The Personality Traits of Top Salespeople

Over the past decade, Steve Martin has measured five main personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and negative emotionality) of 1000 salespeople to better understand the characteristics that separate them their peers.

The responses were then categorized by percentage of annual quota attainment and classified into top performers, average performers, and below average performers categories. Below, are the main key personality attributes of top salespeople and the impact of the trait on their selling style.

1. Modesty. Contrary to conventional stereotypes that successful salespeople are pushy and egotistical, 91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility. Furthermore, the results suggest that ostentatious salespeople who are full of bravado alienate far more customers than they win over.

2. Conscientiousness. Eighty-five percent of top salespeople had high levels of conscientiousness, whereby they could be described as having a strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable. These salespeople take their jobs very seriously and feel deeply responsible for the results.

3. Achievement Orientation. Eighty-four percent of the top performers tested scored very high in achievement orientation. They are fixated on achieving goals and continuously measure their performance in comparison to their goals.

4. Curiosity. Curiosity can be described as a person’s hunger for knowledge and information. Eighty-two percent of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels. Top salespeople are naturally more curious than their lesser performing counterparts.

5. Lack of Gregariousness. One of the most surprising differences between top salespeople and those ranking in the bottom one-third of performance is their level of gregariousness (preference for being with people and friendliness). Overall, top performers averaged 30 percent lower gregariousness than below average performers.

6. Lack of Discouragement. Less than 10 percent of top salespeople were classified as having high levels of discouragement and being frequently overwhelmed with sadness. Conversely, 90 percent were categorized as experiencing infrequent or only occasional sadness.

7. Lack of Self-Consciousness. Self-consciousness is the measurement of how easily someone is embarrassed. The byproduct of a high level of self-consciousness is bashfulness and inhibition. Less than five percent of top performers had high levels of self-consciousness.

via Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople – Steve W. Martin – Harvard Business Review.

5 thoughts on “The Personality Traits of Top Salespeople

  1. Hello http://pauldiepenbroek.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-personality-traits-of-top-salespeople/ admin. I came to your “The Personality Traits of Top Salespeople The Edge of the Wedge” page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I see you could have more visitors because there are not many comments on your site yet. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your rankings and traffic to your site: http://www.linklegends.com/free-trial. They managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic from search engines than you have now. I used their services and got significantly more traffic to my website. Hope this helps :) Take care. Lindsey

    Like

  2. Hello http://pauldiepenbroek.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-personality-traits-of-top-salespeople/ admin. I discovered your “The Personality Traits of Top Salespeople The Edge of the Wedge” page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the front page of search results. I see you could have more visitors because there are not many comments on your website yet. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your rankings and traffic to your site: http://www.linklegends.com/free-trial. They managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services, you could also get lot more targeted visitors from search engines than you have now. I used their services and got significantly more traffic to my website. Hope this helps :) Take care. Kim

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comment and advice, Kim. I will certainly follow-up as I am a bit disappointed with the hits on my site.

      Kind regards

      Paul

      Like

  3. Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. WordPress Seo Plugin

    Like

Comments on this article are absolutely welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s