7 Traits of Highly Effective Sales People

wolf of wall street

“I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World

The best sales and most effective sales people are naturals. They are extroverts who love people, have sunny positive personalities and are highly ethical.
Here are seven other traits you should look for when interviewing for your sales team.

1: They fish instead of hunt

A hunter stalks his prey and then attacks. He tries to make one shot for the kill; if he misses, then he tries to find another prey and takes aim again.

A fisher man on the other hand first understands the fish he is trying to catch. In choosing a pond or lake, he knows what kinds of fish are in the pond, what kind of bait they usually bite on and when they are most likely to bite.

In the world of sales, the hunter is the transaction seller who sells on price and usually has only one shot.

The salesperson who is a fisher man on the other hand, takes the time to learn about his customer. He understands how his product solves the problem of the customer and instead of shooting to kill; he dangles the correct bait by offering a solution and builds a relationship with the customer, before he tries to close the sale.

“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better… or quit. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World

2: They know when to speak and when to listen
Inexperienced salespeople think they can win sales by over-talking their prospects. The best salespeople use discretion and carefully crafted questions to get a prospect to close. Once they have delivered the pitch, they know to shut up and listen.

sales cartoon

3: They work closely with their support staff
Closing a large customer sometimes require your solution experts. Great sales persons know when to bring in their support staff to add value to the customer.
Inexperienced salespeople try to do everything by themselves and usually loose the sale.

4: They practice continuous learning
Great salespeople not only learn everything about their product; but they also learn everything about their competitor’s product.
For example: Let’s say you are trying to decide between a Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord as your next vehicle. You are at the Toyota dealership and your salesperson not only tells you why the Toyota Camry is the right car for you based on the needs he uncovered during his fact finding segment of the sale; but he also tells you the all the features of the Honda Accord and why it may not be the best fit for you. He knows his product!

5: Highly Effective Salespeople love their job
Most salespeople actually hate sales and selling. The most effective salespeople actually enjoy it. They get up every day excited about the product and the prospects. They love the high of the win and the excitement and challenge of influencing their customers.

For these few, the high compensation is an added bonus like icing on the cake, of getting to do what they love.

6: They are self-motivated and self-directed

Companies spend a ton of money on sales managers who mostly focus on whip-cracking the bottom performers.

Great salespeople don’t need micro managing; they are internally motivated to being the best and set their own growth goals.

7: They are honest and ethical

Highly effective sales people never over promise and under deliver; they never lie to get a sale. They know that trust of the sales person and the company is essential to a long term relationship with the customer.

They understand the principle that the short term gain of getting a sale on false pretenses equals long term pain.