What Makes a Good Salesperson? 5 Key Qualities Needed for Success

13 Sep 16

What key attitudes do you see from your most successful salespeople? Learn the 5 qualities that answer the question of what makes a good salesperson.

On this episode, Paul O'Connell asks: What are the attitudes that help the most successful salespeople excel? Core sales skills seem to be a reasonably well-understood part of a sales professional's grounding. I'm curious about what brings those skills to life with the best effect. In particular, what are the key attitudes you see that set the most successful salespeople apart?

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Video Summary

First, it’s important to make a distinction between selling skills and personal qualities.

When you have someone who is proficient with selling skills and embodies the right personal qualities, those personal qualities bring the skills to life.

Selling Skills

Selling skills can be learned and perfected over time. Key selling skills include:

Personal Qualities of a Good Salesperson

Unlike selling skills, the salesperson qualities that successful people embody are most likely already formed when someone enters the workforce. These include:

1) Authenticity: You want people who are genuine in terms of their attitudes and beliefs because authenticity is what builds trust with customers.

2) Determination: Often referred to as “grit”—determination is akin to perseverance. Are your top salespeople competitive? Do they want to win? Are they willing to work as hard as they need to and put forth the effort to secure business?

3) Optimism: Identify good salespeople who are positive and resilient because in sales you get more no's than yes’s. What’s more, the optimistic salesperson has a positive attitude that is contagious with customers, coworkers and managers alike.

4) Inquisitiveness: Naturally inquisitive people ask great questions, listen, and probe for needs. In short, they’re great conversationalists who are listening to understand the customer’s needs.

5) Creativity: The best sales reps internalize what they hear from their customers and come up with creative solutions that directly address customer needs.


The best salespeople possess personal qualities that drive sales success.  These qualities, in conjunction with great selling skills, are a very powerful combination that leads to higher win rates and better results.

SRG Insights is a Q&A video series where we answer your questions on the topics of sales, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. Featuring sales experts with over 25 years of sales and sales management experience.

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