I have spent the past 15 plus years of my professional life in a sales role. I have been everything from a sales rep, sales trainer, sales leader, sales manager, to you name it sales. Put a title on it, call it what you want I have been a salesperson. From my years of studying the traits of successful people, I have developed this list of my 10 that I believe salespeople should know about and strive to acquire.

Many of the things that make you a great salesperson, also make you great in life. I think you will find as you go through these traits of successful people that not only will they help you improve as a salesperson, but they will improve all areas of your life. As you go through this list of traits, think of where you stand with each one currently. Ask yourself if you really believe you have the trait or do you need to work on yourself in that area some more?

Some of these traits are harder than others to acquire, and some people take quite some time to develop them. I know myself I am still working on mastering many of these. However, the more these traits of successful people become who you are, the more you will get out of your life!

 

Trait #1 – Successful People Have Positive Attitudes

Is there really any debate about whether a positive attitude makes a difference? We all know that it does. Every single successful person I have ever studied says the same thing, attitude is where it all starts. You can have all the natural talent in the world, but if your attitude stinks you’re never going to reach your potential. I have seen this in my own life, the more positive my attitude is the more my happiness and success I have in life. I believe that we are designed to do all kinds of amazing things if we just have the right attitude.

The thoughts we create eventually become our reality, so what we think about is very important. Successful salespeople picture themselves closing the deal, they expect a positive outcome, therefore, more often than not they succeed. It is not easy to get to this level of thinking and having this kind of effect on things. It requires you to take certain action over a period of time.

Sometimes when you have a negative attitude, you may not even realize it. It can be very hard for someone with a negative attitude to turn it around, but I have been there myself so I believe I can help. When you’re done reading this go read my 7 Easy Positive Mental Attitude Tips To Help You Succeed In Sales for advice and some great tips to help with this. I also did a Video Series!

 

Trait #2 – Successful People Believe In Themselves

This is found throughout history, all successful people have belief in themselves and what they are trying to accomplish. It is this conviction and total commitment that allows them to accomplish great things. Think about all the amazing things mankind has accomplished because someone believed it could be done. Successful people believe in themselves even when no-one else does. This allows them to always be in the fight and have a chance. Against all odds, they are capable of success because they believe.

Great salespeople believe in themselves, and if you want to become great you will need to believe in you. There will be times in your sales career that you will have challenges. In these times great salespeople keep pushing forward believing a new season will come soon, and so it does. Believe in yourself over the course of your career, never count yourself out, stay committed! This will make you very successful in sales!

 

Trait #3 – Successful People Are Dreamers

That’s right, the most successful people are also some of the biggest dreamers. They have dreamt up some of the biggest dreams ever, and they accomplished them. Just think about automobiles, airplanes, telephones, computers, sports records, sales records, etc. All of these things were accomplished by people who were dreamers first before making their dreams a reality. As salespeople we need to be dreamers, we need to think big. This is how great things are accomplished. It’s how people reach their potential and make a difference in the lives of others. Don’t be afraid to dream big for your sales career, dreams can be made a reality!

 

Trait #4 – Successful People Set Goals To Reach Dreams

Being a dreamer is a great thing, and it’s important in order to achieve massive levels of success. You need to be able to envision success great success first, then go out and make it happen. This is where goals setting becomes important, and why all successful people do it. Regardless of what it is you want to accomplish in your life, goals will help you get there. Everyone has their own way of setting goals, and many of them are very good ways. You need to find a system that works for you, but at a minimum, you should have short, medium, and long-term goals.

One thing I like to do is write my goals down in the morning and before bed at night. This just seems to really work well to focus my subconscious mind on what it is I want to accomplish. I tend to find myself doing things that bring me closer to my goals naturally when I follow this routine.

 

Trait #5 – Successful People Take Massive Action 

When it comes to successful people one thing is for certain from my research, they take action and in massive amounts. Successful people look to accomplish their goals in the shortest timeframe possible. By taking massive amounts of action opposed to the average amounts of most, they are able to achieve this. Successful people aren’t busy just to be busy, they are focused on taking specific actions that will achieve their desired results.

Have you read Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule on this idea of massive action? If you haven’t read the book I highly recommend it. The book made a big impact on my thinking, and my sales career.  You can read my review in my popular post How To Change Your Way Of Thinking, To Reach Your Potential In Sales. So be sure to take massive action, 10X your goals and your life!

 

Trait #6 – Successful People Take Massive Responsibility

One of the traits I have admired most over the years while learning about successful people is the massive level of responsibility they take in their life. The super successful take control of their lives. Successful people never blame anyone else for their failures. They never make excuses, they instead focus all their energy on what needs to be done next to succeed. Successful people are admired because of this. In sales, it’s important that you take responsibility for your sales career and your performance. You must take control of the selling, the buying, the financing, the entire process. You may not think you have any influence, but the more you begin to take responsibility for things the more influence you’ll have on them!

 

Trait #7 – Successful People Are Always Learning

It’s no big surprise, successful people have always been committed to learning throughout their life. They don’t see learning as something you just do in school. Successful people are lifelong students, craving new information. They say it takes somewhere around 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. Therefore the professional salesperson who wants to become an expert at selling needs to be a constant student over his or her career. However, even if you put in 10,000 hours of practice and study but you practice the wrong thing, what have you accomplished? It is critical to get quality information and training. There are so many different ways to learn nowadays, and successful people will use them all.

The most successful CEO’s and Entrepreneurs read about one book a week. However, the average person struggles to read a book a year. If reading isn’t your thing video has been found to be one of the best sources for learning. I have used all types of learning methods, and audio has always been a good one as well. With so many options for you nowadays all you have to do is find one that works best for your learning style. If you want to be successful in sales though you need to continue learning and improving your skills!

 

Trait #8 – Successful People Are Grateful People

One of the best traits of successful people is gratefulness. Successful people tend to be very grateful people, which in turn usually ends up getting them more to be grateful for in life. No-one, especially God, likes someone who is prideful and fails to show gratefulness for the blessings they have received, and we all have things to be grateful for. The most successful people show gratitude and remain humble, fools are prideful. In sales, you must always be grateful for each and every opportunity you get to help a customer with your product or service. You must be grateful for every challenge, every call, every email, everything!

 

Trait #9 – Successful People Learn From Their Failures

One thing that is true of all of us is that along the road in life, no matter how hard we work, we will have failures in our life. Successful people have their share of failures, often times more than people realize. The ability to learn from failures and not repeat them, to come back next time better prepared and smarter than before ready to succeed, is a trait of the successful. In reality, the person who refuses to quit can never truly fail. In sales you will have plenty of failures, you will likely fail often. Having the mindset that you want to learn from each of these failures, turns the negative into a positive. Remember it’s like the great Zig Ziglar used to say, “Failure is an Event, not a Person!”

 

Trait #10 – Successful People Are Givers, Not Takers

Personally, I focus on this in my life. I try to make things better than I found them, or at least that’s the mindset. If I meet someone for the first time I want them to walk away feeling better about themselves because they met me. Successful people are generous with their resources such as time and money. Most of all successful people look to bring huge value to everything they are a part of. They have a genuine interest in helping others. Being a giver in your sales career will turn you into a sales machine, as long as you’re giving the right things. If you’re giving a great attitude, willingness to serve, attention, time, etc. then you will experience great success in sales. Be a giver, bring more value to what you do than anyone else does, focus on giving first and having a mindset of service, and I promise you will be a sales success!

 

Wrapping it all up!

What would you add to the list that I may have missed? I would love to hear your opinion in the comments below! Did you like this blog? Are you new to sales? I want to connect with you! Subscribe to the New to Sales Success Tips delivered to your inbox every Monday morning at 6 AM.


32 Comments

Cassia · March 25, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Thank you for this very helpful post. I really like your point on gratitude as well as the one pertaining to giving. When one is grateful, what seems to be difficult becomes easy. It helps you focus on what you have (instead of focusing on what you don’t) and you learn to make the most of it. When you are others-centered, instead of self-absorbed, you think more of giving instead of taking. You become more attuned to the needs of your market. You get to help and serve them genuinely.

    Scott · March 26, 2017 at 8:55 am

    That’s exactly right, Cassia! Others centered instead of self centered can create a successful career in sales, but is really a great way to live life! I’m glad you found this to be helpful, please be sure to Share and check back often!

Rob S. · March 25, 2017 at 5:24 pm

While I’ve never been a salesman, I guess we all are sales people. I couldn’t agree more about being positive and happy. You can’t succeed with a frown and negativity. Dreams don’t come true without goals and action.
I totally believe in learning. Knowledge is power. Become an expert at everything you do and you’ll close the sale. I’m a big take action type of person because without that nothing else will bring you success.

    Scott · March 26, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Knowledge is power, therefore what you don’t know holds great power over you. That’s why I try to be a constant student as it sounds like you do as well, Rob. Do you think there are any traits to successful people that I may have missed that you would like to add?

Veronica · March 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Greetings,

INCREDIBLE!!! Your 15 years in sales is quite evident, Scott.

I agree with everyhing your list; I can honestly say I need improvement on each and every area. I think attitude is one of the most challenging: outwardly, I’m very social, have a great outlook on life and look for ways to improve different areas of my life. But it’s my thinking that could use a tuneup. There’s something I heard once, “What you think about, you bring about.” It really is something that you have to take deliberate steps to change.

You give each element so much detail; this is definitely a list I could easily go back to regularly to see what areas need improvement.

    Scott · March 26, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Awesome, Veronica! Thank you very much for your feedback. You are absolutely right and that’s an excellent point, you absolutely create a life based on the thoughts you dwell on consistently. If I focus on positive outcomes, experiences, people, etc. then more positive is brought into my life. Same is true for a negative person. If you ever need attitude help check out my post 7 Easy Positive Mental Attitude Tips To Help You Succeed In Sales! I cover 7 great tips that will help regardless if you’re in sales or not. Thanks again and check back often!

Kenny · March 25, 2017 at 2:33 pm

I love how you broke down all the traits of successful people. As I was reading it, I was thinking about myself and I have been trying to change myself for the better lately and I would say I have quite a bit of those traits now.
I do really like trait number 8, being grateful. I think that is going to become more and more of an issue with time. I am seeing more and more ungrateful people everywhere and they are teaching their kids to be the same way…
Thanks for the list of traits, really cool stuff!

    Scott · March 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    You are very welcome, Kenny! So true, we need to teach kids how to be grateful and kind. Do you have any traits you would add to the list?

Scott · March 12, 2017 at 11:17 am

Start with sitting down and giving thought to your potential Sharon!

Then set big goals from there, but give it thought and understand your WHY!

Sharon Whyte · March 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Hi Scott,
These are all so true to be successful and I like to think I have a number of them. I lacked consistentcy towards what I want but in saying that, I dont have clear big goals so I truly falter there. This is a great reminder Scott, Really good article.
Cheers Sharon

Matt · February 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Hi, I think that you have some great information here. I’m not a sales person, but I am a working professional and have seen many types of successful people over the years.

I agree with all 10 of the traits you listed. Folks should take a moment and think about whether or not they meet the traits listed here.

    Scott · February 18, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for visiting the site, Matt. Also, thank you for your comment. I agree, we all need to reflect and make sure we hold ourselves accountable to our potential. We need to do our best every day! I hope you check back often!

ches · February 7, 2017 at 8:22 am

I agree with all 10 of your best traits to have to be successful. I think, though, that some are more important than others.
For example, your last trait, No 10. Giving back should be No 1 and I can see by your comment that you agree. If you are successful you have a moral commitment to share your good fortune. It only makes success more pleasurable when others benefit because of your endeavours.
My No 2 trait would be having the right attitude. It is so difficult to bond or work with someone who has a bad attitude.
If I added another trait, I think it would be that successful people look after themselves by eating right, exercising and keeping healthy. If they don’t they won’t be successful for long. Great post! Ches

    Scott · February 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Wow, great feedback Ches. Thank you for your thoughts! 🙂

Fadhil · January 13, 2017 at 8:37 am

Hi,

I really like to read about the traits of successful people. It does not matter how many times I read, it will always give me the inspiration to make myself better.

I really like the way you elaborate each of the traits in your article. It makes me easy to understand all the main points of what should I do to improve myself.

I’m looking forward to your next article in the hope of finding inspiration from your website.

    Scott · January 13, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Thank you very much for the positive feedback!

    I agree, I can never read about successful people or what makes people successful enough. I have spent the last 15 years of my life studying successful people and what they do. The biggest things I have come to realize is that if you apply the things successful people do to your own life, you will have greater success. I have also learned that successful people become succeessful doing things anyone can do if they were commited to their success.

    I will be bringing lots of new content especially on the subject of how to have more success life. Is there a specific topic you would like to see covered on that subject?

    Thanks again!

Anke · January 11, 2017 at 1:18 am

Hi there Scott, I like your article about the traits successful people have.; some great food for thoughts in there and certainly room for discussion. I would agree with most of them. I don’t like the term obsession so much, though. I probably would replace it with passion and be having a clear focus on what they want to achieve.
It’s about keeping the balance. It’s no use of concentrating only on your business, for instance, and neglecting your family, etc.
Successful people don’t fear failure. They look at it as a learning curve, brush it off, learn from it and do it better the next time.
Thanks for your post from Anke

    Scott · January 11, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Thank you for your feedback, Anke!

    I agree with you, passion is absolutely a trait you would find in successful people. I use the term “Obsessed” because i see it as passion magnified! I also think that truly successful people are able to create success in all areas of their lives. They believe it is their ethical duty to live up to their potential!

Vlad · January 9, 2017 at 6:05 am

Funny how certain patterns of behavior and habits predict success much better than circumstances and prior successes and failures.

You are correct of course, all of these are great qualities to have, more so in successful people.
They are much harder to actually develop and apply, any advice for that?

Cheers, Vlad!

    Scott · January 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for the feedback, Vlad.

    My advice would be start with writing down your goals everyday. Write them down as soon as you wake up and before you go to bed at night. Spend some time thinking about what it is you want to accomplish with your life, who you want to be, what you stand for, how you want to be remembered when you’re gone( legacy), and how you want to make an impact on the world. These things will change and evolve as you grow and accomplish certain goals in life but paint a picture for what you want now. The act of writing them down and staying focused on them has a tremendous life changing impact. It’s not new advice but it’s often ignored by those who never seem to accomplish much and used by those who do. It’s no secret that writing down your goals is powerful. I would also recommend when you write down your goals to write them down as if they are already accomplished. Example of this could be something like, “I have a thriving online business that allows me to work from home and make a great income.” If this was a goal for you this would be a great way to write it down each day. Give it a try for a while so it become habit, and I bet you will start to see positive changes in your life!

    Be great, nothing else pays my friend!

Gabriela · January 6, 2017 at 12:14 am

Love this! It gives me motivation to read about success things. The reading one is especially important to me. Not because I read a lot but because I want to read a lot. I have a few books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten to them because of excuses I make. Do you have any tips for me to make sure I get my reading in nightly?

    Scott · January 6, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Thank you for the feedback, Gabriela!

    One thing that really worked for me and turned me into a consistent reader was setting a small daily page goal. I set a goal to read just 10 pages a day. I figured something was better than nothing, which was how much reading I used to do. I knew that even on my busiest days I could read at least 10 pages. The goal worked well to motivate me because I was able to achieve it. Most days I read way more than the 10 pages because I enjoyed the content once I got into it. Pick something you’re interested in and set a small goal to just get started. Hope that helps, let me know! 🙂

Bonto · January 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Thanks Scott for sharing on the 10 traits of successful people. Successful people are indeed obsessed with what they do. without passion and zeal no one can be successful in life. Successful people also have a great attitude. Attitude determines altitude. Successful people take responsibility they do not play the blame game. They are givers. The world is sick and tired of takers.. Its only givers that make the world a better place today..

Thanks so much for sharing.

    Scott · January 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you for your feedback, Bonto. That is very true what you said, givers do make the world a better place!

Martina · January 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Really liking some of these points in your list and I would definitely agree with most of them. Successful people definitely have something that separates them – that allows them to achieve goals that they set rather than simply giving up. I would stress that not giving up and having that drive that you talk about is definitely key. I would also say that something that really sets successful people apart is that they THINK. Most people want everything handed to them – they need to be told what to do, when to do it and generally don’t use their brains at all. Critical and independent thinking is crucial for success. I would probably disagree with your reading point just because I think it’s too general. Lots of people read books – and some read a lot of books – I think a better way of saying it is that successful people gather massive information (videos, blogs, articles – not necessarily books I mean books could be fiction! which isn’t too helpful)
Just my thoughts 🙂

    Scott · January 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Wow, great feedback Martina! I totally agree with you, successful people definitely gather massive amounts of information through all sources available… I watch a ton of video myself 🙂

Norman · January 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

These are all great reasons of a successful person, in order for anyone to have success they must have each of these things that you have listed in their lives. But all of this can only work by training or retraining the mind and have discipline. If you can do this then you are on your way to success. I am sure that your viewers will find these ten traits most helpful in helping them to find success.

    Scott · January 5, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Absolutely, Norman. Training is so very important to success. The most successful in ANY industry constantly look for ways to get better, but they remember to keep the saw sharp. In sales this is so very important to a person success. You need constant training and sharpening of skills. You can’t afford to lose your edge, the world we live in is too competitive. I really appreciate the feedback!

Blame · January 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

To be a successful person, you will have to have a positive outlook for the future and constantly keep yourself motivated with any method possible. This is why being obsessed is very important, because the mind is focused and no failure is imaginable. Those ideas are great for many people who tend to give up too easily. I also like the idea of giving back. When we are successful, it’s because the environment we are in allowed us to do so. When we are more than capable, we should give some back to the environment. Nice ideas. Thank you.

    Scott · January 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you for the comment, Blame. I am curious, which of these traits do you identify with the most yourself?

Ilias · January 3, 2017 at 12:09 am

Hi Scott,
Nice list, I agree with them but I am sure that I do not have most of these traits. I am a man hungry for success and I work hard every day. I may get the rest of the traits while becoming better. If I could add one on the list then I would say that the successful people usually do what they love.

    Scott · January 3, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Hi Ilias,
    Thank you! They say it’s not reaching your goal that changes you and makes you better, but the work you put into reaching your goal along the way. I know for me the hungrier I am for something, the harder I work, the more I take on the positive traits of the successful! I would agree with you, I think that those who find massive success have a passion, and love what they do. Thank you for you comment!

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