So, who makes a good salesperson? I googled this question and got over 6 million results. And, as it’s easy to do, I floated off to the blog-o-sphere, happily reading away, away, away. Is there an echo in here? Much of what I found was as I expected. I didn’t expect the general opinion to include what I consider essential attributes of a good salesperson; however, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the thoughts.

So, to answer this question, we must define a good salesperson. Is it a top producer? I’ve observed top producers who were sociopaths with no regard for the customer, company, or the truth. Is that who you want representing your organization? Keep in mind; these are producers — they’re rainmakers — they will bring profit. On the other hand, I’ve seen people of good character fail to make it rain because they lacked drive and motivation.

Who Makes A Good Salesperson?

A good salesperson represents your organization honestly, profitably, and proudly.

In a University of Florida White Paper, a reference to a Sardar and Patton article, “Who Makes a Great Salesperson, Links Between Our Heritage and Our Future,” was frequently quoted in my online search. Among the traits of successful salespeople, the paper lists the following:

  •   Possessing high energy
  •   Having self-confidence
  •   Being money hungry
  •   Seeing obstacles as challenges
  •   A compulsive need to win
  •   Desiring the affections of others

For the most part — I agree; however, I’ve seen being money hungry and the need to win drive salespeople to ruthlessness. I’ve watched the need to be liked cause undeliverable promises offered too many times to clients.

In the aforementioned University of Florida White Paper, Greensburg And Greensburg are credited with listing empathy, ego-drive, and ego-strength. No argument there, other than I believe there are additional essential ingredients.

In a post, Lauren Wray lists good listening, integrity, teamwork, follow-through, and swagger as the keys to a great salesperson — all are on my list as well.

However, a Salesperson Without the Following Traits Isn’t Good

Regardless of results, any salesperson without theses bullet points will harm the organization where they work.

• Enjoys helping others. They are empathetic to customers’ needs, and they get a kick out of helping and watching others succeed.
• Is ethical and honest. They’re someone of good character who makes good character choices.
• Uses every resource available to learn their product, company, and industry.

For me, what makes a good salesperson isn’t always, or only the “bottom line.” A good salesperson is first a good person.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Are You in Sales Management?

Are you leading people or managing projects? Do you set goals based on activities to continue, eliminate, or improve or do you strictly look at the results? Do you believe one sales strategy fits all your clients and all your sales team? If so, you’re walking the streets I paved, and those streets lead to disappointment. The good news is if you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can change. I did. I eventually became a highly effective sales manager and so can you. This workbook is the place to start. The New Sales Managers Workbook