Dogs have it made. They have figured out how to exploit our species for their own personal gain. We like to think they’re our pets, but any objective assessment of the situation would turn that around—we do all the work, while they lay around all day and get fed regularly.
Dogs have reached this coveted status because they are masters of the art of sales. Having observed my own two rescue mutts closely, I’ve discerned the following traits and behaviors that make them so good at what they do:
They can sniff out opportunity anywhere.
Just drop a scrap of food or leave something tasty on the counter, and it will be gone the instant your back is turned. Once they lock on to an opportunity, they are determined to do everything in their power to get it.
They have unbeatable self-confidence.
How many salespeople limit their effectiveness and their earning capacity because they are afraid to call high? If you’ve ever seen a chihuahua go after a mastiff, you know that dogs don’t give a hoot about size or status. Keep this in mind when you’re reluctant to sell outside your comfort zone.
Rejection is not a concept they understand.
You can yell at your dog, and they will feel bad for about a second and a half. After that, it’s as if nothing had happened, and they revert to the behavior they got yelled at for.
They are relationship-oriented.
They don’t bother with challenger or consultative selling because their relationships work so well for them. Salespeople always try to be alert for signals of approval or disapproval from prospects; dogs are intimately aware of our state of mind at all times, through their reading of our body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. With the possible exception of stealing food off the kitchen counter, there is nothing that makes them happier than getting our approval.
They are brimming with energy.
From the moment they come spilling out of their room in the morning to their last time out in the backyard at night, they put everything they have into every moment in life. Watch a dog retrieving tennis balls—with tongues hanging out of their mouths, they run just as hard the 20th time as they do the first. Imagine if your cold calls were like that.
They are unfailingly cheerful and optimistic.
Selling is tough, and it’s easy to get down when things aren’t going your way. Dogs don’t have that problem; they know that even if they don’t get what they want right now, a treat or a scratch behind the ears is just around the corner.
They appreciate the hand that feeds them.
We all have our faults, but to our dogs, we can do no wrong. As salespeople, we have two masters, our employers and our customers; are we as loyal to them as our dogs are to us? We may not agree with everything our employers do, but do we back them up at all times? We may realize that the customer is not always right, but do we keep in mind that they are always the customer?
Of course, dogs are not perfect salespeople. They bark more than they should, but then so do most salespeople.
 While I realize the word “personal” doesn’t quite fit, I couldn’t find dogonal in the dictionary.