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The 6 C’s of Successful Selling

Author:  John Chapin

Successful selling can be broken down into 6 key areas or character traits which in this article we will refer to as the 6 Cs. If you are new to sales, or are struggling a bit, you’ll find that by focusing on these 6 keys, sales success will quickly follow. If you are already a highly successful salesperson, refocusing on these 6 factors will make you even more successful.
The 6 key characteristics necessary for sales success:
1) Commitment
To be successful in sales you have to be committed to your customers, your company, and yourself. When you are 100% committed to your customers, you’ll go above and beyond and focus on delivering more than customers expect. This is a prerequisite to selling at the highest levels. 100% commitment to your company means being completely committed to your “internal” customers: your manager and other salespeople, other people in other departments, and all other personnel within your company. Finally, 100% commitment to yourself means you will do whatever it takes to reach all your personal and professional goals including being the absolute best salesperson you can possibly be.
2) Confidence
Confidence means complete belief in your ability to do your job at the highest levels and also belief that you have all the tools necessary to meet all your commitments listed in point number one above. You may need some additional skills or you may need to work on areas such as product knowledge or time management, but with confidence you know you are up to the task and will do what needs to be done to fill in those gaps.
3) Consideration for Others
Consideration for others means you are as nice a person as possible in both your personal life and professional life. It means you have empathy for all those you come into contact with regardless of who they are. It also means you are able to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes and you are able to place other people ahead of you when necessary. It means you do what’s right and what’s best for the other person without regard to your own personal loss or gain.
4) Communication
To be at the top in sales you must be good at open, honest, direct communication. Good communication means staying in touch, it means you don’t hesitate to communicate when there is a potential issue or problem and you don’t leave any loose ends or questions unanswered. Good communication also means staying in touch in order to build long-term relationships.
5) Competence
When you are competent you speak intelligently about your industry and you stay up to date on the latest news and industry trends. You also know as much about your competitions’ product as you know about your own. Competence means you continue to educate yourself and get better at what you do. If you are new and have some gaps in areas such as product knowledge, competence means you are honest with customers about what you don’t know and that you do whatever you have to do to get correct answers and follow up in a timely fashion.
6) Competitiveness
Top salespeople are highly competitive and they will do whatever it takes to win, ethically of course. They are extremely motivated and do not rest on their laurels or on last weeks, last months, or last year’s numbers. They continue to push themselves to grow both personally and professionally. At the same time, they also realize that both sales and life are team sports and they do all they can to help, work with, and cooperate with the people in their lives.
By focusing on and developing, or further developing, the 6 key characteristics above, not only will you have more sales success and make more sales, you’ll also find that your personal life will benefit greatly too.

John Chapin
is a speaker, sales trainer, and co-author of the gold-medal winning "Sales Encyclopedia" a comprehensive how-to guide on selling. "Sales Encyclopedia" is written for sales professionals in any industry at any level of experience.  Utilizing more than 21 years of sales experience and as a number one salesperson in three industries, John co-founded Complete Selling Incorporated, a company helping salespeople significantly increase their results.
If you would like free access to John's free white paper on what it takes to be successful in sales along with a monthly newsletter, you can visit John's website at For permission to reprint, or to reach John, email him at
Last Updated:  November 27, 2013
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