Sales Advice For Entrepreneurs

Characteristics of Successful Salesmen

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

There is a generic profile for every successful person. That is to say they all have a few things in common that if you aspire to have you too can also be successful in your current position. This article will take a look closely at some of the key characteristics you must have to be successful in Sales.

Sales people are some of the most mentally tough, self-motivated people you can find in the business world.

The prerequisite for getting involved with sales usually consists of criteria like personable, driven, ambitious, hardworking, self-motivated, resourceful, etc. People skills are almost the bare essential with other charismatic traits as an added bonus.

Those are some of the traits you need just to get started. But what exactly do you need to be very successful in the industry? If you are already in Sales, watch the very successful sales agents around you and you'll notice they possess the following qualities.


When it comes to sales, enthusiasm is the most critical personality trait you can work on incorporating into who you are as a person. Being genuinely enthusiastic about your company and products is extremely important.

In addition your desire to serve and help your customers on solving their problems will make all the difference between you and your competition. Norman Vincent Peale said, "If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind." Enthusiasm is contagious and your clients will feel it from you and respond by enthusiastically signing the dotted line.

Selling is and always will be a conveyance of feeling. If you can get the prospect to feel the same way about your product as you do, they'll buy it. Greater passion and enthusiasm will lead to greater sales, it's that simple. You express your passion and enthusiasm by the intensity of your voice, your body language, and your facial expressions.

This is important because 95 percent of the purchase decisions made by people are emotional not logical. Facts are important but communicate them with some passion and enthusiasm and watch your clients and prospects move up on their seats, lean forward, and eventually tell you to stop talking because they want all of what you're selling.

They Never Take the First NO

The old saying in sales is that "the real selling starts with the first no". This is not to say that you are not to listen to your prospect, but you must be able to read what they are saying no to.

The most successful sales people are very good at hearing a no response and asking a follow-up question right afterwards. They learn to accept objections as a challenge which when handled correctly will benefit both you and your prospect. This is critical: if you fear objections, you will always fumble your response. Most prospects that buy usually have 50 percent more objections than people who don't so you're losing out on a huge market if you are getting cold feet.

There are only a few reasons why prospects will have an objection to purchasing your product. Some common ones are they dislike decision making, prefer old habits, are reluctant to give up something old for something new, or even a perceived threat to their self-image. But always be on the lookout for the real reason.

Experienced salesmen are adept at getting past that first no to find the real reason why the prospect does not want to buy. Once you know what their concern is then solving it is easy and getting them to buy is a piece of cake.

They Overcome Rejection Very Quickly

Successful salesmen have mastered the art of overcoming rejection very quickly. What I mean by that is not making a sale or someone telling them that they do not value their product does not diminish how they feel about it.

For a lot of sales people, their biggest challenge is that when they get a NO, the actual value of their product doesn't diminish but it does in their minds. And they almost feel the next prospect they sit down with is not getting a good product because someone else told them they didn't like it. This is as a result of a low self-image and can only be improved through repetition.

Successful Sales people understand that a no to a product or service simply means that: NO. The value of the product still stands, and as long as they keep asking more people, they will get the answers they want.

They Have High Expectations

Successful salesmen understand that their expectations about how a meeting will go are more important than the process involved. Your expectations define your reality. What you expect is what you get. It's simple, powerful, and profound all at the same time.

The expectations that you present to the world about yourself, and the people around you, will usually manifest. Just the way our exceptions of others influences how we deal with them, they also influence how other people respond to us. As a sales person it is vital that you go into every meeting expecting every prospect to buy multiple units of your product.

In fact, you should be bewildered when your prospect says no. Having that expectation will do two key things. One, it will control your attitude during the meeting. And two, it will influence your prospects perception of what you have. If you can't believe they don't see the value in what you have, chances are they will start to not understand why they don't either. Expect the most positive outcome from every meeting, appointment, phone call, and sales pitch and you will be amazed. People tend to rise to your expectations; this includes prospects.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to

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Do you have thoughts on what makes for a great salesperson? Any selling success secrets to share? We welcome your comments.

  • Moses George posted on 11/26/2010
    Moses George
    selling is a highly interesting field and your write-up has given me more insights that'll help me in my effort to build a company that'll will earn its income through sales of various products .

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