By T.E. Cunningham

I’ve spent most of my career having a sales department under my area of responsibility, yet I’ve also spent most of it having a multitude of sales and account executives calling upon me as well.  I’ve always been amazed at how poor the ratio is of great salespeople to poor salespeople.

I was thinking about what makes a great salesperson, and I came up with some very basic – but in my experience – accurate traits or habits I believe great salespersons have or practice.

  1. The best salespersons are emotionally intelligent. They may be “C” students, but they know how to read a room, how to listen and how to understand a client. They possess empathy, and they care about the other person’s needs and pain points. Any salesperson who has this characteristic and half a brain can make an excellent living in today’s world!
  2. Charisma. This + #1 = AWESOME.
  3. They are prompt, and they follow up. Whether attending a meeting or processing an order, good salespeople do not make the client or customer wait on them.
  4. They know their products and services and serve as a consultant to the customer; they listen to what is needed and sell the benefits of their products not the mechanics of it.
  5. They are a bit of a fighter and in the infamous words of Chumbawumba “get knocked down, but get up again” – resilience is a tool regularly needed in a great salesperson’s toolbox. The best still get a “no” now and then!
  6. Good salespeople have goals (whether monetary or just the love of the kill); they know what they want and keep going after it.
  7. Average or above average intelligence with plenty of confidence. Hmmm, sometimes even a small touch of arrogance.

In short, people want to buy from people they like, trust and believe. Salespersons who exhibit the above traits will win potential clients and customers over time and again.