Success isn’t fated. It’s forged. You just have to have the right qualities to make that success a reality.
Using data from more than 10,000 participants who’ve taken our SalesCode assessment, this video covers 15 traits of particularly high performers. And best of all, you can cultivate and develop each of these traits yourself.
Are you built to win?
We first created the SalesCode assessment as a learning tool for future-minded reps. What were their strengths? Where could they use some improvement? And what did they need to focus on to take their sales skills to the next level?
Since its initial launch, more than 10,000 sales professionals have completed the assessment. And while it’s definitely served its original purpose, this enormous chunk of data also opened up the door to something unexpected. With it, we could actually identify the key traits that high performers had in common.
Now, there were some outliers of course. But in general, the best of the best outperformed the average rabble on each of these 15 traits.
And these weren’t “born with it or without it traits” either. They were skills, mindsets, and processes that anyone could cultivate. From the awkward first-year intern to the seasoned professional looking to climb the corporate ladder.
So today, I thought I’d share those 15 traits we discovered after analyzing our SalesCode assessment data. And hopefully, doing so will give you a clearer roadmap to which skills you can cultivate to boost your sales success.
Sound good? Let’s jump in.
I’ve organized the 15 qualities into 3 distinct trait types—beliefs, actions, and sales skills. And the first trait type we’re talking about is…
Beliefs. These are the ideas and qualities that underpin everything these individuals do, how they look at the world (and themselves) as a whole.
And trait number one is…
Comfortable Talking About Money
Businesses run on money. And high performers recognized that conversations about money are a given in sales. Rather than clamming up, beating around the bush, or getting defensive, these individuals approached money conversations like just any other step in the sales process
They’re energized by conversations. And they’re curious about other people. While this one can be hard to “learn” on your own, there are plenty of strategies introverts can take to increase their extroversion too.
The point is, a “people person” tended to fare better in sales than those who abhorred social contact.
They have an optimistic outlook on life.
While high performers weren’t necessarily blinded by their optimism, they did tend to see the silver linings and hope for the best. Optimism in sales is crucial because it keeps you energized to go out there, do the hard work of prospecting, and stick to your cadences.
It also has the added benefit of building rapport and enthusiasm in buyers too.
It takes a lot of confidence to approach a cold prospect. And it takes a healthy self-esteem to withstand the hangups and no’s of those who aren’t interested. The best performing reps need to have a solid self-worth to excel in this industry.
They hold themselves accountable.
High performers know that they make their own success. They make mistakes, sure. Who doesn’t? But they take ownership of those mistakes. And they know that doing so is the only way to learn and get better at what they do.
Actions. What do these successful people do? How do they spend their time? And how do they handle interacting with others?
The first trait here is…
NOT a people pleaser
There are some industries where it pays to be a suckup. Sales is not one of them. High performers know how to get on a buyer’s good side. But they also know when to push an issue and give an assertive “no.”
When it comes to sales, nice guys finish last.
High emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a rep’s ability to 1.) control their own emotions and 2.) respond effectively to the emotions of others. High emotional intelligence makes it easier to manage buyers, connect with prospects, and build rapport.
And no surprise here—high performers had more developed emotional intelligence skills too.
Knowing what needs to be done and executing on that knowledge is the best way to close deals and avoid future hassles. In the world of sales, being assertive means being able to bring up issues before they turn into serious problems, turning down buyers that aren’t a great fit, and, of course, asking for the sale.
It’s no wonder this is one of the most common qualities among high performers.
Strong goal setting
Sales is a numbers game. And the better you are at setting, tracking, and achieving those goals on time, the more of a high performer you’ll be.
Success in sales isn’t for the lazy. You need to be self-disciplined enough to hit the ground running every day and keep that momentum going and going. High performers will be pros at using productivity strategies like creating task lists for the next day, having dedicated focus periods, and confining distracting tasks to certain points throughout the day.
And the last trait type we identified was…
C) Sales Skills
Believe it or not, you’ve got to have sales skills if you’re going to be good at skills. Who knew, right?
And that means being good at…
Buyers are going to have objections to purchasing your product. That’s not the problem. The problem is how you handle those objections. High performers come to pitches with answers ready to a prospect’s major concerns. And The best ones also know how to turn an objection into an opportunity for building enthusiasm.
Sales isn’t just about the product you’re hawking. It’s also about the subtle things you can do to demonstrate your expertise and influence their decision. High performers do exceptionally well at showing their authority. And as a result, they can sway their success rates in their favor.
Similar to the last point, high performers appear knowledgeable, confident, and influential. More than just talking the talk during a pitch, they’ve built up dedicated media presences on sites like LinkedIn. They put out regular and insightful content. And that brings potential buyers to their doors.
Storytelling is an essential component for tapping into the emotions of the buyer. And when it’s incorporated into the pitch, it drives success rates through the roof. High performers are exceptional storytellers. And they know when and where to use their skill to its fullest.
Negotiations are tense. Hell, anything money-related tends to be tense. But high performers know exactly how to handle these situations effectively. And because of their adept skills in this department, both parties, the seller and the buyer, always leave negotiations happy.
So there you have it! 15 traits of particularly high performers, taken straight from data gathered from 10,000 sales professionals.
And if you’d like to see which of these sales success traits that you have, then this link to grab your free SalesCode assessment.
It will show you the traits that you have, those that you don’t and it’ll even give you feedback on your overall strengths, weaknesses and how you can improve your chances of success, .
It’s free, takes 10 minutes to complete and it might change your life.
And don’t forget—anyone can cultivate and develop each of these traits for themselves, no matter their level of experience or what kinds of skills they have today. All it takes is persistence, hard work, and of course, some quality sales training.