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Top sales professionals 'need 7 key traits'

The key to being the best possible salesperson is to have a combination of seven key traits which can help to you succeed in the sector, one expert has claimed.

According to Steve Martin, who teaches sales strategy at the USC Marshall School of Business, modesty is the first thing that sales recruitment hopefuls should look to exhibit, contrary to the popular belief that you have to be egotistical to succeed in sales.

After carrying out personality tests on 1,000 top sales professionals, Mr Martin noted the key traits which the best candidates had, highlighting that a pushy attitude can often alienate potential customers and have the opposite effect.

Conscientiousness was something which 85 per cent of top sales people showed, as Mr Martin explained: "They could be described as having a strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable. These salespeople take their jobs very seriously and feel deeply responsible for the results."

As meeting targets and goals is a big part of a salesperson's career, it is no surprise to see that achievement orientation was a prevalent trait, while curiosity was also disabled in the vast majority of the top sales people, given that a thirst and hunger for knowledge often sets the very best workers apart from their colleagues.

A major difference between the best and worst-performing salespeople is gregariousness, the top echelon of workers being far less gregarious than those who were at the bottom of the performance charts.

The final two essential traits in the best salespeople were a lack of both discouragement and self-consciousness.

Mr Martin found that the best workers refused to take things personally and were persistent in their approach, while they were also able to shake off any potential embarrassment with ease.

The expert explained: "The evidence suggests that the personalities of these truly great salespeople play a critical role in determining their success."

Meanwhile, according to Rob Scott, managing director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, utilising personality questionnaires can avoid the problem of a company taking on a sales employee whose approach to the job does not correlate with that of the organisation.

He noted that, in many instances, psychometrics can help organisations to recruit sales professionals with both the skills and experience required, as well as the right attitude and working methods to fit their business.

With consultants that are British Psychological Society (BPS) level A and level B accredited Aaron Wallis are able to offer a wide range of psychometric tools, personality tests, aptitude tests and ability tests.

Posted by John Oak

14/07/2011

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