How Non-​Traditional Traits Can Help You Seal the Deal

BY Kathy Crosett
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As you envy the top rainmaker in your department, you may imagine her to be a silver-​tongued whiz who leads prospects flawlessly to sign on the dotted line. Not so! Being a great salesperson is not all about being an extrovert and having great speaking skills. Michael Pici explains some of the unusual character traits top salespeople share in his blog post on hubspot​.com.


One unusual trait Pici calls out is paranoia. It turns out that top sales reps don’t take anyone at their word. Sure, the prospect might have said she’s ready to buy. That doesn’t mean she has approval from her boss or from the purchasing department. You may be comfortable working with your prospect and be willing to believe what she says. If you want to become a top salesperson, listen closely to what the prospect is saying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about exactly who has the authority to sign the contract and the check.


You don’t need to be an extrovert to be a great sales rep, but a healthy dose of optimism is necessary. Pici calls this trait resilience. The bottom line is it’s easy to get disappointed after a run of bad news. Contract cancellations or prospects backing out at the last minute are discouraging developments, and sometimes happen because of factors outside of your control. Instead of losing confidence in themselves and their abilities, top reps take a breather. They assess the situation and determine how to change their strategy. Another option is to review your goals. Break them into smaller goals. As you achieve each one, your confidence will rebound.


Sales is often portrayed as a hard-​nosed competitive profession. In some organizations, the culture may promote this attitude. In the best organizations, staffed with top salespeople, empathy is apparent. As you spend time getting to know your prospects and the challenges they’re facing, you’re also building a relationship. Showing the prospect you care about her situation, remembering the little details about her pain points, will allow you to connect with the heart.

As you consider your approach to increasing sales, let the other reps brag about how tough they are. While they are busy trying to beat the competition, hone your non-​traditional traits to connect with prospects. Before long, you’ll be one of the top rainmakers in your organization.