If you Google search “how to be a good salesperson?” you will be bombarded with generic tips bearing false promises.
Here’s the thing. Being a successful salesperson is more than a set of dos and don’ts. Sales is not a job title; it’s an identity. Even people outside the sales field can become great salespeople in their own right.
There are no “tips” or “tricks” to being a better salesperson. There are, however, foundational principles and qualities that make up a successful salesperson.
To learn how to be a successful salesperson, you must first understand the qualities of a great salesperson. Then, you can build a roadmap from those qualities and analyze how you can achieve those traits in your life.
As the business landscape becomes increasingly competitive, becoming a successful salesperson is essential to achieving growth. Otherwise, say goodbye to scaling your income and hello to mediocre sales and measly bottom lines.
I don’t want that for you.
Working with salespeople for over 20 years, I’ve seen many good salespeople and a few great ones. When you’ve been with salespeople long enough, you notice a clear dichotomy that separates the good from the great. Great salespeople possess a set of successful salesperson characteristics in their system that others lack.
In this article, we’ll explore those successful salesperson traits to help you acquire those qualities. Keep reading.
What Makes a Good Salesperson?
As businesses become more competitive, entrepreneurs double down on finding ways to stay ahead of the curve. From researching new closing strategies to uncovering different sales objections, business owners are always on the lookout. You can always learn skills, but sales are more than a battle of who possesses the stronger communication and interpersonal aptitudes.
While both of these sales rep qualities matter, a successful salesperson is rooted in a strong identity. When rejection comes (and trust me, it will), they do not lose heart but uncover ways to overcome them.
Remember, identity defines activity. When skills fail, your identity and character will pull your ass out of the hole to strive harder.
Below, we feature the mindsets of successful salespeople that you must live out to become successful yourself. If you’re ready, here are the top qualities of a successful salesperson:
If there is one overarching theme across successful salespeople, it’s their confidence. You need a certain level of trust before you enlist in the sales army.
A person who is not confident will only become a successful salesperson once they are confident.
Think about it.
Humans are generally attracted to confidence, right?
Conversely, we feel unconvinced by people who do not possess a single ounce of faith in their being. That same pull-push principle applies in sales. Customers want to buy from people they believe are competent, and competence breeds confidence.
Salespeople must be confident in their abilities and skills. This confidence allows you to approach potential clients without hesitation or fear.
Moreover, it also helps you build strong relationships with them as you work towards closing deals. When you remain calm under pressure, confidence will help you even when selling to skeptical or difficult clients.
Aside from self-confidence, you need genuine and unyielding confidence in your offered solutions. There should not be a shadow of a doubt that your solutions are the best options for your prospects. As a result, you negotiate well to get your desired outcome.
What do you do when faced with rejections and objections? Do you cave in the face of adversity or stand up for yourself and ask, “why?“
Being curious is one of the core characteristics of any successful salesperson. This quality enables you to approach your interactions with potential clients with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
Whether asking probing questions or listening to concerns, curiosity allows you to understand where your customers are coming from truly. Asking questions helps you better understand their pain points, pleasure points, and underlying felt needs. This becomes the foundation to craft better solutions suited for your customer’s specific setting.
Furthermore, having a keen interest in learning more about your clients also helps build strong relationships with them. Relationships are crucial for closing deals down the line.
When it comes to being a successful salesperson, courage is one of the top qualities that you need to have. It takes a certain level of grit and resilience to stay motivated and focused, especially when things get tough. This kind of courage means having the determination to keep pushing forward despite rejections or setbacks.
To be courageous, you need the willingness to take calculated risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone. This means being fearless when it comes to cold-calling potential clients or pitching your solutions face-to-face to potential customers.
Successful salespeople are not afraid of rejection or failure but rather embrace these challenges as learning opportunities that mold them. You may get turned down, but it’s crucial to stay confident and maintain your composure despite the fact.
Most important, you cannot have courage without vulnerability. When you open yourself up to transactional rejection, you create an opportunity to get to a deal.
As a business strategist, I have helped companies strategize their killer marketing campaigns and establish a strong company culture. Frequently, acquiring the characteristics of successful salespeople begins with having an environment that cultivates sales success. Wizard of Sales® can help you develop that growth-oriented culture that breeds successful salespeople. Book a call.
While confidence is a defining characteristic of a salesperson, it’s another thing entirely to be full of yourself. Do you hate it when you’re talking to people but they seem uninterested in what you have to say? Customers do, too, especially when salespeople keep interrupting them.
You have to realize that sales is not about your business or solutions. It’s about your fitness to the customer’s underlying felt needs, expectations, and preferences. That’s why it pays to be attentive.
Attentiveness is one of the key qualities that define successful salespeople. Being attentive means having the ability to listen effectively to potential clients to understand their needs and concerns.
Successful salespeople pay close attention to their clients while maintaining eye contact and actively engaging them in conversation. They know when to intercept and how to respond appropriately, adapting their approach as needed depending on the situation.
Only by being attentive do salespeople build trust with their clients and provide solutions that meet their needs. Plus, this quality is essential for success in a competitive sales environment where fast-paced decision-making is often required.
Talking with salespeople is a crucial component in the buying journey. As such, communicating with you must be a pleasant experience for your customers. They will only advance the sales funnel, slowly getting closer to a sale.
It begins with establishing a positive first impression to produce a pleasant, professional relationship. Here’s the catch: those pleasantries began before your salesperson uttered a single word. You’re off to a good start when you have an inviting aura or a welcoming demeanor.
Exhibit warmth and friendliness to make your clients feel at ease and comfortable in sharing their needs and concerns. It’s important to find mutual interests that could break the conversation’s monotony and build rapport between the two parties. Talk about things that interest the clients to propel the negotiations to positive ends.
An approachable demeanor goes a long way for salespeople. If you want to be a successful salesperson, this is one of the most accessible aspects to improve in your life.
Passion is another key quality that all successful salespeople share. Being passionate is not limited to your genuine enthusiasm for your product or service. In reality, you could exhibit passion in various ways as a salesperson.
First, and as mentioned above, passion for your solutions. That means you are convinced and confident that your product or service has the chops to help your customers. HVAC contractors, for instance, believe that their air conditioners have all the bells and whistles clients want.
Another way you could exhibit passion is through your unyielding commitment to satisfy your client’s needs and preferences. Trust me, some customers are harder to please than others. While good salespeople know a lost cause when they see one, successful salespeople are relentless. They strive to convert every unmotivated “yes” into an enthusiastic “yes!”
Passion is contagious, and your customers should bathe in the same passionate reverie as you are. That’s how you become a successful salesperson.
No one expects you to be mind-readers in sales, but there’s just one problem: your customers do.
That’s why being insightful is one of the top qualities that make a successful salesperson. It falls on your sales reps to unearth your customers’ needs, preferences, wants, and desires. Customers will rarely voice out their concerns. You must read between the lines and ask the right questions to discover them.
Being insightful grants you the skills to unfurl three things:
- Pain points. They are also called antimotivators because they motivate actions from a negative resonance. Pain points fall under three things: fear, shame, or guilt.
- Pleasure points. They are also called motivators and fall under three categories: identity, purpose, and adventure.
- Underlying felt needs. The three primary things buyers care about are money, energy, and time.
Your product does solve a real-world problem that customers experience. However, underneath the surface, their pain and pleasure points, along with underlying felt needs, motivate their buying behavior.
Use your insights to dig deep into their personality and psyche to find out where it hurts. Being insightful also means paying close attention to their verbal and non-verbal cues, including understanding what drives or motivates them.
Insightful salespeople can anticipate potential challenges or objections that could arise during the sales process. This allows them to address these issues proactively before they become problems. You are better equipped to build long-lasting relationships and achieve success if you are genuinely attuned to your customer’s needs.
It may sound counterintuitive, but assertiveness is a good thing in sales. No, I’m not referring to your language or demeanor. Instead, you must assertively pursue new leads and customers, constantly pushing yourself to exceed goals and quotas. Being assertive means having the drive and motivation to seek new challenges to grow and improve your skills.
The enemy of assertiveness is submissiveness, and you must prevent yourself from reaching that level of comfort. Think of tame animals — submissive and subordinate to their apex predators, humans. They no longer see humans as threats, the fire of their aggression is dead, and their passion for freedom is gone. But that’s not the case for successful salespeople.
Successful salespeople remain assertive in the face of adversity. That’s the only way we can overcome hurdles and learn the strength to stand tall amidst rejection.
Attention to detail is the last quality that defines a successful salesperson. They must effectively and efficiently manage their time, track their progress and identify potential sales opportunities. This involves monitoring market trends and staying up-to-date on industry developments.
Achieving sales success means looking for ways to improve yourself, which necessitates careful attention to detail. Whether tweaking your pitch or identifying new ways of reaching out to leads, being detail-oriented will improve you. Successful salespeople are also analytical thinkers who assess their performance based on solid data rather than gut feelings or intuition.
Successful Salespeople Know How Customers Buy
All the traits mentioned above are the principal qualities of a successful salesperson. However, you can have all of them under your belt and ultimately fail in closing sales. Why? Because there lies one final pitfall that even the most gifted salespeople fail at.
It’s this: thinking that the sale is about you, your brand, or your solutions. It’s none of those things.
What you sell is merely a means to an end, not the end itself. The advantage that your client gets from them is what matters most — not the benefits or the features.
Knowing how customers buy is the last step to securing your salesperson’s success.
Here’s a brief run-through:
- Customers are looking for someone (business and salesperson) who they feel good about.
- Customers want the assurance that you are competent in solving their problems.
- Once customers believe you understand how to solve their problem, they want options.
- Customers will agree to commit when they are confident in the value and correctness of your proposed solution.
- Then it’s up to you to deliver.
Hit the right notes in numbers one through four, and you have number five in the bag.
But remember that the sale doesn’t end once they say “yes!”
You will only win once the customers also believe they have won.
So, overdeliver value incessantly.
Sales Statistics That Are Critical to a Salesperson’s Success
Myth: “Sales teams are not that important to give extreme attention to.“
Statistics beg to differ. If you’re a salesperson, here are some statistics to show you how critical your role is for the team. Understanding these numbers could be the nudge that motivates you to be successful in the role.
- Field sales teams make up 71.2 percent of the sales force. Almost three out of four people bring the majority of revenue to companies compared to other positions. (Spotio)
- A staggering 92 percent of salespeople give up after receiving four “nos.” However, 80 percent of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes.” That’s where relentlessness, curiosity, and aggressiveness come in. (Marketing Donut)
- Three out of four marketing leads never convert into sales. Failure to nurture leads into prospects and then full-fledged buyers is the cause behind this poor performance. (Marketing Sherpa)
- Fifty percent of the time, sales calls end without an apparent attempt to close the deal. The national sales closing rate is a measly 27 percent. Successful salespeople speak with the end in mind. Always look for ways to guide the conversation seamlessly to your desired ending. (Spotio)
Anyone can be a salesperson, but it takes dedication, grit, and an unyielding desire to learn to become successful. The best way to acquire the qualities of a successful salesperson is to cultivate a culture that favors those traits.
Sales are too vast to leave up to your sales reps alone. Everyone on your team must have the qualities that make a successful salesperson. And it all begins with establishing a sales-focused culture in your company. Lucky for you, we’ve helped other companies achieve that before and can help you do the same.
Book a call, and let’s discuss how we can develop a sales-centric culture in your business.