Doug Kleinsmith shares six skills to become a successful salesperson

Douglas Gerard Kleinsmith

July 12, 2021

Doug Kleinsmith shares six skills to become a successful salesperson

Converting sales are necessary for every industry. Yet, it also isn’t easy.


Hard work alone won’t cut it. Businesses devote millions of dollars and hours each year to recruiting, training, and supervising sales representatives. Some of those companies have hired Doug Kleinsmith. As an experienced sales trainer, he has led and developed over 2,000 professionals. He shares his six habits any salesperson must acquire to be successful.


Become an expert


As counterintuitive as it sounds, don’t view yourself as a salesperson. Consider yourself an expert. Know your business inside and out. It’s impossible to sell a product, service, or idea without learning everything you can. Research the market and how your company fits. Examine what your competitors offer and what potential weaknesses it may have. Becoming an expert will give credibility and make pitches more authentic.


Create a process


Every sale is unique. But, there should be established procedures in place. A consistent process breeds comfort, which will help when meeting prospective clients. While it will evolve over time, this process must be recorded and measurable. Without this, unsuccessful salespeople just “wing it,” failing to find a solution based on gut feelings and intuition alone. By comparison, high-performing sales representatives track results, routinely review metrics, and adjust accordingly.




As simple as it sounds, Daniel Kleinsmith sees this as one of the most essential skills. Mastering this ability enables you to ask thoughtful questions and get potential clients speaking. Avoid coming off overly “pitchy” by giving your prospect room to talk. The Harvard Business Review identifies empathy as a fundamental quality needed for a strong salesperson. Without listening, this bond can’t be formed.


Craft your message


If you’ve practiced active listening, you can now use this information to close the deal. Effective communication requires any salesperson to read potential customers and alter the tone and content of their message on the fly. Speak genuinely, honestly, persuasively, and concisely. Doug Kleinsmith teaches to view these meetings as conversations. Even though you’re selling, the dialogue should flow easily.


Solve problems


Your client has a problem. Whether they realize it yet or not, you have the solution. Logic and reason are critical in turning a “no” into a rebuttal. Use your role as an expert to share your experience. Start discussions by listing roadblocks you’ve seen within your industry. This is a chance to demonstrate your value while engaging clients. By locating a challenge that they too are facing, you’ll already have a foot in the door.


Find opportunity in failures


Perhaps the hardest lesson to learn is knowing when to walk away. You may have a quota or need to pay bills, but you never need a sale. Doug Kleinsmith reminds his trainees that even losses are wins. From here, sales representatives can go back to the drawing board, refine their approach, and prepare to try again.