News & Research Archive

The Key Traits Necessary to Succeed as a Salesperson

Jul 29, 2014

Succeed as a SalespersonI had a past partner who had a degree as a Certified Public Accountant. She approached her work as a salesperson from a very analytical perspective. She was extremely successful in sales and enjoyed the daily challenges that arose in the line of sales work. But she also struggled with her successes.

When I would ask her, "How's it going?" she would respond with adverse comments such as, "Don't talk to me. I have three deals in trouble" and, "I'm not meeting my goals this month" or, "I have no business! I am in trouble." All of her concerns were proved to be untrue, as she would consistently close sales and meet her goals and objectives in a very meticulous way.

I know my partner loved to close deals and of course loved the financial rewards, but whether she truly loved the business and loved being a salesperson, that I do not know. She worried daily and ultimately passed away at a very young age.

On the other hand, my current partner and I are not the analytical types. We are in many ways "kids" that enjoy getting into deals, serving our clients, and are really never concerned about potential business disputes. We try not to stress about deals that may be falling apart or if we have more business than we can handle, simply because we believe that no matter what happens, we will somehow succeed. We simply have a different mindset.

To determine if you are truly a salesperson with the right characteristics, you will need to evaluate the traits that make a successful salesperson.

Here's my take on the top ten most important traits a salesperson needs:

  1. Ambition: You must be ambitious and willing to work long hours in the quest to be successful.
  2. Competitive: You need to be competitive against others, but more importantly, against yourself.
  3. Optimistic: You have to be optimistic and believe that you will succeed.
  4. Confident: You have to be confident and unfazed by rejection.
  5. Persuasive: You must be persuasive and build your creditability with your clients in order to encourage them to purchase your product or service.
  6. Committed: You have to believe in relationships and be able to commit to them.
  7. Disciplined: You must be disciplined in your approach and continue to learn from the best in order to hone in on key tactics.
  8. Hungry: You have to love to hunt and always be on the lookout for new opportunities. As Steve Jobs used to say, "Stay Hungry."
  9. You need to be a good farmer. This means you have to understand that deals and relationships take time to develop.
  10. Personable: You have to love people, love to talk, tell stories and love to service clients.

As my past partner proved, you can make it without some of these traits. But the key to succeed in anything is to be passionate about what you are doing and to never fall out of love.

If you find yourself no longer in love, you may still enjoy the financials rewards, but in your heart, you will retire unfulfilled.

Photo Credit: InternationalHouseManchester via Compfight cc


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 29 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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