Five Characteristics of Highly Successful Sales People

Sales recruiting

You’ve heard the term, “It takes a special person?” when referring to a broad range of career choices. It takes a special person to be a nurse. It takes a special person to be a teacher. It takes a special person to be a public servant. Well we think it takes a special person to have a career in sales.

In addition to experience and training, there are intangible natural qualities that a person should possess in order to be successful in a career in sales. When a person is successful at a career in sales, they often possess the natural qualities of charisma, confidence, flexibility, and enthusiasm. If you identify with these characteristics, you may be the ideal candidate for a career in sales. If you are considering sales career opportunities, you should ask yourself if you identify with the following description of highly successful sales people:

Five Characteristics Highly Successful Sales People

  1. Being an Extrovert
    The energy level of a person who is an extrovert grows when they are around other people. Socializing and making personal connections with others is a natural skill that an extrovert possesses, and it is also a required quality in a successful sales career path. The greatest responsibility that people in sales jobs have is to interact with and establish connections with customers or potential customers, to encourage them to adopt the product or service that they sell. Being an extrovert makes this responsibility natural, and leads to high success.

    You are an extrovert if you possess these qualities:

    • You gain energy while being around other people and socializing.
    • You can present your point of view persuasively, with confidence and enthusiasm.
    • You are unwavering about a position you take on any particular subject, which makes others adopt your point-of-view as well.
  2. Being Modest
    The idea of being humble might sound like it is contradicts the previous point of confident, but according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, more than 90% of the most successful sales people in the United States scored “medium” to “high” in the category of humility on personality tests. This makes sense, if the sales person comes off too confident or arrogant, it may lead a client to not trust them. Meanwhile, the spirit of modesty makes a client feel as if the sales person is partnering with them rather than taking advantage of them.
  3. Possessing Resilience
    It’s hard to know where the natural characteristic of resilience ends, and where the learned skill that successful sales people possess begins. It is a fact of the sales industry that rejection and disappointment happen from time to time, sometimes often. However, the same Harvard Business Review study that indicated modest was a important characteristic of a sales person, also showed that in spite of unavoidable disappointment associated with sales careers, 90% of great sales people report that they very seldom experienced discouragement or sadness. Being resilient gives a sales person the ability to maintain their energy and emotional levels to be successful in the future, despite disappointments in the past.
  4. Strong Character
    Sales people sometimes get a bad reputation for being sleazy. (Think: used car salesmen with a greasy come over.)

    However, according to our Harvard Business Review study of successful sales people, the highest achievers have a strong sense of duty that makes them reliable and feel responsible for those they work with. Successful sales people view making a sale as more than just commission added to their paycheck. Their inner character that makes them responsible and reliable, helps them gain a sense of trust from their customers, which gives them loyal and long-term customers.
  5. Being Goal-oriented

    Making goals and constantly going through self-reflection to ensure they are meeting their goals is a success factor in any career. In the sales field, constantly setting goals and striving for new opportunities of growth is a factor that helps a sales person continue to be successful over the long-term. Additionally, achieving a sales goal in the face of obstacles gives a goal-oriented person a sense of gratification that energizes them to do more.

Do you know of any other natural characteristics that give a sales person an edge for success that we didn’t mention? Please share your input on this subject in the comment section below!

Leave a Reply