Do You Have the Traits of a Salesperson?

By Joe Stein

Inside the pages of WNYJOBS.com each week, are a number of job advertisements for potentially lucrative sales positions. It seems that there are always a sizable number of employers in Western New York looking for good salespeople. I would suspect the primary reason why, is there are not enough good ones to go around!
 
If you are thinking of a career in sales, or contemplating a change from your current sales position, have you thought about what these companies might be looking for in their next hire? Do you have all the traits of a tops salesperson?  If so, can you convince the Hiring Manager that you are the person they are looking?
 
So, what are some of these traits I have been referring to? Below is a non-exhaustive list of characteristics that someone good at sales most likely possesses.
 
·         Self-Motivated – Top salespeople need little direct management guidance. They know what they want to do and are driven to achieve it. They do not need someone to inform them when to come in and when to leave (as in “punching a clock”) as sales generally are a completely different concept. These people constantly work with a sense of urgency, driven by their desire to succeed and receive the related incentive compensation.
·         Time Management Master – Related to the top item, top salespeople are not time wasters. They make the most out of each day, knowing that their income is not generally based on time but rather on results. They are wizards of their calendar and figuring out a way to get done what needs to be completed each day, even if that means working a longer day than originally expected.
·         Has a High Bar – Top salespeople are not easily satisfied. They have very high expectations and when those are reached, they raise the bar higher to increase their income even higher. They work feverishly to execute the plan they created to meet/exceed these goals.
·         Does His or Her Homework – A top salesperson does not rest on his or her laurels. They are not satisfied with just continuing to do what they have always done. These people strive to get better by improving their technique, studying their industry, and constantly networking. They take pride in being a subject matter expert on what they sell. If anything is going on in the area or in the industry, they should know.
·         Maintains Positive Confidence – A top salesperson does not allow themselves to be impacted by a setback or a “no” to their pitch. They are committed to their product or service and know that sales will occur if they continue to follow their approach. This confidence is pulled not only from past success, but also from thoroughly understanding the market and the needs of both current and prospective customers. They are prone to being optimistic, always thinking that the next contact will be a sale. This positive confidence also leads the top salesperson to be persistent, which is another good sales trait.
·         Loves a Challenge – A top salesperson seeks to continue to grow the business, knowing that more business will eventually result in more income for them. Whether this is a new market or product, a winning salesperson takes on the challenges head-on in order to obtain the rewards that will come from the success.
·         Listens intently and Recalls What Was Learned – In general, the listening skills of humans are fairly poor. Most of us are not only pleasantly surprised when someone listens, but even more so when they can recall what was said. A good salesperson does listen and has some approach, whether it is great recall or terrific notes for later recollection, all in the name of connecting with the client.
·         Can Be Counted On – I had a great salesperson years ago tell me his key to success was “doing what I say I am going to do”. What he meant was that he always delivered on his promises. If he did not think he could deliver, then the promise was not made. Good words to live by in or out of the sales world. Does this sound like you? Top salespeople are also accessible when clients need them and adjust his or her schedule to this need. 
 
A career in sales is not easy and is not for everyone. As is apparent by reading the list above, a top salesperson is a person who is very driven to achieving success and is willing to work hard to obtain it. If this sounds like you, then perhaps a career in sales is something you should consider transitioning to.
  
As always, best of luck in your job search!