28 essential qualities of a successful salesman

‘Personality’ refers to the dynamic force of a person which attracts and impresses others. Similarly, “Sales Personality” or ‘Personality of Salesman’ includes his appearance, his characters, his mannerisms, his talk and the general impression which impresses and convinces the prospects. By using these qualities and abilities skillfully, the salesman is able to impress the customers favorably. As a result, the customers are attracted towards the product or service and ultimately purchase it. In other words of H. W. Morten “Personality is that personal distinction or dynamic force which is felt by everyone who comes within the radius.”

Essential Qualities/Traits of a salesman:

1. Sound health

A salesman should posses a sound and physique in order to become efficient. A salesman who is not healthy cannot maintain a pleasing appearance. He will also not be able carry on his duties efficiently.

2. Good posture

Good posture enhances the appearance and personality of the salesman. A salesman should maintain an alluring posture, i.e. he should stand erect or sit erect while meeting a customer. It makes a good impression on the customer. Therefore the salesman should try to acquire certain good posture in order to attract customers.

3. Pleasant voice

Voice is the index of one’s own feelings than the facial expression. The quality and the tone of the voice also have its influence on the hearer. The salesman should have pleasant, clear and forceful voice. The voice should not be coarse, high pitched, shrill, commanding or nasal. These types of voices generally irritate customers.

4. Good appearance

A good physical appearance is a big asset for salesman. The first impression on the customer is created by the appearance of the salesman. A good appearance generally gives more confidence to a salesman and he is able to convince the customers more easily. The appearance of the salesman may be divided into 3 important segments:

1. Cleanliness, 2. Grooming and 3. Clothes.

5. Cheerfulness

Cheerfulness is the greatest virtue of a good salesman. Everyone wants to be with persons, who are cheerful. If the salesman is cheerful, possesses a good health, vigour and a rich sense of humor, then he can attract large number of customers.

6. Imagination

It is an important consideration which detects the exact need of the customers. This quality helps the salesman to understand the problems of customers in his position. But it is depressing to see in India that many salesmen have absolutely no imagination.

7. Alertness

Alertness refers to active sensitivity to the situation before oneself. It is nothing but presence of mind as to what to say, how to say and on what occasion. It consists of keen power of observation and common sense to take correct decisions quickly.

8. Resourcefulness

It is a mental ability to think and find out alternatives. It includes devising new approaches to make people do what you want them to do. Resourcefulness has great role to play in salesmanship.

9. Initiative

Initiative is the ability to work on his own without any guidance from anybody. It is very useful quality for success in dealing with customers. Of course, in early stages a salesman has to work under the supervision and guidance of senior salesman. But in course of time, he has to depend upon himself and take independent decisions.

10. Observation

Power of observation is another important quality of a salesman. A good salesman must be a keen observer. He should observe the changes in style, fashion of people, activities of rivals, Government policies, general attitude of customers and other things.

11. Self-confidence

Self-confidence is another important quality, which every salesman should possess. The salesman should keep Self-confidence both on himself and the goods he sells to the customers. A salesman lacking Self-confidence can not convince his customer properly or overcome his objections.

12. Memory

Sharp memory is another important attribute of a salesman. Sharp memory refers to capacity to recognize this customer, recall his past interviews with them, recalling their requirements and suggestions. As a matter of fact, lack of memory is responsible for committing many errors. For this purpose, it is better for a salesman to keep a notebook and write important points for future reference.

13. Sociability

It refers to ability of salesman to meet the public and make friends with them. A true salesman must be an extrovert, i.e., a man who likes mixing with people in every type of situation. Moreover, he should not hesitate to meet unknown persons. He must be a friend, philosophers and guide to customers.

14. Enthusiasm

A salesman should be enthusiastic; otherwise he will fail to create interest in the minds of the prospects. Enthusiasm creates assurance in the minds of the buyers for a salesman’s products and services.

15. Tact

A salesman should be a man of tact. Tact means doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way. It further includes mental awareness of the salesman to tackle all kinds of situations. However, tact should not mean cheating or cunningness. Tact or diplomacy helps in avoiding objections, obstacles in sales programme.

16. Court-operation

The modern salesman has to face several challenges in the market for better business. To meet these challenges a salesman should have a good co-operation with customers, fellow salesmen and employer. The customers depend upon the salesman to a great extent for selecting products. He (salesman) should extend full co-operation and help to them (customers) by recommending the best product to suit their needs.

17. Courtesy

There is a saying that “Courtesy costs nothing but returns high dividend”. This particularly holds good in the field of salesmanship. Courtesy is a mixture of politeness and consideration. It is an indication of refinement and culture. The salesman must be polite, modest, and courteous to turn the hearts of customers.

18. Patience and tolerance

Patience and tolerance take a very important place in the development of a salesman. A salesman to become successful must be extremely patient in dealing with a buyer. In no case he should lose his temper, but to show a spirit impatient and angry, but a salesman should remain calm and cool.

19. Effective speech

A salesman should be a good conversationalist. Ability to speak correctly and clearly impresses the customers favourably. The sales talk should be clear, pleasant and persuasive, but not like the situations; each situation may have to be treated in a special manner. The salesman should have a good command over English and other languages, sweet voice, clear pronunciation, fluent expressions, etc.

20. Honesty

The salesman should be extremely and thoroughly honest. An honest salesman is liked by every customer. While dealing with a customer, the salesman must be true and frank about the products he wants to sell. He should not misrepresent or exaggerate facts. If a salesman cheats a customer, that customer is lost forever.

21. Integrity

Integrity of a salesman is an important trait in his character. Integrity means uprightness of character, moral soundness, good behavior, honesty, fulfillment of promises, and strength of character. A salesman who does not have integrity of character will not be in a position to create good impression upon his employer, fellow salesman and customers.

22. Loyalty

Loyalty means willingness of obey. Loyalty of a salesman can be classified into four groups :(i) loyalty to the organization, (ii) loyalty to the customers, (iii) loyalty to the fellow-workers.

23. Reliability

A salesman should be trustworthy and reliable. He should take his work seriously and with responsibility. He should not give exaggerated promises. He must be truthful in his statements and honest in his dealings. If a salesman is reliable, customers will have no fear of being cheated while purchasing goods from him.

24. Industriousness

It refers to the ability to work hard to achieve a goal. Unless a salesman works hard, it is very difficult for him to acquire the detailed knowledge of the customers and product. Absent a result he cannot achieve his targeted sales. The salesman, therefore, must remain active both mentally and physically. Dullness should be avoided.

25. Courage

It refers to moral strength of a person. Sometimes a salesman may commit mistakes and make false promises, which may lead to an unpleasant atmosphere. But a good salesman must have enough courage to face such situations boldly. He should be daring enough to take risk and should be firm in his decisions.

26. Sincerity

Sincerity is another good quality of a successful salesman. A sincere salesman attends his customers sincerely and explains them all the merits and demerits of the product. He also attends to the customers promptly. A sincere salesman does not face any difficulty to achieve his target.

27. Maturity

Maturity refers to balance of mind. A salesman should be matured. He should accept gracefully both criticisms and praises. Equal weight age should be given to both for and against. Maturity compels a salesman to think before he takes any action.

28. Determination

Determination is nothing but will to succeed and go ahead. Patience and perseverance are the ingredients of strong determination towards his duties and responsibilities. At times he may face resistance from the customers but it should not distract him from his original aims. He should work patiently and calmly to achieve the predetermined target.