What makes a good salesperson?

It’s a fact that sales drive our economies on all levels, from the street hustler trying to make ends meet to the top sales executive trying to close a billion-dollar deal. One thing common to all salespeople is that they are all trying to maximise the number of sales they can make and drive their business into greater spaces. 

Now, something you might not know is that anyone can become a good salesperson if they apply certain skills and traits to their potential customers. Some are born naturals and others are great at sales because they have worked on their technique. 

There are four main personality traits that can help explain where a salesperson is coming from and how their style might be assisting or hampering their efforts at closing deals. Interestingly, the best and most effective salespeople have a basket made up of a variety of qualities from all the categories below. 

Ordered/Well organised – This personality type has some of the following traits:

  • Well prepared
  • Direct
  • Driven by facts
  • Patient
  • Direct
  • Curious
  • Impersonal

Charming – This group is made up of people who are:

  • Informal
  • Curious
  • Patient
  • Relaxed
  • Good listeners
  • Friendly 

Confident – This group has the following traits:

  • Impatient
  • States instead of questions
  • Decisive
  • Competitive
  • Controlling
  • Outgoing 
  • Goal focused

Expressive – This group is made up of people who are often:

  • Persuasive
  • Loyal
  • Outgoing
  • Excited 
  • Creative
  • People centric
  • Instinctive

As mentioned, the best salespeople have qualities from all of these categories and often it doesn’t just happen this way, it sometimes takes work and practise to get effective at a technique, but the point is, if you put in the work you can become one of those people that could sell space to a box, along with the stand and adaptors.

Here are some of the qualities that all good salespeople need at a minimum to maximise those sales. Let’s be honest here, it can be tough out there these days so if you are looking to up your sales game hopefully something in this blog will hit a bullseye. Let’s get into it then.

Qualities that great salespeople need

Ability to make new connections and network

The best salespeople love to build new relationships and connect with people that will help drive their businesses forward. They understand that any new connection might turn out to be a complete game changer for their business and they foster and nurture these new connections.

Effective communication skills

People possessing this skill know that without effective communication they are likely not going to make any sales. They understand how to target and how to communicate with certain customers in a way that speaks to them. They avoid jargon and complicated explanations and will often have very adaptable sales techniques that they can switch with each new customer. This is one of the most important skills any salesperson needs.

Their confidence is obvious

It’s all about appearance here. The best salespeople understand that confidence is everything in sales. If you don’t show confidence in yourself and the product you are attempting to sell, chances are no one is buying from you. Even if deep down you are insecure, you can never show this to prospective customers. Confident salespeople use words like most certainly, absolutely, definitely and a host of other positively framed words.

They know the power of empathy

This one ties in with having effective communication skills. When a salesperson can empathise with customers it helps to open doors and close more deals. When you know what your customer really wants it is much easier to make sales. 

They have the skill of good listening

This quality is important because once you can understand what a customer wants and what they do not want, you can better structure your sales technique to suit what they are actually after. If you are trying to sell a green car to a customer that wants a red one, well it won’t likely result in a sale. It is not only about surface listening. Being able to read between the lines and pick up the information they are telling you, really helps to make those sales. This one ties in quite well with being empathetic. If you listen, you will often discover how a customer feels and this puts you on the front foot. 


True salespeople live sales in many aspects of their lives. It is what they enjoy and are likely very good at. Having this trait means that you are often driven and want to be the best. We don’t need to go into this one too deeply except to say that salespeople that have this trait are most often looking for new leads, new ways to improve their technique and always striving to be seen as a trustworthy and reliable salesperson, who is successful. Your success will help convince customers that you know what you are talking about. Win for you. 

They are trustworthy

A very important quality of successful salespeople is that they are honest. Sales is not about deceit or trickery. You might get a few sales initially, but you are likely to gain a bad reputation fairly quickly as a shady character. It is not about making a sale at all costs; it is about selling the right product or service to a specific person. If you come across as an honest person who has a reputation for being dependable and honest, you will likely trust them more. The point here is to sell your product to the right people at the right time. If you know who to target with your product, then it will help you. Lying or tricking customers is not a technique that will get you far. Satisfied customers who trust you are more likely to recommend you to friends and family and that type of referral most often results in sales.

They are tough and often thick skinned

We all know that sales can be a difficult occupation. Most of us have likely received annoying sales calls that resulted in frustration and most probably no sale. Spare a thought for the salesperson on the other end of the line who likely hears no many times a day. This can be demotivating, understandably. Great salespeople know that they will not close every sale they want too, they are ok with that. Although no one loves rejection, great salespeople are able to turn the rejection into solid motivation to do better, refine their skills and as a result, close more deals. 

So, now you have some information that will hopefully give you something to practise or include in your sales technique. It all comes down to evolving and adapting to your customers needs. Go close those deals and make those dollars and always get better at your technique and understanding your customer. 

If you want to improve your sales techniques, take our Online Sales Course.

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