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Five Traits of a Successful Sales Person

Five Traits of a Successful Sales Person

Excellent salespeople are like gold dust. Businesses with a detailed understanding of what it takes to do well in sales, use this understanding to build high performing sales teams that consistently win business and drive company success.

So what does it take to be a winning salesperson? Below, we have outlined the most important traits:

Trait Number 1: Passion

From prospecting to closure, passion is an essential driver across all elements of the sales cycle. Passion is emotionally contagious and a salesperson, passionate about the product or service, will, no doubt, pique the interest of their prospect.

Likewise, a passionate approach to dealing effectively with objections and moving prospects towards closure will drive a healthy moving pipeline; rather than a stagnant pipeline characterised by ageing prospects.

Trait Number 2: Empathy

An empathetic salesperson is well placed to discern both the spoken and unspoken cues within prospect engagement.

Unspoken body language, for example, presents a wealth of information for salespeople endowed with the ability to actively discern their prospect’s feelings and to see things through their prospect’s lens. By picking up on unspoken objections, or really taking the time to see things as their prospect might see them, the salesperson is positioned to handle the objections to resolution and to anticipate and manage other concerns that their prospect might have.

Trait Number 3: Organisation

It’s essential that salespeople are organised. Since the sales cycle requires the completion of key steps prior to closure, it’s important that members of the sales team are able to capture what needs doing when and to map where prospects sit within the cycle. Capturing details at all stages of the sales process ensures  potential clients don’t fall through the net and that opportunities aren’t lost by forgotten or delayed responses from the salesperson. A properly organised approach keeps prospects happy and engenders trust.

Trait Number 4: Responsibility 

A good salesperson takes responsibility for the success, or failure, of their sales performance. They don’t blame failure to convert a sale on external factors. Instead, they acknowledge failure to convert the sale and make the effort to understand how they might have managed things differently. For example, they may question whether the service offering could have been presented slightly differently, whether the prospect had particular needs they hadn’t picked up on or underlying time concerns.

By analysing and taking accountability for success or failure, the salesperson is able to apply their understanding of what does / doesn’t work to future scenarios.

Trait Number 5: Product / Service Excellence

It’s essential that salespeople have a thorough, inside out outstanding of the product or service they are selling as this enables them to pitch effectively, handle objections well and to suggest alternatives for poor fit products or services.

Since confidence in a salesperson’s pitch is an essential element of a prospect moving to closure, a professional command of all elements is critical.


With businesses in Devon and Cornwall alone turning over in excess of £14 billion per annum, the South West is already home to many successful salespeople. As more sales people endeavour to adopt the behaviours and characteristics of role model sales staff, productivity in the South West will continue to thrive.

If your teams need support to move to the next level in their sales activities, then contact us to arrange a training event. Our trainers take the hassle out of sales training by customising courses to meet the specific and unique needs of staff and delivering it on site; saving staff the need to travel.


With sales training so accessible, why are you waiting? Whether you’re in Bath in Somerset, Exeter in Devon, Bournemouth in Dorset, or Truro in Cornwall, we have a team of qualified, experienced trainers to meet your training needs.

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