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People often ask me; “What are the attributes of top salespeople?” Many traits are critical to selling like empathy, resilience, strategic thinking, and practiced optimism, to name a few. But the one trait that supercedes them all is, discipline.

And yes, discipline can and must be cultivated.

“Culture,” as Eric Gretains writes in his book “Resilience,” was originally a word for the tilling and tending of the land. Later people made an analogy and suggested that you could cultivate yourself.

So culture also came to mean the things you could see, listen to, learn, sample and mostly practice to live a more fulfilled and meaningful life. Cultivating discipline tops the list.

You need discipline to…….

  • Make the tough calls
  • Do the hard work early in the morning
  • Say no
  • Say yes when you think the answer is no and learn why you may have been mistaken
  • Stay with your goals when you feel the inevitable pain of change set in
  • Break bad habits
  • Abort outdated techniques
  • Strengthen your body
  • Flex your mind

One of the things that is disheartening to me, is when salespeople are told they don’t have what it takes. They’re made to feel dumb, less than or somehow inadequate. I was told that once. I would need to stay a greeter, the happy face at the front desk.

We can do better. Everyone can learn to cultivate their discipline and their sales talent.

The very word Discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin word for pupil, which also provided the source of the word disciple.

You weren’t born with discipline any more than you were born with the ability to sail a boat, build a bridge or play an instrument. Discipline is a quality we build. We can practice it in the choices we make and in the habits we break.

Watch this week’s video, Three Outdated Sales Tactics that Simply Won’t Work in the New Year.

If you want the wisdom, the success, the clarity and the rewards that come from discipline, the price is clear and this is a great place to start.


  • Barry Hall says:

    Many thanks Shari for a great post and video, much appreciated!
    Best wishes

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Thanks Barry!

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