When many people think of a salesman they picture a cheesy dude in a bad suit that will do anything to close the deal. People also think that salespeople are super outgoing and friendly. Many of them are, but that does not mean they are good at what they do. A study done at the USC Marshall School of Business studied thousands of salespeople to find out the personality traits of top performing salesmen and women. The results might surprise you.
The main stereotype is that salespeople are pushy and have over inflated egos. Over 90% of the top performers scored high in the modesty area. This data tells us that the pushy salespeople with big egos may not be that good at gaining clients.
About 90% of top salespeople scored high in the conscientiousness area. The best salesmen and women are polite and have a lot of emotional intelligence. They think of their clients first and go the extra mile. Again, this goes against the typical sales stereotype that says salespeople only care about themselves.
3. Goal Oriented
Most of the top performers scored high in the goal oriented category. With all the quotas and sales figures they have to meet it makes sense they would be achievement driven. People who are not driven to achieve will find sales simply exhausting and overwhelming.
4. Life-long Learners
Top salespeople have an innate curiosity for understanding and learning new things. This keeps them always learning about the profession and their clients – which is a must in order to do well in sales. This helps them constantly learn about their products, services, clients, and profession.
5. Lack of Gregariousness
Gregariousness refers to people wanting to spend time with others. Surprisingly, most top salespeople scored moderately low in this area. Most people think salespeople are social butterflies. This data may suggest that overly friendly salespeople may have a hard time establishing dominance in the relationship with a client because they are too “nice.”
Not surprisingly the best salespeople are not easily discouraged. They have to be able to handle rejection well and get back up and keep going. Salespeople hear no all the time, but don’t let it get them down.
7. Lack of Embarrassment
Top sales people are not insecure or self-conscious. If you are insecure or self-conscious you will not be aggressive enough to meet your goals.
If you are thinking of going into sales after you are finished with college think about how your personality fits into the career field. We hope this shed some light on what it takes to be successful as a salesperson.