5 Characteristics of a Successful Salesperson


If you’re in business, you’re in sales!

Are you a business owner? If so, my guess is that you wear many hats. You’re the CEO, the Chief Everything Officer, right? 

That’s how all companies get their start: one person, one idea and a whole lot of mistakes, do-overs and reboots. Starting a business is exciting, and we often get caught up in what title we’re going to give ourselves. CEO? President? Principal? But rarely do we don the title of our most prominent role: salesperson.

Peter Harnish says this: “If you are starting a business, you are a salesperson. In fact, you are the most important salesperson . . . There is an important saying to remember: ‘Sales is not the entire company, but the entire company is sales.’”

Yes, that's right. It's that nasty old word, salesperson. I know you might be cringing at the mere sound of it, and we have used car salesmen to thank for that. But if you’re a business owner, selling is your most important job.

You’re the creator of this product or service; you’re crazy about it, and you can’t wait to share it with others. This passion makes you the perfect person to start selling, but there’s one problem: most business owners don’t know how to sell.

Sales requires a unique skill set, and not one you’ll learn from a college curriculum. But we believe that anyone can learn to sell, and below, we’ll show you how. Here are our top five tips to becoming a successful salesperson:


Instead of telling the prospect all about the product and what it can do, take time to identify the prospect’s ultimate need. Then sell them on that need instead of trying to sell them on everything. Ask questions, and listen to what they say.

Be Passionate.

Passion works wonders for sales. Your passion for your product or service will shine through as you speak. And when the prospect can feel your passion, they’ll want to experience it for themselves.

Develop a Successful Sales Strategy. 

Figure out the best strategy for your business. There’s no one way to sell. So discover the method that works best for you, and stick to it.

Follow Up.

This should go without saying, but you just might be surprised at how often business owners fail to follow up with prospects. You can be persistent without being too pushy. It’s a fine line, but with practice, you can learn to feel it out in conversation.

Always Be Prepared.

Be prepared with questions to engage the prospect. Learn who they are and what they want so you can find the best way to sell to them. Do your research ahead of time. Don't waste your time selling to someone who’s not your target customer/client. This mistake only leads to frustration. Find out how you can help your prospect with their biggest pain point.

The above characteristics are crucial to sales success. Spend some time developing your sales plan and incorporating these elements; then practice, practice, practice. You can expect your first few pitches to be a little rough. But like most things, the more you practice, the better you get. Practice on friends and family before hitting up your dream client. Work out the kinks, and then start selling!

Kimberly is a serial entrepreneur, facilitator, author, speaker, traveler, photographer, sports enthusiast, wife and mother of two adorable fur babies. She creates and facilitates mastermind groups for small business owners and speaks on entrepreneurship and teaching kids about money. She feels the right mindset is all the luck you need.