8 years ago
April 18, 2016

5 Personality Traits Every Sales Person Should Have

A successful sales person can be made up of certain attitudes and personality traits. But sales people should have these five sales traits.

Rhys Metler


Many hiring managers just accept the 80/20 rule—that 80 percent of their sales are made by only 20 percent of their sales force. They believe the high turnover rate of less productive sales people is just a necessary part of doing business. But this doesn’t have to be!

So what’s the secret? Stop putting so much emphasis on work experience and education and start taking a closer look at sales traits. There are five unique sales traits that every successful sales person seems to have that enables them to succeed professionally.

When you know what sales traits to look for in a sales person, you can hire the right candidates and avoid bringing on members that won’t benefit your team. And when you hire the right sales people you can increase productivity and profitability, which is what every hiring manager aspires to do.

1. Empathy

Pushy, aggressive sales reps don’t do well in today’s market. Now, empathy is one of the top sales traits that a sales person must have to be successful. When a sales person is empathetic, he is able to identify with his customers in order to better understand what they’re feeling and react appropriately to their emotions and behaviours. It makes customers feel respected, at ease, and understood on a deeper level, which helps build strong relationships through trust and rapport.

2. Persistence and Determination

In the world of selling, a sales person must be persistent and determined in order to effectively overcome hurdles and achieve goals. These sales traits allow the sales person to shake off failure and never give up. He won’t give up after a failed phone call or a bad meeting—he’ll keep trying. He’ll improve his selling methods, look at different angles, and change his tactics to get that sale. Persistence and determination are critical sales traits—sales people that don’t have these sales traits will throw their hands in the air, take rejection personally, and give up the second the sale is hard to get, which doesn’t lead to success.

3. Motivation

The sales reps who are happy to go into the office, push around papers, and never try their best to close deals lack motivation. Motivation in the sales world must be intrinsic—it must come from inside. It’s this drive to do well and work hard that allows the top sales people to be the top earners. They don’t need a boss nagging them to do anything. They set goals for themselves, know what they want to achieve, and go after it with all their might.

4. Creativity

The sales people who rely on the same old methods to get the sale, and then give up when those methods don’t work, aren’t capable of going above and beyond. Creativity is one of those sales traits that people either have or they don’t. A creative sales person can come up with unique ways to get the sale and appreciate non-typical and non-obvious solutions to old problems—and outpace their coworkers.

5. Integrity

Customers need to trust their sales reps. If they get a bad feeling in their gut, they won’t trust anything the sales person says. They’ll believe he’ll say anything to get the sale and that he doesn’t truly care about the wants, needs, and problems of his customers. And when you’re building a relationship with a client, trust is vital. And it all comes down to integrity. If a sales person has poor ethics or moral principles, lies to get what he wants, and doesn’t care about others, he’ll have difficulty selling to and retaining customers for the long term. Customers can see right through a sales person without integrity.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.