Minnesota’s Top Sales Talent Offers 3 Traits of Top Salespeople

Just a few page flips into The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World, Minnesota sales and business legend Harvey Mackay offers his 3-line description of a “great” sales pro.

Quoting “If I had to name only three traits that make a great sales representative, they would be:

hungry fighter,
hungry fighter and

hungry fighter.”

Amazon’s “Look Inside” airs the full list of great sales pro traits as a preview. If you are hiring salespeople, the list is as good a brief summary of necessary candidate attributes as you are likely to find in one place. If you are developing in the sales profession, the list contains most of traits you will likely aspire to. While I am tempted to suggest an additional trait or two, like “methodical” or “process driven”, these may just as well fit as subtext to the “Goalsetter” or “Preparation” [planning] traits.

About the book
Minnesota sales professional and sales management guru Harvey Mackay

Two Harvey Mackay titles pulled from my shelf. That’s a slightly yellowing dust jacket on a First Edition copy of “Swim With The Sharks”.

Published in 2011, The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World is a powerful compilation of writings packed into 82 snippets [chapters], each ending with a “Mackay’s Moral”.   The chapters fall under 7 major sections/themes such as “SETBACKS”, “CONNECT” and “EXCEL” which are each capped by “Fortune Cookies” [one-liners, wisdom bits and quotes]. An “AFTERTHOUGHTS” section isn’t the least of the powerful content.

To the middle-range and senior level sales pro, the book is a back-to-the-basics refresher of foundational motivation, general business/sales principles and wisdom from a legendary, highly talented sales thinker. For someone new to the sales profession, this is must-read-digest-and-employ primer. It is packed with practical ideas, advice, quips, quotes, motivational pumps, attitude development bits, anecdotes and more. It is a picker-upper, a get-up-stand-up-and-give-it-all-you’ve-got-after-you’ve-been-knocked-down self direction
and self management bible. If you are looking for a “How To”
methodology or a strategic/tactical guide, this is not the book.

Practical or inspirational gems appear on literally [and I don’t use that term loosely] every one of the 325 pages. I stopped highlighting after quickly realizing that this a book of highlights. Harvey Mackay compiled what may be the core of his lifetime sales thinking into one contemporary, relevant, interesting, fun to read volume. Put this one on your reading list.

About Harvey Mackay

Harvey Mackay is an inducted member of the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in the company of other rare and exceptional people like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Oprah Winfrey. Lou Holtz has described him as “… the most talented man I have met”. Born in Minnesota in 1932, Mr. Mackay bought a failing envelope company at the age of 26. He began hiring salespeople in Minnesota before many of today’s senior sales professionals and sales executives were even born. His success story is legendary. His sales wisdom is as relevant today as it was when he published Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive in 1988.