Have you ever wondered why one salesperson struggles to make ends meet while another salesperson at the same company is crushing it—selling the same products or services?
The difference lies in the top qualities of great salespeople.
In this post, I’m going to show you the 9 essential qualities that set outstanding salespeople apart.
By embodying these top qualities of great salespeople, you can elevate your sales game and achieve next-level success. Check it out:
It might sound simple, but one of the top qualities of great salespeople is their ability to implement ideas effectively. Most salespeople come up with excuses, but exceptional salespeople implement like crazy, even if they make mistakes. By consistently taking action, they get closer to their goals and become part of the top tier of salespeople.
The ability to prioritize is one of the most important qualities of great salespeople. Because they’re so good at prioritizing tasks, they don’t get caught up in customer issues or non-essential activities. Instead, they only prioritize activities that drive revenue, such as prospecting and closing deals. By focusing on what truly matters, top-performing salespeople maximize their productivity and achieve outstanding results.
3. Say “no.”
Great salespeople aren’t afraid to say “no.” They understand the importance of choosing quality over quantity. If a prospect isn’t a good fit or a request is non-critical, they politely decline. It’s not about being selfish; it’s about allocating time and resources where they have the most impact. By saying “no” strategically, salespeople can stay focused on what truly drives success. That’s why the ability to say “no” is a top quality of great salespeople.
4. Be willing to piss people off.
Being willing to potentially upset prospects is a top quality of great salespeople. It’s never the goal to deliberately annoy people, but great salespeople accept that some prospects may get annoyed, frustrated, or even angry at times. Top-performing salespeople understand that prospecting and closing deals require assertiveness, which might challenge prospects. Embracing discomfort is part of the sales process, and those who are comfortable with it excel in their role.
5. Be obsessed with pipeline.
Great salespeople are obsessed with their pipeline—the number of leads and appointments they have. Pipeline-obsession is a top quality of great salespeople because a strong pipeline is a key indicator of future sales success. Even with excellent closing skills, without enough leads, salespeople won’t achieve their targets. By consistently filling their pipeline and nurturing leads, great salespeople ensure a steady flow of opportunities and maximize their earning potential.
6. Know the prospect is often wrong.
Prospects are often wrong about their needs and problems. Great salespeople understand this and go beyond face value. They ask probing questions and dig deeper to uncover the real issues and provide valuable solutions. Like a skilled doctor, a great salesperson helps prospects identify the root causes of their challenges, rather than accepting superficial assumptions. This nuanced ability to understand the prospect’s world is a top quality of great salespeople.
7. Be distrustful.
Great salespeople maintain a healthy level of distrust toward prospects. It’s not that they view prospects as inherently untrustworthy; they simply recognize that prospects may not always follow through. Great salespeople understand that prospects can change their minds or mislead them unintentionally. By staying vigilant and sticking to the sales process, top-performing salespeople safeguard their success and avoid unnecessary surprises. This makes (a healthy dose of) distrustfulness a top quality of great salespeople.
8. Be inquisitive.
Great salespeople are naturally curious about their prospect’s world. Like the TV detective Columbo, they ask questions and seek to uncover the heart of the matter. They don’t rely solely on the sales process; they genuinely want to understand the prospect’s challenges and objectives. By being inquisitive, they bring tremendous value by identifying the real issues and offering tailored solutions.
9. Know your value.
Great salespeople possess a deep understanding of their own value and confidently communicate it to prospects. They believe wholeheartedly that the products or services they offer can make a significant positive impact in their clients’ lives or businesses. This unwavering belief enables them to approach prospecting and sales conversations with enthusiasm and conviction. By effectively conveying the value they bring, great salespeople build trust, overcome objections, and ultimately close more deals.
So there you have it. Now you know the 9 top qualities of great salespeople. Which of these qualities will you work on developing for your own sales approach? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.