Must-Have Traits to Work in Sales

Chris Keeley

Is sales the right career path for me?

Not everyone can be a sales person. There are certain characteristics that a good sales person is made up of that cannot be taught. Without these critical traits, a person’s sales career will likely be short-lived. So what do you think? Do you fit the description? Read on to find out.


As a sales person, you will be hung up on more often than not. When this inevitably happens, it’s critical that you do not take it personally. It is important to remember that the person you are contacting likely receives countless cold calls each day from other salespeople.

One of the first things you should learn is the difference between an objection and a rejection. When someone gives you the “not interested” response, rather than just accepting that as an answer, find out why and consider scheduling another time to talk. The reason you are being rejected could be as simple as you caught the person at a bad time, they had a rough day, or they just got off the phone with another salesperson. Once you find out why you have been rejected, you can use that information to strategically make your next move.


If you know anyone in sales, they will tell you that it’s a grind. Well, they are right. A career in sales means longer than normal days with a lot of time spent dialing and talking on the phone. For some, this can be exciting. For others, this is less appealing. If you don’t think you would be able to talk on the phone for several hours per day, then perhaps sales is not right for you.


Organization is important in all aspects of life, but especially in sales. Since you will be on the phone all day, it is likely you will leave a lot of voicemails. The client you are trying to reach will probably call you back or send you a message telling you when a better time to reach out would be. It is critical that you are able to keep track of all appointments and call times in your calendar. Being on time and prepared can be the difference between making a sale or not.


Speaking of the difference between making a sale or not, if you do not know what you are selling you will almost definitely never be successful in this career. Nobody is expecting you to become an expert on what you’re selling on your first day, but it is important to pick it up as quickly as you can. In most sales positions, you will receive training as soon as your first day, but to truly expand your knowledge of the product or service, you may need additional training or to conduct research on your own time. The sooner you understand what you are selling, the sooner you will make a sale. Clients can tell immediately whether or not you know what you’re talking about.


When working in a sales role, you need to be flexible. Flexibility can be applied to many areas of sales, but what it really means is you need to remain available after hours. Nobody likes to have to work late, there is no doubt about that, but if a client calls you after hours it is probably in your best interest to answer regardless of the time. That being said, you obviously have your own life to live, so if you cannot answer the phone every time it’s not the end of the world. But if you are just sitting around and your phone rings, you should answer. After-hours calls can lead to sales because it shows your client that you’re dedicated to your job and not just trying to collect a paycheck.

Do you think you have what it takes to pursue a career in sales? Great! Check out our open jobs and apply.

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