The Recipe for a Successful Sales Career

ambition-confidenceHas anyone ever told you that you’re a natural-born salesperson? If they have, they’re probably commenting on your confidence and enthusiasm or your way of getting people to listen to you. A topic often discussed is whether salespeople are born with the natural talent required to succeed, or if they can be taught to sell. The answer is likely a mixture of both.

A good example is coaching. Sales coaching teaches people to build and develop closing and persuasion skills for a positive career in sales. Most bosses will not hire a coach except for those who naturally have a gift for sales. Yet, without the coaching, many people see their careers stagnate without learning new skills. This chicken and the egg scenario is frustrating for people looking to advance their careers and daunting for those just starting out.

If you were ever curious whether you exhibited the classic signs of a skilled salesperson, here is the basic recipe:


This is probably the most surprising factor because a common stereotype of salespeople is that they are friendly, open, and love being around people. But wait, isn’t that extroversion? Well, a study of the top-ranked salespeople found that they were 30% less gregarious than their average and below-average counterparts.

Part of this phenomenon might be due to a salesperson’s ability to establish dominance over the sale. While clients perceive outgoing people as more friendly, and thus, trust them as friends, an introverted person explains less of their thoughts and more easily establishes dominance.


The classic stereotype of the used car salesman is not applicable to sales. 85% of top salespeople carry a strong sense of duty. They are reliable and committed to the product they sell and the company they represent. Dutiful salespeople excel at getting their customers to buy into the company’s brand.


Megalomaniacs are not the best at relating to people. Most people do not like dealing with someone who is in their face, attempting to close, right out of the gate.

Humility works when collaborating with team members, too. A salesperson who alienates coworkers with swagger and greasy charm better hope he carries himself on his numbers because his peers certainly won’t help. Humility allows a salesman to support his team and involve company consultants, technical support, and management to assist landing accounts.


People who are easily embarrassed or overly self-conscious make poor salespeople. They are too worried about what others think of them to get the job done effectively.


Less than 10% of the best salespeople are easily discouraged and overwhelmed with their job. Salespeople need to trust that they can always outperform their numbers from the year before.


This trait describes a person’s willingness to absorb information. Inquisitiveness improves salespeople’s product knowledge, and it drives their understanding of why customers should buy it. Curiosity is also a telling sign that a salesperson is actively engaged in sales calls. A curious person will ask more questions, try to see the situation from the customer’s point of view, and discern the truth.

Interested in learning to step up your sales game? Click here for more info!

Additional Resources:
What Makes a Good Salesman
Are Top Salespeople Born or Made?