Career Development 9 Comments

10 Essential Characteristics of Highly Successful Salespeople

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya

June 25th, 2017

sales characteristics successful salespeople

More than a job, successful selling is a result of skill and practice. Like all other skills, great selling techniques cannot be acquired in a day. The most successful salespeople work incessantly toward improvement, practice regularly, and grow incrementally with each experience. Acquiring killer sales skills requires time and dedication. In this post, I’m going to share the sales characteristics that set good sellers apart from the great sellers.

Without further due, here are the top 10 qualities of a successful salesperson.

1. Successful Salespeople Are Upbeat

Hearing negative responses on a regular basis can be extremely disheartening. Unfortunately there’s no way around this in sales. But for successful people, “no” does not mean the end.

Successful salespeople are those who have emerged strong out of the most difficult of situations. They face them with a positive attitude; learning from them and always seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Successful Salespeople Are Passionate

Passion is not just working towards meeting a specific quota for a successful salesperson. Truly passionate salespeople are those who work towards higher goals like excellence and building long lasting relationships.

The best salespeople are passionate about making a change in people’s lives and work towards it every single day. They know that every part of the sales process is important and do not make the mistake of not taking closing seriously. They are passionate about growing in their careers, making sure they always give their A game.

3. Successful Salespeople Are Ingenious

The most successful salespeople are creative and think about unique ways to solve problems for their clients. They come up with novel ideas when most people form the same conclusions.

Top performing salespeople have the ability to look at things differently. Their brilliant analytical skills enable them to offer different solutions that others normally don’t see. They are resourceful and make the best out of what they have.

4. Successful Salespeople Are Empathetic

Empathy and compassion are prerequisites to great customer service. Empathetic salespeople listen intently to what actually affects people and provide them the complete liberty to express their concerns.

They try to understand people by putting themselves in other’s shoes from a neutral perspective, without letting judgment or an ulterior motive guide them. This helps them understand people better and interact accordingly.

5. Successful Salespeople Take Accountability For Their Own Actions

Highly effective salespeople know how to take full responsibility for their own actions and do not blame other people or external influences that can affect results.

They take complete ownership over their work and ways to do it and do it with full dignity and respect. They hold nobody but themselves accountable for whatever results may arise, both positive and negative.

6. Successful Salespeople Are Well Prepared

Impressing clients and making them buy a product is no cake walk. It requires a tremendous amount of research, confidence and flawless execution of pitches.

Effective team members use all their resources and time to find out what exactly they are going to pitch to different clients and tailor their presentations accordingly.

They do NOT go on and on about products and services, but offer something of value through a conversational approach, which is jargon free.

7. Successful Salespeople Are Updated On Latest Trends & Technology In Their Niche

The most successful salespeople are always ahead of the game for a reason – they invest their time in educating themselves. 

Winning salespeople keep themselves updated on market trends, products and competition.

They also use all kinds of sales tools to participate in professional development and stay motivated.

They keep a variety of tools handy that can help them learn about things that help them perform better.

8. Successful Salespeople Are Highly Engaged

Highly successful salespeople are engaged and love being a part of the organization they represent. They love their job and the people they work with. Because they believe in the product and feel motivated, they sell with the utmost conviction.

On the contrary, their organization also invests in them, which helps them retain these superstars. They participate actively in assessments, surveys and training programs, look up to their leaders and reap the benefits of the resources available to them.

9. Successful Salespeople Are Goal Oriented

The ability to set (and stick to) personal and professional goals is definitely a common characteristic of the most successful salespeople.

Top sales pros know exactly what they want to accomplish (and by when) so they will plan around these targets accordingly.

This requires focus and setting ambitious, but achievable goals. As a result, the salesperson must be extremely persistent and hardworking.

Successful salespeople get goals that help them grow as an individual and as a professional. They have long term goals which require patience and practice.

10. Successful Salespeople Are Relationship Seekers

The most effective salespeople know how to deal with a variety of clients, and being versatile with each type.

There will undoubtedly be wins and losses. However, the most successful salespeople never say goodbye to clients. They reach out to the ones who have said no in the past, and they are also available to assist those they have sold to.

Top salespeople know the importance of building trust and customer satisfaction, which is why they do their are your best connection to clients and prospects. They always follow up and maintain relationships with their charm, knowledge and personality. 

About the author

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya is a Product Specialist at Capabiliti, a mobile-first training and engagement solution for enterprises. Passionate about economics, Bhaswati also loves storytelling. She has a keen interest in start-ups, food and travel. In her 'me time' she picks up fiction novels, tries different cuisines or explores routes to less-traveled places on the world map. For more such cutting edge content, follow @TeamCapabiliti.

  • Ty Schmidt

    Great article with a lot of excellent concepts. Jack Kusner, (@JackKusner), Regional Director of sales at SmarterHQ, expands on your thoughts on the importance of not being an island in sales in his podcast with Jim Brown at SalesTuners. Check it out: https://www.salestuners.com/013-no-just-means-havent-said-yes-yet-jack-kusner/

    • Bhaswati

      Thank you. Glad you found this useful.

  • Nick Colakovic

    I must agree with you that responsible people earn respect more easily than those who arent. This is very valuable characteristic, but people tend to overlook that often these days.

    • Bhaswati

      Thanks for reading Nick. Taking ownership of one’s actions is definitely a key characteristic that differentiates the great from the average.

  • Jonathan Ribeiro

    nice article, I guess that was very usefull for me and will continue to be for another ones. I’m always seeking for improvements so I improved a little more with this content
    Well done Bhaswati!

    • Bhaswati Bhattacharya

      Glad to know that Jonathan. Thank you!

  • Barry Hall

    Great tips from Bhaswati, many thanks.

  • Hi Daniel,
    I would love to read it in French.
    Send the link when you have written the article!
    Cheers,

  • Great post!

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