Personality Traits of Highly Successful Salespeople

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Everyone who is in any type of business, whether it is in a sales capacity or a CEO position should share some of the same personality traits. Traits are what has given them the drive and passion for what they do. They are also what will help them achieve their goals, no matter what they are. No matter how you measure success, whether it is in the title that you hold or how much you earn a month, you likely share the same personality traits as other successful individuals in your field. To help you understand and take note of these traits, I have listed some of the most common shared by highly successful salespeople.

The Need to Compete

It is virtually impossible to find a successful salesperson that does not have a highly developed need to compete. One of the most basic definitions of being successful is the need to always win. Highly successful individuals can become obsessed with finding new ways in which they can obtain an advantage over their competition. A high level of competitiveness is often confused with a strong work ethic, but it is the drive to compete and win that helps successful people achieve their goals.

Failure Is Not an Issue

Every successful salesperson will tell you that their success did not come easy. They all experienced their own failures along the way, but rather than allowing those setbacks to stop them altogether; they used those experiences as the motivation they needed to keep pursuing their ultimate goal. Each failure that you experience on the road to success should be viewed as a lesson that will help you make better decisions later in your career. While many salespeople will use these setbacks as a reason to stop, a highly motivated and successful person will persevere and learn from each experience.

Willing to Improve

A successful individual is always open to learning new ways in which they can improve themselves in order to become a better business leader. Successful individuals tend to be their own worst enemy because they are never satisfied with the work that they do. They always believe that they can do better, and will set out to prove that fact by accepting bigger challenges. The need to constantly improve is a huge motivator in a successful individual.

Attention to Detail

This may be one of the most obsessive of the traits shared by successful salespeople. While it may have the potential to drive others a little bit crazy, it is what drives successful individuals to strive for excellence. While you may have been told throughout school and early on in your career not to sweat the small stuff, that is exactly what successful people do on a regular basis. If they did not focus on every little detail of a deal, they may not have become as highly successful as they are. If you want to become a successful salesperson, you need to pay attention to detail.

Take Accountability

Successful people do not rely on others to get the job done. They are constantly looking at ways in which they find solutions using the assets they have at their disposal. If they make a mistake during the process, they will not push it off on someone else, instead, they will own up to it and think of ways that they can avoid the same mistake in the future.

Effective Communicators

Successful leaders are ones that can effectively communicate their ideas and goals with others. If you ask them what they are trying to accomplish they will be able to tell you in a detailed and concise manner. They are sure of themselves and what they do and can make you believe in them as well. The ability to effectively communicate is by far one of the most important and valuable skills a successful person can have.


In the business world it is virtually impossible to achieve any level of success without being authentic. This can refer to your level of trustworthiness and transparency with those you work with. If you can clearly and honestly express your opinions then you are working from an authentic space. Not everyone will agree with you, but they will never doubt where you come from or where you stand on a subject.


One of the most important traits a successful individual can possess is the ability to remain calm when everything around them is falling apart. A successful individual will not lose their sense of direction or purpose when faced with a crisis.