7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Qualities to Look for in a Sales Rep

What attributes does a sales person need to have to be successful? Generally speaking, there are three qualities to look for in a Sales Rep.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

You can have the greatest company and product in the world, but if the wrong people are representing you to potential customers, it will not matter how wonderful the company or product is. The qualities and attributes of the person that you hire to represent your company establish the first impression for the customer.

You need to ask, who is the person you need to represent your company? What attributes does a sales person need to have to be successful?

Generally speaking, there are three qualities to look for in a Sales Rep.

1. Confidence

One of the most important qualities in a sales rep is confidence. This is the person who believes in him or herself. They know their own ability and know that they can accomplish any task. This person makes a good first impression. They are poised, self-assured and assertive without being over pushy. A confident person is also a resilient person. They do not take rejection personally.

You can detect confidence in a number of ways.

  • A confident person has a firm handshake. Not a body-builder crushing hand shake but a solid steady grip.
  • Confident people don’t rely on crutch word such as “um”, “uh”, or “like”.
  • A confident person makes, and keeps, natural eye contact.

2. Relational

This could also be called empathetic. They try to see things from the point of view of the customer. Often thought of as outgoing, they are engaging and personable. They know how to show that they care about the person in front of them, not just making the sale. They are trustworthy and honest. This person is very persuasive and says what they mean. They believe in education over deception. Their ability to connect with other people makes them very credible and influential.

There are particular clues that can indicate that a person is relational.

  • They smile, and again, maintain eye contact.
  • They show a genuine interest and do not seem rehearsed or phony.
  • They listen as much as they speak and they pay attention to the speaker.

3. Focused

This quality is what keeps the person on task. They know what the goal is and, they know what they need to do to get it done. They are organized and have a plan of attack. If they encounter a problem, they are prepared and know how to overcome just about any potential issue. They make a point of learning about the product, the company and, most importantly, the customer. This person is not easily distracted and stays the course.

Determining a person’s ability to focus is a little more difficult but not impossible. You can use specific questions during the interview that can help to see how this individual has shown focus in the past.

  • “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The dreaded and often rehearsed question can actually show you how motivated and proactive this person can be. Do they have specific goals or a strategy for success?
  • “Tell me about a challenge that you faced and what you did to overcome it.” This question can show a number of things including problem solving skills, initiative and adaptability. The example that they give can also provide insight into what the person feels challenged by. You are looking for the person who talks about a conflict within in their professional life not in their personal life.
  • “Tell me about something you are most proud of.” This question allows the person to speak about skills relevant to the position. It will also give you an idea of what motivates this individual.

Having the right person, with the right qualities, can mean greater success for you and your company.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.