona you’ve developed.

The Value host, Kevin Valley, offered a list of questions you may want to consider asking customers to improve your understanding of them and craft sales pitches hinged on a well-developed buyer persona:

  1. What are your top 3 problems?
  2. What stresses you out?
  3. If you could have a break from something what would that be?
  4. If you find yourself worrying, what is it about?
  5. If you could fix one thing in your life or business, what would that be?
  6. What do you wish you had more of?
  7. What do you wish you had less of?
  8. As you think about where you are in life and business, why don’t you already have it?
  9. If funding was not a problem, what would be the first thing you would invest in for your business and life?


As a rule of thumb, the more questions you ask the more value you can provide. The key is to always dig deeper.


Well, most people who need their problems solved don’t understand what solutions can solve their problems. They are also unable to recognize what their actual problem is and instead speak to symptoms.

As a sales professional, you should never take the first answer from the customer as to what is the problem, but search past the shallow responses to formulate a clear picture of their true difficulty.

Another foolproof way to identify your ideal client is to visit your competitor’s social media page and look at the type of people interacting with the business.

Who are they? Is it mostly men or women? Students or workers? Professionals or business owners? Single or married? Do they have children? How old are they? Which social media platforms are they most likely to use?

Any profile information that helps you to build a buyer persona should be collected.

You should then craft an introductory message that speaks to that persona, and showcases the benefits of your product or service as well as what differentiates you from competitors.


Use Video Content as the Focal Point of Your Sales Strategy

In the digital age, understanding how to effectively use digital platforms to reach potential customers is crucial to business success.

The social media space constantly shapeshifts as different apps compete for consumer attention and media spend. From a digital marketing perspective, understanding which forms of content typically perform best for your needs is key to developing a successful sales strategy.

With that being said, video content is the fastest way to build trust and authority with strangers and as such should be the focal point of your sales strategy.

Instagram’s Platform Chief, Adam Mosseri, recently shared that reels are driving the most engagement on the app. They account for approximately 33.8% of the estimated reach on the platform and 35.4% of likes.

Additionally, Hootsuite indicates that LinkedIn native video posts earn three times the engagement of text posts on average and shared that brands that use video marketing are able to improve their revenue 49 percent faster than companies that don’t.

In short, video content is King!

Jarrod Best-Mitchell adds that if you have a good message, the length doesn’t matter, but if your aim is to be consistent, 30-45 seconds is a great time frame.

Keeping messages succinct and clear requires that you write out what you want to talk about, and then speak on one paragraph or topic in each video.

Many businesses make the mistake of creating content focused on them. However, when crafting an introductory message, your communication should always be centred on what you can do for your clients.

You should then craft an introductory message that speaks to that persona, and showcases the benefits of your product or service as well as what differentiates you from competitors.

Maintaining the same message makes it easy to repeat over and over as you understand the value of the outcome being created.

If you’re genuinely scared of producing it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. Opting not to create video content is agreeing to lose a huge chunk of sales.

Jarrod shared that he has sent out over 6,000 personalized videos with a 30-40% response rate. Videos can be seen and not gain a response while still making an impact. As such, video content should be approached as an exercise in brand building that speaks to your buyer’s desires and lets them know what you can do for them.

This strategy has resulted in 100% inbound sales with prospects coming to him ready to do business.



These are the first four elements of an effective sales strategy. Next, we’ll discuss which types of customers you should try to convert, the importance of data in solving problems and how to price appropriately.



We continue the discussion by delving deeper into customer interactions focusing on differentiating and appropriately targeting prospects at different stages in their customer journey and how data-driven insights can help you solve your customers’ problems. We will also explore how you can gain a greater understanding of the value you bring to customers and use this to price your services appropriately.



Focus your pitch on Motivated Customers

It’s important to inquire whether your prospects are interested in getting their pain solved now. This helps to distil the persons who are more likely to make a purchase decision from those who are not so interested yet. Most salespeople get into selling too early in the process which can turn prospects off.

Sales coach, Jarrod Best-Mitchell shared how he uses this strategy on LinkedIn.

When prospects interact with his content, he pitches: “thanks for taking the time to engage with my content on XYZ. Is this something you would be interested in placing focus on in 2023?”

Of course, you should never accept surface answers so if your prospect expresses interest, ask them to quantify their interest level on a scale of 1-10.

Persons who rate their interest at 9 or 10 are who you should focus on converting at that point in time. These prospects are likely closer to deciding on working with you. You should do further research on these prospects to add context to your pitch.

7-8 may still be researching their options and may need some more persuading before they decide to purchase from you. Ratings from 0-6 are perhaps still discovering they need a solution for their business problems and should thus be introduced to any content you have that helps them recognize that they truly have a problem and how you can help them address it.


Create content that Transforms Latent Pain into an Immediate Danger

Out of your total addressable market, only 5% are looking for a product or service to solve their problem right now. The balance of customers is described as being in latent pain and is likely those persons who expressed a 0-6 rating on their level of interest.

What that means is although the problem still exists, the signs and symptoms of it have been reduced so the problem is less apparent and a solution, less urgent.

As an example, old, damaged or weak trees are a hazard to buildings and property due to how easily they can uproot or fall and threaten lives.

Brian Burns shared a story of a community whose members were encouraged to trim and chop the trees on the street that needed maintenance. One week later, the community was hit by a storm that uprooted a tree which fell on someone’s car. By the end of that week, there were so many tree-cutting companies on the street that residents couldn’t find a park.

Transforming latent pain into immediate danger is how you capture a larger share of the remaining 95% of the market. In the story, the storm, subsequently fallen tree and the damaged vehicle made the pain active and real.

As a salesperson, you must figure out what will trigger the remainder of the market to buy so you can convert them into sales. You must be able to show prospects how various triggers can potentially happen to them and describe how they may occur, bringing the intangible future problem into a present issue.


Use Data and Insights to Solve your Business Problems

Datacamp states that data is important for various reasons including:

  • informed decision-making;
  • tracking business processes and system performance to solve emerging issues;
  • measuring business performance against KPIs and goals;
  • understanding & improving business processes to reduce wastage and;
  • understanding customer behaviour.


Jarrod shared in his interview that many organizations regrettably aren’t in the practice of curating business data which leads to an inability to solve major business problems.

He shared the example of a client with an air conditioning company whose initial business model was based solely on personal relationships. While the company did have a CRM system, it failed to follow up with prospects and ultimately wound up with cash management problems.

They were advised to build out that process, focusing on identifying their ideal client based on the types of successful quotations. As a result of this, the company earned $100,000 in additional revenue and $1 million within the next 30 days.

Based on the data, they were able to identify and target clients that matched their ideal customer profile, tailor communication and quotes targeting this persona and increase their sales.

Companies sometimes run into cash management issues because they are losing sales and do not know where or why the sales are being lost. No data means they are unable to accurately identify the specific product or service that is leaking sales revenue or for how long this may have been taking place. Consequently, they cannot develop an effective strategy to address it.

Any attempt to address business issues without a data-driven understanding of the situation is basically shooting in the dark.

Unfortunately, some companies encounter these issues and are still apprehensive about undertaking data discovery exercises due to the cost.

Not knowing anything about your company can cost you the company in the long run.


Understand your Value and Price Appropriately

The best way to get a clear understanding of the value your product or service provides is by mapping out the process involved in its creation. This exercise will aid in visualising just how much work (time, materials, skill, etc) goes into its development and help you quantify a fair price for your trade.

Service providers don’t typically raise their prices as often as needed because they look at their service as intangible. Most also have not done this process mapping work or quantified the value of that time.

It’s important to consider if you can live off your work based on its per unit cost, the time taken to create as well as the number that can be produced.

A good indication that you are undercharging for your product or service is your booking capacity. If you are overbooked, it may mean that people find your offering very affordable and are thus subscribing in droves. Making price adjustments can help you charge a more premium price while producing a sustainable amount of work.

On the other hand, if you are under booked, it could be an indication that your price is too high, that you have insufficient prospects or that you aren’t targeting the right market. A pricing issue can be fixed by adjusting prices downward to an equilibrium, but insufficient prospects imply the need for improvements to your prospecting process.

If people find you too expensive to work with it can also mean you’ve been targeting the wrong market. If this is the case you should brainstorm about who you can create the most value for, who you like working with/or have easy access to, and who can pay you a premium for your product/service. When this is done, identify their pain points to understand how best to service them.

As a rule of thumb, anytime people agree to your price immediately your price may be too low. Everyone seems too afraid of raising their price but in the process are undervaluing themselves.

In conclusion, a successful sales strategy includes setting goals, nurturing a positive mindset, as well as becoming intimately knowledgeable about your product AND customers. With this as your base, create content that shows prospects how you can fix their problems. Note well, in the current digital environment, video content is KING, and as such, this should be the focal point of your sales strategy. While prospecting, aim to identify your prospects’ current level of interest in investing in your business solutions and use their ratings to differentiate between your motivated customers and those in latent pain. Focus your pitch on the former and create content that transforms latent pain into an immediate danger for the latter. Let data inform any business solutions you provide to customers. Ultimately, a major key to success is understanding the value you bring to customers and pricing your products or services appropriately. This may mean raising your price but when done effectively will have a positive effect on your bottom line and the sustainability of your business.



Every year, Jarrod Best-Mitchell and Lyndon Braithwaite produce and host “Sales as a Profession (SaaP)” the only Caribbean Sales Conference focused on driving sales. The conference features top local sales performers who provide practical examples of what they are doing to improve their sales.

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