Let's look at some basic, sound qualities that the successful manager must have.

The first couple of qualities that stand out to me are dependability and integrity.

When someone is asked to take on the role of sales manager, the person doing the asking, normally the general manager or dealer, has to trust the new manager, and therefore has to have someone they can rely on. They need to know that they will do as they are asked, be at work before they have to be, and never lie to them, their customers or their employees.

Next - product knowledge. A manager needs to know the product they are selling as well as, if not better than the best product knowledge person on the team. Why? Because they are going to be called upon each day, all day, for their input as to what a particular salesperson should show their customer. Without this product knowledge, a manager fails to meet up to his or her requirements.

How about organizational skills? The successful managers will be able to discipline themselves, organize their work, be sincere and exert initiative. The discipline of themselves is sometimes more difficult than the discipline of others, and being sincere about what they do and what they need to achieve will help with this.
Responsibility and initiative come next. They must take full responsibility, not just for their own actions, but for their team's actions too. A dealer empowers them to take care of their customers; this is a big responsibility and cannot be taken lightly. To do this better than others, they must show and exert initiative - think for themselves, act and produce results.

Understanding buyer motives. Not only understand them, but also be able to share this knowledge with the team. Only when we understand the motive behind something are we really able to help someone. Remember that it is always best to help customers to buy, rather than sell them anything.

Good judgment. I always pride myself on being able to judge a person's character. This isn't enough. Managers need to be have the ability to know what is the right thing to do in different situations. Focus on the ethical and moral treatment of the customer and the employee. This will go with the next quality - they must be courteous and polite.

The successful sales manager must have determination - I cannot imagine a manager not having determination, or else he or she probably would not have got the job in the first place!

The next one should be a given also - they must be friendly and like people. That is what the business is all about - dealing with people - all kinds. If someone cannot get along with pretty much anybody and everybody, they don't belong in selling. Period.

Being resourceful and persuasive are two excellent qualities for a manager - they need to be able to educate their team to do new things, then motivate them to do these new things. Without resourcefulness and persuasiveness, it is going to be very difficult to accomplish that.

Finally, and by no means least, the successful manager needs to have a sincere appreciation of selling as a profession. I consider myself to be very professional. I started selling full time at age 18 and have made a career out of it. I am proud of what I do and have done, and hold my head high when talking about selling. It is what keeps the wheels of commerce going across the world. If anyone is not proud of what they do and manage, they need to make a change.
So, let's see if you have what it takes!

Here are 17 basic self-development questions. As I said in the video, please answer them honestly. If there are any that you do not answer yes to, then treat it as an area of opportunity. Work on it to make yourself a better manager - you will be pleased you did!


1. Do I really want to be successful?

2. Am I ready and willing to exert the necessary effort?

3. Am I willing to sacrifice some of my time and pleasure?

4. Is my attitude right?

5. Do I have a clear picture of my objective?

6. During adverse conditions, do I double my efforts to succeed?

7. Am I respected by my subordinates, associates and superiors?

8. Can I discuss intelligently, without anger, differences of opinion and criticism?

9. How is my dress?

10. How are my manners?

11. How is my health?

12. Do I have any bad habits such as excessive smoking, drinking or gambling?

13. Do I appear friendly?

14. Am I courteous?

15. Could I improve my public speaking?

16. Do I become discouraged easily?

17. Do I have enthusiasm?

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Comment by Don M. Tooke on March 8, 2011 at 5:31pm

Thank you for taking the time to remind us all the basics of being a good Manager, Saleseman and/or a member of our profession. Sometimes I feel that I know everything I need to in order to excel in my field, I have been in the Auto industry since 1971 but just reading and listening to what you have presented made me realize that knowing what to do and doing what you know are two different things. Again thank you for causing me to re-examine my efforts.


Don Tooke

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