“I’ve Been Selling This Product For Years” – So What?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

26 May, 2016

Question.Albert Einstein once said that ‘Imagination is greater than Knowledge’.

I’ve always admired this thought, because often I’ve come across people who think that, just because they’ve been selling for many years and they have more product knowledge than their team mates and most of their prospects, then that’s all they need to be successful.

It set me thinking about what else might be greater than knowledge.

Is knowledge second to imagination, or do other things in our modern technological world surpass the idea that knowledge should be near the top of the pile when it comes to sales skills?

Here are my ideas about what I would be looking for in one of my salespeople, above and beyond the knowledge they have:


If someone has great knowledge but a poor attitude, they wouldn’t last long in my company.

As the saying goes, I can train knowledge but I can’t train attitude.

Attitude is a personal approach, something that is owned specifically by the individual.

Without a good attitude, knowledge is pointless.

Working Ethos

If a person decides they are going to do the barest minimum to get by, I’m afraid the knowledge they have doesn’t cut the mustard.

Their knowledge is again pointless if they don’t back it up with a professional working ethos.

If that fails, they might as well give up and go home, because they won’t be trusted and they certainly won’t be attracting clients.

Willingness To Improve

Willingness is part of a person’s character.

If a person is willing to share, willing to muck in, willing to improve and willing to look for opportunities, this outweighs the knowledge they may have.

Knowledge is stagnant if the person doesn’t have the willingness to improve.


You can’t train or force a person to be passionate.

It’s a natural extension of a desire to improve and grow.

If a person wants to get better, the passion they show and demonstrate will always outweigh the knowledge they currently have.


Innovative thinking means that people find different ways of doing the things they may always have done.

A person who can think creatively about something is able to identify opportunities and chances for the future that others hadn’t considered.

And while knowledge is always being added to, creative thinking helps us to use that knowledge in varied and differing ways.

Naturally, knowledge is important and adds value to a person’s repertoire of skills.

But as I’ve discussed here, I’d rather have someone who has other, more important, qualities because they show their ability to develop their skills in so many other ways.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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