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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

8 Important Traits of Successful Salespeople

8 Important Traits of Successful Salespeople
Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

It seems like most things in business can be automated and handled via technology, but sales is one of those things that requires real people skills. But not everyone is cut out to be in sales, so what makes a good salesperson?

Thinking about starting a career in sales or looking to hire new employees for your sales team? Make sure you (or your candidates) fit the bill. Here are eight important traits of successful salespeople.

"Being a great sales person is all about adding value and building trust. Your customers want to know you get it, meaning that you understand their challenges, dreams and goals, and have carefully considered why your solution makes sense. And, they want to be sure you have their best interests at heart. They have to be sure you care [more] about their mission and the greater good, than your numbers." – Karin Hurt, CEO, Let's Grow Leaders

"All great salespeople have confidence. If you don't believe in your product, you aren't going to make a customer believe in your product. If you can confidently explain how your product or service is going to solve a problem for the customer, then you've got the customer in the palm of your hand. It's all about confidence in sales." – Megan Ingenbrandt, marketing and social media representative, Green Technology Services

"A good salesperson also understands being on all the time. She is always aware of her circumstances and surroundings and can see how her product or service might positively impact her environment, and will be prepared to present and make a sale at any moment." – Judy Crockett, retail management consultant and owner, Interactive Marketing & Communication

"Great salespeople never look like they are selling anything. They are educating, instilling faith and confidence. They are quietly and invisibly demonstrating why customers should believe in them and, in turn, buy from them. Everyone has to sell something. Whether it is cars off the showroom floor, selling your spouse on a New Year's resolution to lose weight or selling your kids on becoming honor students." – Mark Stevens, CEO, MSCO

"Top sales achievers have a unique ability to cope with difficulty, to negotiate obstacles, to optimize performance in the face of adversity. At the heart of resilience is this fact: Top sales professionals are pros at denying that a lost sale is a failure. They take rejection as a personal challenge to succeed with the next customer." – Jim Steele, president and chief customer officer, InsideSales.com

"An extrovert is generally sociable, gets energized by spending time with other people, likes to talk and start conversations and makes friends easily. They also tend to have many interests. This allows a salesperson to be willing to meet people, enjoy the interaction, and talk about many things. The more subjects they can converse about, the better they’re able to connect with the customer." – Dominick Hankle, professor of psychology, Regent University

"Listening skills are another critical piece for hiring a great salesperson. You have to listen to the customer's pain point before you start selling your product or service. Great sales people sell solutions to problems and they do that by understanding and listening to the customer. If a candidate talks more than they listen, it is a huge red flag when profiling sales candidates." – Timothy Tolan, senior partner, Sanford Rose Associates (affiliate of The Tolan Group)

"Multitasking is just a natural occurrence in any sales environment, you have sales you're trying to close, leads you're nurturing and following up on, and potential leads calling or emailing for more information. A great multitasker can keep everything sorted, conducting multiple trains on a one-train track, and this leads to efficiency, which in turn leads to better performance." – Coco Quillen, vice president of operations, Davinci Virtual Office Solutions

Updated Jan. 25, 2016.

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.