The Highlands Company Blog

A Natural Born Salesman

sales abilities

In this article, we look at a common example of a young adult graduating from college with knowledge of his ability profile, which happens to make him great at sales.

With his college sophomore year coming to an end, Ethan needed a summer job. As a management major, Ethan wanted to use this break to get a few weeks of practical experience. He was experiencing frustration with his management classes but didn’t know why.


Ethan took the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) and got a big surprise. He found he had a clear sales profile. This profile displays strengths which are different from those used in management.

Ethan decided to test the new information about his ability profile. He took a job selling pest control contracts. Every few days he would go over his ability profile to review his strengths and weaknesses. He was anxious to develop better ways to make sales.

By the end of the summer, Ethan was #6 in an organization of over 300 salespeople. He sold over $100,000 worth of the product and made $30,000 — enough to pay for a good part of his college education. Ethan wrote to say, “Thank you for helping me find a remarkable summer sales job. The information about my natural abilities helped me pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses so that I could work to improve my skills…Thanks to The Highlands Company, I was elected most inspirational sales representative in the top office of the country and sold more contracts per sales rep than 97% of the company. All in one summer!”

He also found that learning about his strengths helped him make better decisions about college courses. He realized that his management courses were frustrating. Most of the time, it was “spend six hours studying and get nowhere.” Although his grades were above average, Ethan recognized that his college money would be better spent in a curriculum that was more in tune with his interests and with his strong natural abilities.

What about this summer? This year, Ethan has capitalized on both his natural abilities and his prior experience. He is in sales for a network marketing company. Ethan is actively enjoying what suits him best – selling.

Learning about his unique strengths helped Ethan gain the confidence he needed to succeed. Most of all, he could make practical plans for the future based on his knowledge of himself.