3 qualities top sales people possess

60 second blog – 3 qualities of a top sales rep.


What does it take to be a top sales person?


Recruitment of sales staff

Let’s start with one of the biggest mistakes in recruiting sales staff is looking at just experience.  It’s easy to base a hire on because it is tangible; 5 years must be better than 3.

I remember a client who was adamant that the person needed solid 5-10 years’ experience selling a similar product (or at least in the same industry).  He got one but not a top salesperson.

Skills are taught whereas behaviour rarely changes. So when recruiting, focus on behaviour first and skills or experience second.

What are the 3 key behavioural traits of a top sales person?

1. They’re persistent yet respectful

Focus on results: it’s all about winning, losing is not an option.

About 50% of reps will abandon a prospect after one follow-up. However, 80% of sales require five follow-ups.

That’s why successful reps are usually persistent.  Since they give up less easily than their peers, they win far more deals.

Unfortunately, some people take persistence to mean using the same communication channel for all client contact; ring – ring – ring – ring – ring or email – email – email – email – email.   If a sales rep is using the same channel every time, hearing their name gives the clients angry hives. High performing sales staff handle multiple communication channels and adjust the pitch to suit the situation. Just like a top mountain climber can approach a mountain from multiple angles.

withoutNo one wants to work with a stalker. Top reps know how to follow up with prospects without being seen as a stalker.  For instance, calling or emailing “just to check in” is pushy (also there is nothing in it for the client and it is an absolute “no go” in sales).
However, asking if they’re still interested in achieving a specific goal and then providing a relevant suggestion is persistent.

Offering a product demo while they’re still in the education stage? Too much, too soon. Delving into their problems and helping them identify a possible solution will earn you their trust, so that down the line they’ll actually say yes.

2. They keep a level head

Top performing reps think before they act. They rarely lose control, they stay composed, they don’t blurt out and have to retract later.


Maybe a potential client asks for a discount. Immediately answering – rather than pausing – makes them more likely to say, “Let me see what I can do for you” instead of, “Can you walk me through the different options available and choose one that suit your budget best…

They keep cool during negotiations, since getting flustered makes it hard to think strategically. Also, buyers may get more aggressive when they notice their composure slipping away.

3. Task focused, they don’t get self-conscious

They are less self-conscious. That means they are not afraid to take risks and persistently pursue deals.  They are less emotional, focusing on the task of closing deals.dgfgfd

It also means they are more likely to bounce back from rejection or failure. They see these experiences as opportunities to learn and improve rather than signs they are not cut out for selling. This resiliency will help them overcome the inevitable hard times. They don’t quit.

Finally, self-assurance comes into play when they are using the Challenger Sales Methodology. They push back on the prospect and focus on the end goal rather than being “liked”. That takes a lot of confidence.

By focusing on behaviour rather than experience, we can hire more superstars than average or poor sales reps.

See also: How is the Western Australian job market


11 Recruitment - Christian Madsen1

Christian Madsen
Managing Director
11 Recruitment

LinkedIn Profile

To receive my next blog just click Subscribe


  • […] 3 qualities – top salespeople possess – how to recruit them […]

  • Related posts

    Testing data
    HTML Content Options

    Focus ahead

    When I talk to CEOs and Managing Directors they don't talk much about cost savings anymore. That activity has run its course. Most companies are much leaner now than 5 years ago.  There is not much more to be gained by focusing on costs. They are now talking about how to increase revenue. Hire more people. Different type of people - people with different skills.Therefore, some people might need to "retool" themselves. Either formally or doing it at home in front of the PC. YouTube is for many the best tutor in the world along with Google. It is possible to learn almost anything with a determined effort to gain knowledge. Along with increased competencies often come not only job opportunities but also pay rise and increased job satisfaction and a lot more.

    Job market - Perth WA - looking better

    So, it might not be party time yet - but we should be some better times ahead of us... Scaling Options