Seven personality traits of top sales people?

Sales people

There’s always been a lot of discussion, and differing opinions, about personality traits and sales rep success. We came across this piece on the HBR blog network by Steve W. Martin (not the comedian) – who teaches sales strategy at USC. Based upon his interviews with sales reps over ten years plus 1,000 personality tests he administered (primarily to high tech and business services sales reps), he identified key personality traits that influence the selling styles of top performers – and ultimately their success. 

Here are the seven traits of top sales performers: 

  1. Modesty – contrary to stereotype, successful reps score high on modesty and humility.
  2. Conscientiousness – strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable
  3. Achievement orientation – focused on achieving goals and continuously measuring their performance in comparison to their goals.
  4. Curiosity – hungry for knowledge and information
  5. Lack of gregariousness – lower in gregariousness than average performers
  6. Lack of discouragement – low levels of discouragement, feeling overwhelmed, or sad
  7. Lack of self-consciousness – not bashful or inhibited

Interesting. What do you think?  Click here to read the descriptions of each trait as well as the 125+ comments posted so far. 

Check out other posts on sales effectiveness at the Sales Training Connection. 

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1 Response to Seven personality traits of top sales people?

  1. Tiffany says:

    Being effective in sales requires some very specific personality traits and several are listed here. I feel like “achievement oriented” is an understatement! Successful sales people are relentless in pursuing their goals. It wakes them in the morning and adds fuel to their fire all day long. It’s like they live in permanent sales mode which helps them to sell so effortlessly.

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