Think what you could do as a professional if you practiced these simple principles every day. You could land a dream job – and keep it. You could advance in your career. You could sell more products and services.

You might have seen the meme called, “10 Things That Require Zero Talent.” Here is the list, in case you’ve missed it.

  1. Being on Time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Be Coachable
  9. Doing Extra
  10. Being Prepared

At first, I was sure it was from my first book, “Who Stopped the Sale?” as many of these points are emphasized throughout. After thinking more about it, I realized how simple and to the point it is, especially when it came to winning and keeping a sales job.

Think what you could do as a professional if you practiced these simple principles every day. You could land a dream job – and keep it. You could advance in your career. You could sell more products and services.

These are the exact traits every manager wants to see in a potential new addition to their team.

Let’s look at each of these from a manager’s perspective.

Being on Time

This alone should be a deal breaker. There are so many resources available today that help individuals plan routes and avoid construction and traffic, that there is no real excuse for being late. If a job candidate is late for an interview or an employee is habitually late, a manager will question their reliability and commitment. How can anyone rely on someone who can’t show up?

Work Ethic

Demonstrating a good work ethic from the very first job you’ve ever held to your present position paints a picture of who you are and can be to the company and its clients. Are you prepared? How do your social media sites reflect your work ethic? Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Do you talk positively about work and colleagues or are your comments disparaging?


An often-overlooked key to success is effort. Salespeople who put in extraordinary effort, who are willing to work harder than expected to achieve results, are simply more successful. What have you done when someone tells you no? What do you do when faced with seemingly unsurmountable challenges? Are you clear on your professional and personal goals? Are you driven to achieving them?

Body Language

Proper body language can build confidence in coworkers and customers. Do you maintain eye contact, speak in a low, steady voice, use your hands for emphasis, smile and offer a strong handshake? Even if you are nervous, do they become more relaxed and confident as the interview or meeting goes on?


Pay attention to your energy level. Are you positive or do you appear and act tired or bored? Do you have the energy to do the job, to be a team player and to be present for the customers? How you contribute to your company is as important as what you contribute. A sales professional may have experience, knowledge, skill, and a history of success; however, without positive energy their skills cannot be fully realized.


What are you passionate about at work and outside the work environment? Are you sports enthusiasts? What kind of passion would you have for the company and for its customers? Sales professionals who are passionate about their jobs are committed to consistently achieving higher levels of performance. Yet, according to Deloitte University Press, “Up to 87.7 percent of America’s workforce … doesn’t have passion for their work. Less than 12.3 percent of America’s workforce possesses the attributes of worker passion.” Do you demonstrate a desire for continual learning, improvement and challenge? Are you willing to try new ideas and take risks that benefit an organization?


This is the most important of the10 items. If you are coachable, a manager can take your positive attributes and polish them into something even better. Do you seem to have an answer for everything? Do you correct others or talk over them? Do you interrupt? If a manager offers a suggestion, do you listen or shrug it off? These are signs that indicate you may not be coachable.

Doing Extra

Do you go the extra mile? What time do you arrive for the interview or for work? What beyond their assigned job responsibilities have you done? Do you serve on committees? Do you lead teams? Are you involved in employee programs? Do you go the extra mile for customers and help solve problems? Or do you come in, work your hours and leave? Sales professionals who do extra are committed to being their best, to their customers and to their employers.

Being Prepared

Preparation is essential to performing at the top of your game. Successful preparation requires the ability to pay attention, identify and solve problems. During the interview or at work, do you listen carefully? Do you take accountability for the successes and challenges in your career? Can you think quickly and solve problems?


It’s all about attitude. All of the first nine traits are influenced by attitude. If you scores low in any of the other nine traits, chances are, you don’t have a positive attitude and may not be the best member of a team.

As I said, being coachable is the most important trait in this list. After you are hired, you need to be willing to continuously improve and learn.

As a manager, you can’t simply hire someone who has all these traits and expect them to succeed and grow automatically. Their success depends on you managing them. You need to set goals with them, observe, coach, train, educate and mentor them continually. Even the best candidate will fail if a manager neglects responsibility for grooming and improving the talent and skills employees bring to the job. If you hire the ideal candidate and then, in three months it’s not working out, look at yourself.

Employees are responsible for bringing their time and talent to work. You’re responsible for making sure these don’t go to waste.

Looking for a career change? Try Sales Gravy Jobs!


About the author

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin

Richard F. Libin has written two acclaimed books that help people of all walks…

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