There are a lot of misconceptions about what traits somebody needs to thrive as a salesperson. Many managers look for salespeople who have a proven track record as leaders. They look for people who thrived as quarterbacks, their high school presidents or led the Kiwanis club. These people may seem like they are perfect for the world of sales, but they tend to fail much more often than you would expect.
Ideal Traits of a Salesperson
Proven leaders have great interpersonal communication skills. However, recent research has shown that communication is not the most important skill for someone to be a good salesperson. What traits should you be looking for instead? Here are three key personality traits that a candidate should possess.
Plenty of Perseverance
Recent studies have shown that drive is the most important characteristic of a great salesperson. Gordon Gekko stated this about brokers in the movie Wall Street: Most of these Harvard MBA’s never make it. Give me PSHs poor, smart and hungry.
You need to look for a salesperson who is determined to succeed. Many successful leaders are used to pulling their contacts to let things happening for them. That may not always be feasible when they join your sales team. Make sure that the candidate is willing to pound the pavement to get results.
Ability to Handle Rejection
Many successful people have developed very big egos. This can prevent them from being good salespeople. They may have a very difficult time dealing with rejection for the first time. This could cause them to break down and fail to meet future quotas. They may eventually give up altogether because they don’t want to feel like a failure.
You need to find salespeople who have a healthier sense of self-esteem. They need to believe in themselves enough to be able to go out and get sales. They also need to be confident enough to keep plugging away even after they have been shot down.
Ability to Relate to Customers
Customers don’t always respond well to superstars. They have an easier time relating to somebody who is more like them. You want to hire somebody who can see their customers on the same level and convince them how the product or service will improve their life.
Finding the Ideal Salesperson
There are a variety of things that you need to look for when you are choosing a salesperson. You need somebody who is determined to prove themselves and persevere over any challenges they encounter. Finding the perfect salesperson isn’t always going to be easy. However, you will have a better chance of identifying someone with the traits you need if you interview them more carefully.
Don’t hire someone purely because they have a resume that shows they have great leadership skills. Those skills are not nearly as important as a candidates willingness to push themselves to reach their goals.