If you're thinking about starting a career in sales, there are certain qualities that map to success. Maybe you're good with people and have a charismatic personality. Perhaps you love the thrill of being successful and achieving your goals. Whatever the case, a Harvard Business Review study indicates 70 percent successful salespeople possess natural sales instincts. Essentially, a majority of salespeople are born with abilities that allow them to thrive in their field.
Perhaps you were born to be a salesperson. While you might be unfamiliar with how to close sales and various selling techniques, you can learn these skills. Instead, here are the top three traits that signify you may be a natural, even before any formal training or knowledge:
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1. Ambition and a drive to succeed
While these traits are essential for most careers, sales is a particularly fast-paced, high-impact field. You must have an innate drive to succeed if you want to win over your clients and excel in your department. Whether you plan to work at a small, mid-sized or large organization, you need enough tenacity and ambition to tackle difficult clients and overcome challenges with ease.
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For example, should your newest client become suddenly unsure about their proposed strategy, this drive will allow you to refocus or redirect their plan swiftly to avoid having them grow dissatisfied or cancel. As Entrepreneur explained, you must become familiar with hearing the word "no," or encountering difficulties, without letting this negativity impede you from landing crucial sales. Persistence is key.
2. Strong social skills
If you are going into sales, don't feel like you have to be an extrovert. Many traditionally introverted individuals make excellent salespeople if they possess acute social skills, such as being personable and a strong listener. You also must be adaptable to any client that may come your way. While you may be able to speak casually with certain clients, you must be perceptive enough to adapt your speech, mannerisms and general sales attitude to other clients who require a more formal approach. If you are a keen observer of people and know how to appeal to their wants and needs, these traits will certainly help you succeed in sales.
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3. Ability to learn and grow quickly
Sales is more than just ambition and being able to effectively interact with people. You must also be able to learn and grow quickly before and after you get the job. A large component of being able to grow quickly is being a dedicated problem-solver. Instead of looking at a challenge and giving up when it seems impossible, great salespeople look at the situation from a different perspective, alter their approach, and tackle the issue in a new and innovative way.
Sales is both an art and science—you must rely on both your instincts (natural traits and abilities) and knowledge base (sales-specific skills) to thrive. If you haven't had previous experience in sales, you might not fully be aware of various selling techniques, inbound and outbound sales best practices, or how to use tools like Salesforce effectively.
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Unlike ambition or adaptability, you can acquire these basic sales practices with some ease. This ability to learn and expand your knowledge base will help you gain various skills quickly and help you succeed in your career. While you will need to know all the ins-and-outs of the sales funnel, if you are a natural salesperson, the process of acquiring these skills should be fun and exciting. Simply remember to be confident, foster meaningful client relationships and crack a joke or two to build rapport and feel comfortable and successful in your chosen career.