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5 Essential Skills for a Successful Career in Sales

5 Essential Skills for a Successful Career in Sales

Career in sales offers a very promising future. While salespeople oftentimes get a bad rap, the truth is that being in sales can result in a highly lucrative career – especially for those who seem to come by it naturally. In order to do so, though, it is important to possess several key traits.

High Self Esteem

One of the primary characteristics of highly successful sales people is that of self esteem – and this trait actually comes from within an individual. One way to view self esteem is that it is the “I’m worth the effort” factor that essentially keeps great sales people learning, perfecting, and improving upon their skills.

Many of the best sales people will typically settle for nothing less than complete mastery of their profession. However, this does not mean that they are pushy or that they come off appearing “sales-like” in any way.

Rather, what those with high self esteem know is that in the world of sales, competence and expertise require constant updating of their skills and knowledge. Therefore, they continue to learn ways of improving on their techniques – even if they are already highly successful in their given field.

It is important to note that high self esteem is not often something that people are born with. It is instead a product of one’s inner voice. This voice is programmed through past experiences and positive thoughts – even in the face of challenge and adversity.


Those who are successful in the field of sales will also take 100 percent responsibility for both their successes and their failures. Because top sellers realize that they aren’t going to make every sale that they set out to make, they feel good about being responsible for their “yeses” as well as the “no’s” that they receive from potential customers.

Taking responsibility also means that top sales pros take the reins when it comes time for customer follow up, as well as service after the sale. Here, there may be times when a customer has an issue or problem with the product or service. In other instances, clients may simply have just a few questions after they have purchased. Certainly, there will also be times when a buyer may change his or her mind and decide to return the product for a refund. All of these are things that a sales professional takes responsibility for.

Hard and Disciplined Worker

Those who are super stars in sales don’t wait for business to come to them, but rather they go after it! There is no doubt about it, then, that great sales people are very hard workers. Oftentimes, these individuals will put in double or triple the amount of hours than the “average” sales representative.

Great sales people know that their chosen occupation comes with a great deal of flexibility in what they can spend their time doing. This means that they also realize that they could be spending time doing many non-sales related things or even “busy work” around the office.

Yet, to be a success in sales, it is essential to focus on the activities that will produce the most – and the best – actual results. Therefore, it is these activities that the sales greats spend their time and effort doing.


The job as a sales representative has claimed the No. 69 spot on the Best Jobs of 2013 list. In addition to being extremely hard workers, great sales people are ambitious. Ambition is defined as having a strong desire to achieve a particular goal. Yet, simply knowing how to achieve something is not enough. Therefore, successful sales pros also take the appropriate action in getting their goals accomplished.

With this in mind, these individuals also know that they will not realistically succeed each and every time – as nice as that would be. However, sales pros are confident and ambitious enough to proceed and move on to the next potential opportunity.


Great sales people must possess integrity. According to the dictionary, integrity is defined as having uprightness of character, probity, and honesty. And, it is this trait that draws potential customers to the truly great sales professionals.

Without integrity, a sales person will likely encounter many struggles. One of these struggles will oftentimes be hopping from one job to the next, but never really accomplishing anything. Conversely, those who possess this needed trait, will not only draw customers in, but will also make the job of their managers and company that much easier as well.

The Bottom Line

In reality, we are all in sales. Even if your job does not require you to offer a specific product or service to potential clients, it is still essential to “sell” yourself to potential employers, co-workers, and even a future spouse. Therefore, both sales and non-sales people alike will go far by possessing these key traits.