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15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

If you’ve ever been involved with sales, then you know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Whether it’s selling a pair of sneakers at a store, a new heating system to homeowners or pitching a startup to investors, making that sale depends on the appearance, knowledge and enthusiasm of the salesperson. Quite frankly, not all of us have those characteristics in us. There is a saying that salesmen are born, not taught. Well, not exactly. Undoubtedly, there is natural talent, but can you can learn these characteristics and be just as successful? Yes!

A true salesperson has the following characteristics that they use consistently to succeed in making those important sales.

1. Conscientiousness  

In 1993, the American Psychological Association published a report that found the most successful sales reps were “conscientious.” This trait is found in people who take great pride in their work, are organized and efficient. But, if you are not organized and efficient, you can learn to be. Conscientious also means you keep going in your job, no matter what.

2. Respectful

Founder of Searchmetrics, Marcus Tober, states that “our top sales reps respect our customers’ time above all else. You have to make sure that your customers and potential customers are treated like gold.” Part of doing this is making sure that they have time and you schedule time for work. People want the bottom line. Old tactics don’t work. People are busy, respect their time above all.

3. Initiative

Sales reps don’t wait for orders. They’re go-getters and take matters into their own hands. Being disciplined like this helps salesmen to stay on track. If something has to be sold, there is a way to do it. The salesman will do what it takes to sell the product. Learn to like the product better, compliment where appropriate (even if they hate it at first), learn how to mirror to connect and then actually care about the connection.

4. They listen

American Express’ OPEN Forum says that the best sa