The Key Traits of Successful Salespeople

Last week on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I asked my network, "What are some of the key traits of successful salespeople?" and I was very intrigued by the wide variety of answers I received. 

Here is just a sample of the responses:

Good qualifiers, communication skills, assertiveness, integrity, desire, critical thinking, enthusiasm, introverted, strong ego-drive, good listener, empathy, resilience, trustworthy, diligent, hard working, great customer service, positive mindset, a desire to help people, personal drive, persuasiveness, tenacity.

The discussions that took place led me to ask a few more questions: 

  1. Is it possible for one person to have all of these key traits and abilities? 
  2. What are all the various types of salespeople, and how do you know which type you need? 
  3. How do you determine whether a person has all of these traits and what type of salesperson they are?

In my opinion, one person can have all or most of the key traits—but to varying degrees. It is these varying degrees that determine a salesperson’s style. And yes, different styles are better suited for different types of sales activities.

To determine which type of salesperson you need for your business, you must first start by designing your map. At Excelsior, we use the Peak Performance Profile™ as our map. The Peak Performance Profile™ or P3 is an objective, logical, and scientific approach to defining exactly what is required in a job. It goes beyond simple job duties. The Peak Per­formance Profile™ breaks the job tasks down by category, lists the knowledge and skills for those tasks, the ideal and/or required behavioral traits (attention to detail, assertive­ness, communication style, etc.) for the tasks, the estimated % of time doing those tasks, and most importantly, the results or how success will be defined in doing the tasks.