How to Be A Sales Role Model

BY Jessica Helinski
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Do you have a sales role model? Most salespeople, when asked this question, have someone come to mind. Role models are an important source of inspiration, especially professionally. While you likely have at least one sales role model, have you ever considered that you could be one for someone else? 

Sales role models are needed

Merriam-​Webster defines role model as “a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others.”

Most people think of famous people who are role models, from leaders to athletes. But professional role models can be an important part of a career journey. “Role models in the workplace may not be world-​renowned, but they can still offer many benefits to colleagues,” writes the staff for Indeed​.com.

Caroline Esterson agrees, writing for LinkedIn that now, more than ever, role models are needed in the workplace. “Some people feel incredibly vulnerable about the return to workplaces whilst others don’t really know what all the fuss is about. This can lead to real challenges with managing relationships.”

According to Indeed​.com, role models are important to workplaces for many reasons, including,

  • Boosting morale. Sales role models can drive up the overall mood and energy of a team. They can also set the tone for the entire office environment or meeting.
  • Inspiring healthy competition. They take selling seriously, and they strive for efficiency and productivity. 
  • Motivating others. “Role models are willing to coach and train others by doing more than providing individuals with the necessary information. They also motivate their teams to do their best to excel at work.”
  • Communicating openly. Positive sales role models communicate well. They aren’t afraid to share their ideas, and they are open and eager to respectfully hear those belonging to others. This can inspire teammates to adopt these communication skills, leading to an environment conducive to open, safe discussions.

Traits of a positive role models

Indeed​.com shares traits that good role models typically possess. Their list can inspire you to embrace and nurture those traits within yourself to become a sales role model for your own team, as well as others. Below are two highlights:


Being accountable for yourself is a major sign of maturity and an essential role model trait. “Role models will likely take responsibility for their actions and are willing to admit when they make mistakes, and they inspire others to do the same by making their teams aware of their mistakes and how they plan to correct them,” according to Indeed​.com.

While accountability may not come naturally, you can learn it. Doing so requires discipline, but once you begin accepting responsibility for yourself (including your mistakes), the easier it will become. You’ll demonstrate to others that no one is perfect, and it’s possible to bounce back from a mistake — and learn from it.


Mindsets matter. They not only affect productivity, but they are also contagious. Sales role models embrace a positive mindset and are intentional with their attitude and outlook. “Role models maintain a positive attitude even when they may be facing challenges inside or outside of the workplace,” Indeed​.com notes. “They look at the benefits of each situation and encourage those around them to do the same.”

And SalesFuel’s research reveals that sellers value positivity and consider it a trait essential to success. The Voice of the Buyer survey found that 54% of sellers say being “positive/​optimistic” is a top characteristic needed to be successful on their team.

Embrace being a sales role model by working on your own mindset. SalesFuel has an assortment of advice that can help you cultivate positivity that you can, in turn, inspire in others.

Be a role model 

Indeed​.com shares even more common traits of positive role models, and sellers have the opportunity to adopt, nurture and grow these skills in themselves. Sales role models have such a large impact on others; why not lean into this role and take up the journey? Not only will you grow and develop professionally, but you’ll also inspire positive change in others. 

Photo by Riccardo Annandale