Top 10 Underappreciated Qualities of Great Salespeople

April 1, 2013

Are customers really expecting salespeople to be trusted advisors? Get real. Sales executive, educator, and entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman highlights 10 underrated qualities that the best reps actually bring to the table.

Credible. Trustworthy. Consultative. These are the kinds of traits that those in sales are often asked to demonstrate. But are those the right attributes?
Does a 20+ year CIO industry veteran believe that a sales rep is truly “credible” in his or her world? Does anyone really expect a sales person (with little or no serious business understanding) to offer any meaningful insight? And be trustworthy? Are you kidding? Who trusts a salesperson? (Maybe post-sales, we can start to build trust – but that will be the subject of a later blog…)
The good news is that I’m not convinced these conventional traits matter as much as general consensus would have us believe. I think we have been told to demonstrate qualities that no one really expects of us, and our needy pursuit of them only solidifies common stereotypes of salespeople. So I’ve expanded on my Top 10 List of “Underrated Sales Qualities” to highlight some of these hidden strengths that the best of the best demonstrate.
When I observe these reps in action, I find that it’s not that they are doing things better so much as they are doing things differently. And those differences probably aren’t what you’d expect.
Remember, as strange as it sounds, revealing vulnerability often demonstrates high social value. Consider embracing some of these traits on your next sales call. I don’t know about you, but this person sounds like someone I might enjoy meeting.

Top 10 Underappreciated Qualities of Great Salespeople

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At the end of the day, people buy from people.  And they prefer to buy from people they like.  Lean into the things that make your who you are and stay authentic. Whether I am buying or hiring, I’ll take a smart, funny, curious, genuine salesperson any day.
Happy selling!

Founder & CEO

Jeff Hoffman is President at <a href="">M.J. Hoffman and Associates, LLC</a> and creator of <a href="">YourSalesMBA</a>. A renowned sales executive and entrepreneur, Hoffman has consulted with industry leaders throughout the world on the topics of sales, sales management, and sales operations.