5 attributes that make a great salesperson

Andy Preston gets to grips with the tricks of the sales trade

One of the questions I’m often asked is ‘What makes a great salesperson?’ Well, if you aim for the following top five attributes, you’ll soon be smashing your targets:


Essential for a salesperson, confidence can be seen in all areas of selling. Whether it’s pitching, closing, objection handling, or even just picking up the phone in the first place, confidence is pretty much everything in sales. Think back and I’m sure you can remember the voice tone of someone who sounded confident on the phone, and someone who sounded unsure. Which one would you buy from?


The key is in the first part of the word – ‘self’. Most average salespeople rely on other things to motivate them – a ‘lucky’ sales call or email, their manager, sale competitions, a sunny day, a stroke of luck with a client. Top salespeople use their initiative and do whatever it takes to stay motivated.


I don’t just mean knowledge of your product or service, but also knowledge of your company, your industry, your business world, your clients, your competitors and your profession – in fact, everything associated with your role. If you want to appear to your clients as a professional, trusted advisor, then start acting and talking like you are one. Most salespeople never bother to learn the strengths and weaknesses of their competition, and then they complain when they aren’t very successful.


Top salespeople have conviction – conviction in themselves, their profession, their product or service, their colleagues – pretty much in everything to do with their job. If you’re trying to convince people that what you have to offer is the best thing for them, you’ll have to convince yourself first.


Call it tenacity, persistence, or determination, it’s one of the best attitudes a salesperson can posses. Is everything always going to run smoothly? No. Are you always going to get objections? Yes. Are you going to get those day-to-day challenges that make it difficult to focus on the things you know you should be doing? Yes. Successful salespeople expect these hurdles but keep on going anyway.

Andy Preston is the founder of sales training and coaching company Outstanding Results


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