Not everyone is a great salesperson. There are some people who are incredibly good at selling a product or an idea to someone else and others who find the prospect of selling difficult and uncomfortable. Those who find it easy are obviously the ones major organisations look for when recruiting for their sales departments.
Why are some people so good at selling? We spoke to sales managers across lots of different organisations to find out what personality traits they saw time and time again in their best performing sales people. The 4 personality traits below came up over and over again across many different industries.
If you have an upcoming interview for a sales position, stop and think about whether or not you have most of the personality traits below. If you do, spend some time planning how you are going to communicate this during your interview.
4 Most Important Personality Traits of Successful Salespeople
- Verbal & Non Verbal Communication Skills
Communicating with customers and clients is a huge part of any salespersons role. Great sales people are clear and concise and can therefore create a specific message to suit each customers needs. But they need to be able to do more than that. They also need to be great listeners. By listening to what the customer is saying, they can address any objections and create a solution to each customers problems and communicate it at their level.
During an Interview – Most interviewers expect salespeople to be confident, aggressive and arrogant. Control your emotions, show you are a great listener and deliver prepared answers to all interview questions that show you are prepared for all objections.
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- Goal Oriented & Target Driven
The most successful salespeople set tough goals for themselves and over achieve them. They often played competitive sports at school and are used to striving for results. They have a competitive nature in general and track their progress with constantly.
During an Interview – Talk about how you go about setting goals and how you track them. Don’t be afraid to sound like a control freak here, that is what they are looking for. They want to know that you are competitive and accountable and take targets very seriously. Make sure you highlight that you also constantly compete with yourself to improve your own results.
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- Persistant & Resilient
When managers talks about great salespeople they talk about persistence not aggression. Effective salespeople don’t give up ever, but the also don’t bully customers in the hope of convincing them to buy what they are selling. Great salespeople are also resilient, they don’t get disheartened easily and are able to pick themselves up and keep going.
During an Interview – Don’t be afraid to politely push back on the interviewers objections. Convince them you are right for the job by showing them you can persuade people through effective communication. Don’t be afraid to talk about sales you missed or customers you did not win immediately and show how your resilience kept you moving toward your goal.
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- Great Networkers
It’s much easier to convince someone to buy what you are selling if you have a good relationship with them already and they believe you care about their needs. Great salespeople understand this and invest quite a lot of time in networking and relationship building.
During an Interview – Talk about your professional network. Mention professional networking sites like LinkedIn, personal connections and their importance to you and the fact that you take the time to make connections through networking and then invest more time building those into relationships. Also, take the time to optimise your LinkedIn profile before any interview, they will check to see the quality and scope of your professional network.
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Not everyone has the personality or the desire to be a great salesperson. If you have all of the personality traits listed above chances are you could be amazing at sales. If you decide to go for a role in sales, make sure the answers you prepare to the most common sales interview questions highlight the personality traits above because you can bet that is what sales managers are looking for in the interview.
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