Tweak Your Biz » Sales » Fourteen Traits Of A Great Sales Person

Fourteen Traits Of A Great Sales Person



Sales professionals are largely the public face of a company or organizations and people judge the company by seeing the sales personnel. They need to have the right personality traits, the correct mental make-up and attitude to be successful and help their company or division do better.

Some of the most important qualities in a sales professional include:

# 1. Excellent people skills

The most important quality to become a successful sales professional is to have the knack of establishing a good rapport with others. People skills are the only way a sales person can relate to a potential customer and hold his attention long enough to get the sale. Customers will buy only if they are able to warm up to the sales man, trust him and feel he is being honest with them. Sales men have to establish trust while being professional and polite. It is important not to push, persuade beyond a point or be aggressive.

# 2. Good Behavior and Positive Demeanor

Customers warm up to sales people who display proper behavior like being cordial, polite, humorous without being overly so,disciplined and so on. Some of the traits that they need to display are:

Related: Why Every Small Business Owner Is A Salesman And Why So Many Fail At It

# 3. Positive attitude

A positive mental attitude can spur sales due to the commitment, discipline and encouragement it brings. Being positive means not being pulled down by a bad day, less sales or negative feedback, but instead makes the sales man think, feel and behave in a positive manner. Positivism becomes a way of life that stays beyond work hours and helps tremendously.

# 5. Humor

It’s not the ability to laugh but an attitude to see the brighter and lighter side of things, and a precursor for a successful working career. Humor is about being able to give others a reason to smile, be less serious and reserved and bring a ‘feel good’ feeling when other come in contact. It is an innate instinct and makes others want to talk to you rather than avoid coming in contact, which they may, with a glum person.

# 6. Action orientation

This becomes important for sales people to actually perform according to what you profess, with a set of clear cut goals and targets which as a sales person you are driven to achieve. Thus an action oriented sales man will have his tasks for the day ready before hand, follow his plan, work to achieve his targets, and pursue success through hard work.

Related: Is Your Sales Manager Asleep At The Wheel?

# 7. Self discipline

It’s about following and pursuing goals seriously with focus and irrespective of personal feelings and other issues. Not going astray or adopting a lackadaisical approach are all manifestations of self discipline.

# 8. Following the formula of success

This is not being bogged down by failures but using each failed attempt as a stepping stone to success.

# 9. The right body language is important

The body language of the sales person reflects his character and personality, which must appeal to a potential customer rather than put him off. Being confident and self assured sends the right signals and the customer feels, here is a salesman who knows his work and his product and looks upon him not with hostility but with an inclination to hear him out.

  • Establishing eye contact,
  • a smiling face,
  • friendly nature,
  • patient listening skills,
  • being respectful and showing genuine interest,

all add up in the right body language. Taking notes, being sullen and only inclined to be heard rather than listening himself, are all indicative of a poor salesman since his body language is not right.

Related: Creating Great Body Language Over The Phone

10. Being alert to collect information

This is crucial for a salesman since companies form policies and adopt strategies based on the information gathered by them. Thus they have to gather information on the following:

i)        The process of buying and the people who make decisions

ii)      The need for quick action and decision making time frames

iii)    Budgetary constraints and funds available

iv)    Buying criterion of customers and objectives

v)      Current competition from other supplier

# 11. Conduct thorough research about the market and the competitors

This helps in being prepared to meet challenges with a ready action plan and correct measures to avoid a dip in sales or any reflection of poor performance. It is a good idea to consider performing a SWOT analysis of potential competition and evolving proper strategies to meet it head-on.

# 12. Limiting damages

This becomes important to ensure that clients’ needs are met and common goals are kept in mind, even if it means taking harsh steps.

# 13. Smart Goals

Every salesman needs to have smart goals in front of him. These include:

  • Specific and clear cut
  • Measurable and defined
  • Agreed and adjusted according to company requirements
  • Realistic rather than unattainable
  • Time frame kept in mind

Related: Successful Goal Setting

# 14. Every little action counts

Every action of the sales person counts to help or damage the company’s performance. His single minded focus has to be to define his minimum daily targets, adopting the Winning Edge strategy and pushing himself for one extra call, one last attempt, and one more task before calling it a day. While it may not show immediate results, it will add up and bear fruit over time. Failing to plan will mean the salesman is planning to fail.

These few tips will help sales professionals rediscover themselves and find where they are lacking, and changing themselves will change the results of the company they work for.

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The Author:

Neil is currently plying his trade as head of marketing for eMobileScan, a technology company specializing in offering their customers a tool set that will help to increase the productivity of their workforce. http://www.emobilescan.co.uk

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Una, Looks like a super line-up of speakers, I think Ill make some room in the diary :)

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Neil, this is a post that is close to my heart. The profession of selling is often misunderstood, sometimes maligned and continues to see massive change in recent years to the point that many now believe that selling as we know it will cease to exist very soon. For me, the traits that that define a professional salesperson are an ability to ask great questions and the ability to truly and actively listen to the answers. It will be interesting to see what others think?

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Hi Neil, nnA friend told me he tries to be there ‘before the fire starts’. In other words, he spends as much time with prospects before they are ready to buy and then, when things happen, he’s the one they usually turn to. nnRegards,nnIvannnn

  • karena

    none of the above… sorry you must be former sales person… now go be the buyernn

  • http://twitter.com/ElishBulGodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Thank you for those timely reminders. I especially like the points on ‘being alert’ and ‘every little thing counts’. I find that when you are in the zone everything you hear and observe gets channelled into your task at hand if you are that type of person. It would also be handy to see the other side of the coin one day – what traits make for a not so good sales approach? What do you think?

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Wow! Amazing post, well done Helen!