Key Traits of Successful Sales People


Our work recently has involved analysing current trends in sales systems and processes as well as looking at the traits of people who are most likely to be successful. It’s tough out there and customers are accessing information and products in different ways than ever before. In sales we need to be agile and believable than ever before.

Frankly the old adage of “being able to sell ice to Eskimo’s” is offensive to any professional sales person working for a reputable company. Good sales people qualify customers that can genuinely benefit by choosing their product or service and can easily explain the value of choosing them to the customer.

Often making that sale depends on simply getting the basics right; the appearance, knowledge and enthusiasm of the salesperson as well as truly believing in your product.

Here are some other traits we see with successful sales people:

They're Customer Centric

There thinking is all around what customers need to buy; not around what they want to sell.

They're Reliable

This trait is found in people who take great pride in their work, are organised and efficient. Conscientious also means you keep going in your job, no matter what.

They Listen

When you listen to your clients/customers, you find out what they want and need, and how to make that happen.

They're Persistent

You have to have thick-skin to be a salesperson. Why? Because you’re going to become very familiar with the word “no.” You have to be confident and persistent if you want to remain involved with sales.

They're Coachable (Willingness)

Experience isn’t nearly as important as coachability for predicting successful salespeople. Being energetic, willing to learn and having the ability to adapt are all a part of being “coachable.”

Coachable means an early adopter of the suggestion. If you are asked to do things in a certain way, do it that way, even if it's something you have always done a different way.

They're Positive

Who would you rather make a purchase from? The upbeat go-getter or the depressed downer? Having a positive attitude and being cheerful makes it easier to approach customers and keep their attention until after you’ve made the sale.

This positive attitude exudes from a person. Try some psychology, smile, jump up and down, breathe, do what you have to be positive.

They're Resourceful

The true salesperson is able to shift gears if a sale isn’t going the way that they envisioned. Instead of just taking “no” as an answer, they will attempt a different approach by using their creativity and imagination. Remember though, you have to make it snappy and switch quickly. Learn to read faces. If your approach has not worked within two minutes, change. Have your twists and turns ready. If you have to practice them at home so that you are natural.

They Ask Questions

Searcy states that there is data that has discovered “that the higher-performing sales representatives ask more questions--often more than twice as many.” But, these salespeople don't ask questions that focus solely on data. They want to know what the implications are.

They're Good Time Managers

The best salespeople manage their time effectively, such as finding the best routes from location to location, so that they have more opportunities and time to spend securing a sale. If one place or person takes too long, or longer than expected, the time manager makes up for it somewhere else.

They're Personable

A great salesperson has no problem getting along with others. And, most importantly, they enjoy meeting new people and realise the power of networking. Most sales people love people, and it shows.

They're Respectful

You have to make sure that your customers and potential customers are treated like gold. Part of doing this is making sure that they have time and you schedule time for work. Old tactics don't work. People are busy, respect their time above all.


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