Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

Sales is often seen as a cutthroat industry. And while there may be some truth to that, at the end of the day, sales is really about people. To be successful in sales, you need to have certain qualities that will allow you to build relationships with your clients and customers. So what are these essential characteristics of successful salespeople?

Here are 25 characteristics of successful salespeople that we think are key.

25 Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

In a competitive sales environment, the sales force is constantly being measured against performance.

The pressure is on for managers to drive their sales teams to greater heights. They are expected to do so every quarter of every year.

As your sales force grows, it’s essential that you hire only the top performing sales people. Doing so will help your team achieve its goals and surpass quota after quota.

When hiring a new salesperson, you should assess their personality and cultural fit with your company.

In addition to looking at a candidate’s sales record, it’s important to consider their personality and how well they will fit in with your company.

Personality traits are an important part of our lives. By understanding the different traits of yourself and others, you can better understand yourself, and the world around you.

What are the top 25 traits that all good salespeople should have? If you’re looking to hire a salesperson, these are the top 25 things to look for!

1. Ambitious

You need someone who wants this job and is ambitious enough to grow in the position.

Where do you want to be in 3 years? 5 years? What does your career look like?

2. Passionate

Your team should be passionate in what they are offering in order to deliver a great customer experience.

Why do you want to sell our product? What does it mean to you?

3. Bold

Find a salesperson who is not afraid of making phone calls, talking to C-suite execs or getting up in front of a crowd.

Would the salespeople be excited to give their elevator pitch to the entire team? Or would they be more hesitant?

4. Tenacious

You want someone who is tenacious and won’t give up easily. You need someone who is optimistic and won’t take no for an answer.

If they aren’t a good fit, let them know why. If they try to convince you otherwise, see if they change their mind.

5. Assertive

Salespeople can’t be shrinking violets.

Ask them how they’d return a bad meal at a restaurant.

6. Confident

Your attitude is EVERYTHING.

If you’re looking to hire someone for a sales position, try giving them a quick assignment. Ask them to sell you this pencil. This should give you a good idea of their selling abilities.

7. Motivated

You can forget making sales quotas if you don’t have this!

Ask them “What do you love about your job?”. Do they like helping their clients by finding the right solutions?

Do they enjoy interacting with people and developing relationships?

8. Driven

This is what takes motivation and puts it into motion.

What made you decide to pursue your purpose? What pushed you to action?

9. Competitive

The drive to compete is what pushes people to become great.

What are the top performing sales reps’ numbers and do you believe you can beat their sales? You’re looking for salespersons that thrive off of being number one, not mediocre ones that settle for mediocrity.

10. Polite

This tells you about their personality.

See if they thank you soon after the meeting, and consider sending a handwritten letter for extra politeness points.

11. Honest

You only want to work with people who you trust with your business.

Ask them how they would handle a situation where they could fudge numbers on a deal. If they can’t be honest about small deals, can they be honest about big ones?

12. Helpful

This can help you figure out their level of customer service and whether or not they’re helpful.

What was the last challenge one of your clients had with your product or service? How did you manage their needs and overcome the challenge? This will help us understand how you build lasting relationships with your clients.

13. Humble

Salespeople who think they are better than everyone else are destined to fail. Karma always catches up with them.

Ask if they give credit where it’s due. Collaboration is key in any sales environment, so it’s essential that they give recognition to their team.

14. Physically Fit

You want a sales rep who won’t crack under pressure and can maintain a positive outlook.

Ask them what they do to reduce stress.

15. Empathetic

Showing empathy toward your buyer will make them more receptive to your pitch.

Have you ever volunteered for any organizations in the past?

16. Intelligent

Intelligence is not simply about “book smarts.” The smart take from the strong.

Ask them what their biggest accomplishment was and why.

17. Smart

You shouldn’t hire people who will roll over for you. Try telling them an outrageous lie to see if they catch it.

If they don’t pick up, just play it off.

18. Perceptive

Do they have the ability to size up another person?

Tell me about the person that escorted you back to my office.

If you’re working remotely, ask your employees about the first employee they spoke with at your office. Did they pay attention to them and can they answer their questions?

19. Inquisitive

Inquiring about a prospect’s problems and needs will help you identify their needs and show how your product or service can help.

Do they ask you more than just basic questions about your background? Do they inquire about your career path with the firm?

20. Organized

A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, which can lead to distractions and ultimately no sales.

Ask how they manage their own time and what their system is.

Do they have a system? How do they handle multitasking?

21. Analytical

Very helpful for complex sales.

What was the most challenging sale that you worked on? How did you go about solving the problem? Did you ask for more information or data to help you determine an answer?

This will help to assess their problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to listen attentively. It will also give you an idea of how well they understood your previous sales story.

Can they keep their cool under pressure and still actively listen?

22. Willing to Learn

As a salesperson, you always want to improve and get better at your job.

What was the last book or course that helped you improve your sales skills? Sales reps who are constantly improving themselves are the most successful.

23. Sociable

What kind of connections do they have in their local community? Strong community ties usually translate into stronger business relationships, so it’s crucial to see the kind of people they interact with.

24. Active Online

Do they have strong social media skills? Are they good with sales?

Ask what social media networks they frequent. How often do they post?

25. Optimist

Does your candidate believe in themselves? Do they think that the next phone call or meeting with you will go better than the last one?

Do they believe in themselves and their ability, even when the odds seem insurmountable?

A positive person is someone who is optimistic about the future. Someone who is pessimistic will give up after one failed attempt.

Salespeople will fail. How they react to that failing is critically important to your success.

Efficient Hiring Saves You Precious Time

Your job is hard enough as it is, keeping track of your sales team’s numbers and performance, as well as making sure they have plenty of leads to work on. Now, imagine doing that while also managing a remote or field team.

While hiring is a time-consuming, expensive, and stressful process for any business, it’s especially so for sales departments.

With this guide, you’ll be able to save a lot of time during the interviewing process and make sure that you make the right decision for your team. The costs and productivity losses that come with a bad employee can be serious.

Hiring the wrong people can be detrimental to your business. Be cautious in your recruiting and interviewing processes to ensure that you’re bringing on the best talent.

Use these questions to determine if your candidates have what it takes to be your next top salesperson.

Once you’ve hired a new sales rep, you’ll want to make sure they’re trained properly so that they can become successful at selling your product or service.

What Are The Key Characteristics of Successful Salespeople?

The key characteristic of successful salespeople is their ability to build relationships with potential customers and close deals. They must be able to identify the needs of their customers and match them with the right product or service. They must also be able to negotiate terms and conditions that are favorable to both parties.


If you want to be successful in sales, focus on developing the key characteristics of successful salespeople. From being coachable to having thick skin, these qualities will help you build relationships with your clients and customers. Keep honing your skills and always strive to improve, and you’ll be sure to find success in sales!

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