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Eight must-have traits of a successful salesperson

Becoming a successful salesperson is about more than understanding the ins and outs of the products you sell. It takes charisma, guts, and a whole heap of other traits to really excel. So does not naturally having those traits mean you can’t make it? Absolutely not.

Many successful salespeople have run headlong into sales and wouldn’t imagine doing anything else. However, some of the best sales talent has fallen into the profession unintentionally, with a certain amount of reluctance. Why do they both succeed? By sharing the same characteristics.

Sales isn’t for the faint of heart especially those who it doesn’t come naturally to. By valuing certain traits above others we put ourselves in the best possible position of securing a sale. These traits are the DNA of sales success. Take a look and see where you need to step up.

1. Positive

The best salespeople are approachable and the heart of being approachable is being positive. As humans we are naturally drawn to positivity. Having a cheery disposition will rub off on potential customers. How do you get there if you find yourself feeling down? Repetition. Compartmentalise your work life under the banner of positivity with smiling and mindful breathing.

2. Respectful

A successful salesperson has the utmost respect for the time and energy put in by their customers. This needs to physically manifest as an assurance that they actually have the time to spare and an understanding that they are busy. Without this you risk dehumanising customers.

3. Passionate

This comes under the banner of positivity and being positive about your work life. To be successful in sales you need to have a passion for your brand and the products or services that you sell. Without this little can be achieved as you won’t be able to truly put across the brand message, even to enthusiastic customers.

4. Perceptive

Learning to accurately discern the needs of each particular customer is an ongoing process and requires a natural perception and alertness. Sales isn’t straightforward, it is ongoing. Successful salespeople have to be perceptive about where a conversation is going in order to be on the upper hand and be able to guide it.

5. Sociable and friendly

If you want people on your side you need to be able to get along with them. Unfortunately this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It stems from positivity and is all about being approachable. The best advice is to try and tune your mind to being energised by social situations within a work context, making your favourite topic of conversation your products/brand.

6. Good listener

This seems very simple but is often overlooked – especially by naturally charismatic salespeople prone to getting carried away with their spiel. In fact, this is often where those who fall into sales excel. Listening is integral to understanding the needs and wants of each specific customer.

7. Doggedly persistent

How do you be persistent when you know you are badgering someone? With kindness. Extreme kindness is key to being able to persistently pursue a lead. With the age of the hard sell way behind us, pursuing customers to the point of purchase is key.

8. Humble learner

Perhaps the most important trait that a salesperson can have is the ability to learn and be coached. This may not come naturally if you are determined to succeed. In order to develop you have to be willing to listen and learn from those around you.


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