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40 Qualities of Successful Sales People

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For my coaching and advising program, I recently developed this list of qualities that sales people should develop to the best of their ability. Here they are – please let me know if you have any to add!

A Successful Sales Person Is

1. Prompt
2. Hard working
3. Ethical
4. Always listening
5. Asking the right questions
6. Sincere
7. Creative
8. Full of empathy
9. Positive
10. Organized
11. Attentive to detail
12. Thoroughly prepared
13. Good humored
14. Focused
15. Resourceful
16. Informed about his products
17. Informed about his industry
18. Informed about his competitors
19. Thick skinned, resilient
20. Aggressive
21. Flexible
22. Quick thinking
23. Tough minded
24. Skilled in writing
25. Skilled in marketing
26. Skilled in math
27. Skilled in reading
28. Well rounded
29. Emotionally balanced
30. Self confident
31. Passionate about her work
32. Willing to take risks
33. Competitive
34. Patient
35. Practical
36. Persistent
37. A strategist
38. A tactician
39. Curious
40. Generous


Looking over this list, I wonder – is it possible for a person to excel in all these things? Are some of them mutually exclusive? For instance, can one person be a great strategist and a great tactician?

Which are the most important qualities?

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10 Responses to 40 Qualities of Successful Sales People

  1. How about genuine?

    If there is one thing that makes me NOT want to buy something it is a saleperson who is so phony… you know? They typical used car guy who has the rote message down pat, who has answers to every little thing, who is so slick and polished that it is as if he memorized the book on how to annoy someone so much that they WILL buy something just to get rid of you! (smile)


  2. Hi Jennifer, I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes sales people try too hard, or they’re afraid to be themselves.

  3. Asiimwe jabel

    thank you for the information on qualities of a sale is not posible for a sales person to have all the qualities but according to me,he should have the most practical ones such as goal oriented,confidence,team player,ethical,sincerity and others for effective delivery of the task before him or her.thank you so much,asiimwe jabel(makerere university,kampala uganda)

  4. tell me qualities export sales person

  5. do you think the export sales person should understand the culture in he is doing business language

  6. I think ‘polite’ is a necessary addition. Thanks. Good work. Bye bye

  7. I would add “honesty” in your list. I have always found an honest salesperson who understands what you are looking for and if he or she can not provide that tells you where to go to get that. These people eventually win your business on “trust”. I will go a hundred mile to deal with such a person. Also, word of mouth, which is 26% of business, brings more business his or her way.

  8. The problem I have with this list is that it is too long. At a length of 40 different things it almost feels as though you are distilling it down too much and too many of these things are amazingly subjective.

    Although the principle of what you have here is ok, this feels like something that has been copied down from a brain storming session rather than a thought out list of proper skills needed

  9. I think the list is good. I agree with adding genuine because if you are not genuine most of the other items on the list do not matter. I also feel that one individually not have every quality on the list or excel in ech area but they could surround themselves with people who do.
    Ken Blanchard has written several books that help create raving fans!

  10. Pingback: 40 Qualities of Successful Sales People | Salesjournal

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