What Makes a Great Salesperson?

How do you hire a great salesperson?

Are you looking for a great salesperson? Plenty of employers tend to dismiss the selling as an entry-level job that practically anybody can do. They’re wrong.

A great salesperson understands that professional selling requires much more than just pushing a product onto customers.

Push hard enough, and perhaps you can get a purchase. But that doesn’t guarantee repeat business.

Most of the time, pushy sales staff corner consumers into buying once or twice, but the experience is generally unwelcome. Nobody wants to be forced to do something. Selling takes more than just an aggressive approach or a routine sales spiel; it should make people want to buy and return for more.


Here at Momentum Consulting Group, we select and train professional sales staff for their inherent traits that are conducive to selling. These traits are natural aspects of one’s personality and character. They are much harder to develop than skills that can be adopted during sales training.

If you want to hire a [potentially] great salesperson, here are 5 qualities to look for:

Strong empathy

A great salesperson has an intuitive skill for understanding and anticipating the needs of their customers on a visceral level, the needs that they usually don’t talk about. Empathy also includes the ability to accurately read other people’s emotions and behavioral cues, which allows the salesperson to establish genuine and trusting rapport with their prospect.

Strong communication skills

The ability to convey your message clearly is an innate skill that all great salespeople have. They are able to take the idea behind a standard sales spiel and reframe it in a way that makes their prospective buyers feel validated, and their needs are understood.

Excellent listening skills

In a sea of aggressive salespeople constantly telling you what to do, you tend to gravitate towards that one who takes time to listen to what you have to say. Listening tells the customer that the salesperson cares about them, and not just about the sale. It also enables the staff to understand what their customers need and want, so they can correctly assess and apply the appropriate relationship-building strategy.


An average salesperson evaluates their own performance by accomplishments gained easily. But a great salesperson understands that performance is honed by how they manage to take rejection and failures in stride and use that as leverage to improve their technique, without taking the entire challenge personally. This emotional strength can only be developed through how one navigates setbacks and difficulties.


A great salesperson has the natural ability to step up to the plate when the situation calls for it; they can own successes and share credit where it’s due, and they can equally own failures without passing blames elsewhere. A strong sense of responsibility is required in a decent salesperson because it indicates that they possess a sense of initiative, maturity, and enough care to take charge of their own responses to any given situation.

In our sales training modules, we develop these qualities alongside other skills that are critical to effective salesmanship. When screening for potential sales staff, these qualities can be your starting point for determining the kind of people you need.

To know more about hiring and training a great salesperson who produces measurable, sustainable, and cumulative results, contact us today. We’ll gladly provide you with an in-depth consultation.