What Makes a Good Salesperson? 5 Key Qualities Needed for Success
On this episode, Paul O'Connell asks: What are the attitudes that help the most successful salespeople excel? Core sales skills seem to be a reasonably well-understood part of a sales professional's grounding. I'm curious about what brings those skills to life with the best effect. In particular, what are the key attitudes you see that set the most successful salespeople apart?
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First, it’s important to make a distinction between selling skills and personal qualities.
When you have someone who is proficient with selling skills and embodies the right personal qualities, those personal qualities bring the skills to life.
Selling skills can be learned and perfected over time. Key selling skills include:
- Prospecting for new business
- Call planning and research
- Identifying needs through great questions and active listening skills
- Presenting solutions
- Managing objections
- Negotiation and closing
Personal Qualities of a Good Salesperson
Unlike selling skills, the salesperson qualities that successful people embody are most likely already formed when someone enters the workforce. These include:
1) Authenticity: You want people who are genuine in terms of their attitudes and beliefs because authenticity is what builds trust with customers.
2) Determination: Often referred to as “grit”—determination is akin to perseverance. Are your top salespeople competitive? Do they want to win? Are they willing to work as hard as they need to and put forth the effort to secure business?
3) Optimism: Identify good salespeople who are positive and resilient because in sales you get more no's than yes’s. What’s more, the optimistic salesperson has a positive attitude that is contagious with customers, coworkers and managers alike.
4) Inquisitiveness: Naturally inquisitive people ask great questions, listen, and probe for needs. In short, they’re great conversationalists who are listening to understand the customer’s needs.
5) Creativity: The best sales reps internalize what they hear from their customers and come up with creative solutions that directly address customer needs.
The best salespeople possess personal qualities that drive sales success. These qualities, in conjunction with great selling skills, are a very powerful combination that leads to higher win rates and better results.
SRG Insights is a Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience.
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About Norman Behar
Norman Behar is a Managing Director at the Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI. He has over 25 years of senior sales management experience and is recognized as a thought leader in the sales training industry. His blog posts and whitepapers are frequently featured in leading sales enablement publications, including ATD, TrainingIndustry.com, and Selling Power.