8 years ago
April 18, 2016

9 Habits of Highly Successful Sales People

There are very few highly successful sales people in the business world. Want to know what habits make them stand apart from the rest? Keep reading.

Rhys Metler


Mediocre sales people can close deals here and there, almost by sheer luck. But top-performing sales professionals have developed habits over the years that enable consistent, long-term success. And these habits separate them from the mediocre.

If you want to start hitting your sales targets every quarter and generating some serious money in the sales field, we suggest you inherit these habits.

1. They Display a Positive Attitude

It’s easy to get down on yourself in sales. There’s a lot of rejection in the field. Mediocre sales people will sulk and give up in the face of rejection, while highly successful sales professionals will always stay positive, especially in front of clients. They develop techniques to manage their emotions on bad days so their negativity doesn’t affect their work.

2. They Keep Their Commitments

Clients are inherently distrusting of sales people. It’s up to you to show clients that you can be trusted. Top-selling sales professionals will always act ethically. They’ll keep their promises and commitments to reinforce that they can be trusted. They deliver on their word.

3. They’re Knowledgeable

Top sales reps will not go into meetings unprepared. They do their due diligence and they research everything they need to know about their products or services, their competitors, and most importantly, their clients’ needs. They know that knowledge is power and that clients look to them to offer guidance, recommendations, and suggestions—and they don’t disappoint. Being a thought leader and subject matter expert, and taking the time to learn what you need to learn about your clients, is an important factor in success.

4. They Welcome Complaints

The best sales people welcome complaints. They understand that criticism is not only part of the job, but important in growing and getting better. They don’t shy away or get defensive. They accept constructive criticism gracefully in order to improve themselves.

5. They Make Great First Impressions

First impressions are everything in sales. Highly successful sales people know that they have very little time—seven seconds—to make an impression when first meeting new clients. They look sharp, speak well, and act confident in order to be remembered and liked right from the start.

6. They Ask Great Questions

Many mediocre sales reps talk, talk, talk. They don’t take the time to ask high-value questions to their prospects. But the best sales reps know that they can learn a lot about buyers’ needs—their goals, hesitations, and concerns—simply by asking the tough and penetrating questions.

7. They Use Their Time Wisely

Many sales reps ramble through their workday, floating from one task to another, without much of a schedule. The highly successful reps, though, make every minute count. They are organized and efficient. They formulate plans, schedule appointments, make lists, and take care of their responsibilities punctually. They know that being productive will keep them ahead of the herd.

8. They Listen Intently

Sales pros are awesome listeners. They pay attention to not only what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it in order to see any underlying clues and hidden messages. They also pay attention to body language to learn more. They seek clarification when necessary, they use prompters to encourage buyers to divulge more information, and they make strong eye contact to demonstrate that they are paying attention and care about what the buyers are saying.

9. They’re Persistent

It’s not easy to make sales and close deals. It takes more than one email or phone call to connect to decision makers. It might take more than one meeting to get a commitment to buy. Successful sales professionals don’t give up when they hit a brick wall. They’re persistent in their goals to make contact and close deals.

If you want to become a highly successful sales person, then try to develop these nine habits.


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.