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All Selling Superstars Possess These Eight Competencies |  May 25, 2016 (0 comments)


This is part four in a series of the Science of Success articles based on research of top performing fine jewelry sales consultants, conducted by Exsellerate, Inc. Click here to access the free white paper from the research studies.

Tampa, FL--A former boss used to say that “great salespeople are born, not made.” In over forty years of working with top performers in the fine jewelry industry I will admit he was correct – sort of. To be accurate, great sales people are more shaped and molded based on how they have uniquely experienced pain and pleasure from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood.

OK, the way my former boss used to say it flows off the tongue much easier. But one thing is for sure: Tom Brady, the franchise quarterback of the New England Patriots didn’t go to a three-hour “How To Be A Great Quarterback” seminar and suddenly he’s playing SuperBowl-caliber football. He possessed specific core competencies such as body and motion mechanics, throwing mechanics, ball handling, and decision-making and leadership qualities. These competencies may have been refined as a player at the University of Michigan and his early career at New England, but he developed them in his formative years.

The same is true of great sales people. The might need to be refined but they possess the competencies needed for success. So, what competencies are required for superior sales performance in fine jewelry? Based on my year-long research of top sales performers across the United States, the competencies possessed by superstars include:

When interviewing a new hire candidate it is critical to ask questions to determine if they possess these competencies or soft skills. If those are their top competencies, what are their least developed competencies?

Take note of the fact that some of their bottom competencies are those required of great managers. This is the scientific evidence that backs up the theory that promoting a great sales person to sales manager is likely a bad decision. Two things might happen: You lose a great sales person and end up with an ineffective manager.

In summary, I recommend that you spend more money up front in the interview and hiring process. Spend a few bucks on a validated assessment instrument: it is far less expensive than the thousands you’ll loss trying to train competencies that will take years to develop.

Second, ask questions in the interview to smoke out if the candidate possesses the superstar competencies. Ask them to give you examples. Third, review the resume for examples that demonstrate that they actually possess the competencies.

And finally, save yourself aggravation. Work short-staffed until you can identify and hire the right person, not the expedient one. 

Terry Sisco, founder and CEO of Exsellerate, Inc. has observed, studied, assessed and benchmarked the sales top performers throughout the fine jewelry industry for more than 40 years. From these insights he has authored and facilitated fun and engaging training programs that have impacted the performance of major bridal brands, industry giants such as Platinum Guild International and Blue Nile Global Call Centers, as well as national and regional chains and high-end independents. He is a CPBA, CPVA, CPHD certified to assess and analyze behaviors and driving forces. He has recently completed a research study funded by Platinum Guild USA to determine the behavioral commonalities of the top 1% of fine jewelry sales performers throughout the United States. Contact Terry Sisco,, (813) 787-7355,,

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