A wise man once told me, we all are in sales. Do you believe that statement? I don’t care what profession you are in, you have sold. My whole life I have fought it. I didn’t want to be labeled “the sales guy”. You know what? I am over it. I am a sales guy. You are too. We all have varying levels of sales in our blood, but we are always trying to convince someone of something.

Do you remember going to the grocery store with your Mom or Dad? “Will you please buy me some cookies? I have been super good! I have washed your car and I have been nice to my sister.” Boom! You have just tried to sell your parents! How about getting rid of your lamp on Craigslist? Guilty as charged? You have Sold!

I am a recruiter. I sell every day. I sell myself. I sell the company. I sell the product. I sell the candidates. Why would someone want to do business with ME? Why would someone want to join the company I represent? How does the company’s idea help YOU with YOUR career ambitions and goals?

As a recruiter, I have a niche. I recruit sales people. I recruit marketing people. I recruit product people.

Having recruited the best sales people in America and the globe, I have come to realize that they all have similar characteristics. How do I identify “the best”? Here are 10 essential traits of effective sales people. A lot of people have written on this topic, but here are my ten cents:

  1. They Are Driven & They Want Something – They Don’t Have I have never met an exceptional salesperson that wasn’t driven by some reason. The reason could be they are trying to get out of debt. It could be they didn’t have the life they wanted growing up and want to provide more for their family. It could be as simple as they want to be labeled “the best”. Whatever reason, successful salespeople have a driving force to make them want to succeed. They want that nice house, they want that new car that they don’t have. They also may want to have the opportunity to have extra money to take their family on a long well deserved vacation.
  2. They Aren’t Afraid of Rejection – If you are afraid of No, then sales isn’t the right job for you. A profession in sales is full of rejection. I don’t need your product. I don’t need your services. I’m too busy right now. It is hard and the best in the business are completely numb to rejection.
  3. They Enjoy Flexibility – Sales Jobs usually offer a lot of flexibilty. They like to be their own boss and in charge of their own time. They clearly understand THEY need to be in charge of your own destiny. They need to know how to manage their calendar without someone telling them how and when to do it.
  4. They Have Passion – No one can argue this fact. Great sales people are passionate about what they do. They truly believe what they offer will help others. They can show how it has helped others. There is no reason for a good person to be afraid of anything because they have a solution that is RIGHT for YOU.
  5. They Are Polished – Have you ever met an exceptional salesperson that is not well dressed or well spoken? Not every salesperson has a Harvard degree, but they are intelligent. They know just the right thing to say at the most opportune moment without coming across offensive. Most EFFECTIVE sales people are in good health, exercise reguarly and care about their daily hygiene.
  6. They Are Risk Takers – A part of MOST sales is commission. A portion of their salary is determined by what they MAY or MAY NOT sell. The best sales people don’t mind the risk, in fact, they embrace it.
  7. They Are Social by Nature – Some sales people are introverts, but most are extraverts. Most sales people thrive in a room full of people they don’t know and are able to create conversations and build rapport quickly. They enjoy travel. They enjoy learning about others. They enjoy talking and they don’t tire easily. They have a type “A” personality.
  8. Enough is Never Enough – Status quo is not going to work for an exceptional salesperson. An exceptional salesperson always wants more. A bigger sale. Always looking ahead. Never content with what they have. They always have the attitude that the sky is the limit.
  9. They Are Experts – I have NEVER met a successful salesperson who isn’t THE BEST at what they do. They know the industry inside and out. They know their competitors. They anticipate questions before they arise and know how to answer them before they are asked.
  10. They LOVE to WIN – Without a doubt, this is the most essential trait of a successful salesperson. A GREAT salesperson does not like to lose at ANYTHING. They don’t want to lose a card game, a flag football game, a client that is looking at 3 different solutions. Great salespeople have the Professional Athlete attitude and want to win the SuperBowl.

Do you have what it takes? Are you an EXCEPTIONAL Sales Person?