Are you looking at creating a career for yourself in sales?
Sales can be a lucrative line of work, whether in a salaried position or self-employed. According to estimates, sales roles can net you well over $100,000 a year.
However, before you invest time into a sales career, it's a good idea to analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
There isn't a formula for being successful at sales. Instead, it takes a specific personality type and skill set to successfully close sales time after time.
Would you like to know what these are?
Keep reading to find out whether you're cut out for sales or whether your strengths are better suited for management.
Traits of a Successful Sales Person
Sales and managing are very different roles, and not everyone is suited to both.
Certain strengths can cause you to excel at sales, and others are the perfect recipe for management. Some of these traits overlap, so you may find that you could be successful at both these career paths.
However, in general, you'll probably find that you're either destined to be a target-slaying salesperson, or your strengths will shine in managerial roles. Once you know where you're likely to excel, you can then choose with confidence which training programs to invest time and resources into.
Here are some of the top common attributes that lead to success in sales.
You Like People And Easily Form Relationships
One of the primary tendencies that good salespeople have is they innately like people and form relationships with ease.
Pro Tip: A big part of closing a sale is the relationship you build with your prospect. If there is rapport, smooth communication, and trust, you'll have a much easier time marketing products to a lead.
On the other hand, if you don't have a flowing relationship with your prospect, this poses a big stumbling block in the buyer journey.
You're a Good Listener
If you're wondering if you should choose a career in sales, take a moment to ask yourself if you're a good listener.
If not, sales might not be for you. Good listening skills are essential for salespeople, as without them, you're unlikely to be able to address your clients' and leads' needs.
What's more, people will be able to pick up that you're not listening, and this will erode their trust. It will also make them feel like you're hard-selling without taking their requirements into account.
Perseverance Is Your Middle Name
As a salesperson, one of the words you're going to hear a lot is "no."
You can't let rejections discourage you or throw you off track. You need to have thick skin and a bucket load of confidence.
However, take note, this doesn't mean you should steamroll prospects and harass or hard-sell them into a sale.
Pro Tip: Instead, persistently hunt for solutions and innovations. Pair persistence with kindness and a genuine desire to help, and you'll have a recipe for success.
You Have an Affinity for Social Media
As a manager, an affinity for social media is not likely to make or break your career.
However, when it comes to sales, social media can be a pivotal part of your sales funnel. This is especially so if you are self-employed.
Self-employed sales agents need to generate all their own leads and prospects.
Social selling is becoming a powerhouse marketing method, one that you don't want to miss out on as a salesperson.
If you already have a feel for how social media works, what sparks engagement, and how to tap into people's attention, this skill is likely to be a money earner for you in sales.
Are you self motivated? If so, this characteristic is one that will take you far in sales.
Whether you're looking at getting into selling life insurance, medicare, or footbaths, self-motivation will be the factor that keeps you on a trajectory of success.
If you talk to any successful salesperson, you'll probably find that they're self-driven. While others are happy if they just make their sales targets, highly motivated salespeople aim high and regularly outsell their peers.
To put it colloquially, successful salespeople are hustlers at heart.
Lifelong Learning Is Your Thing
Marketing and sales is an evolving field, and salespeople who don't keep up with changes in customer behavior won't see the success of those who do.
If you are a lifelong learner who thrives on finding out new ways to optimize your pitches and sell to your leads—this will show in your sales numbers.
Storytelling Comes Easily to You
Storytelling? What does this have to do with sales? A lot!
As humans, we are wired to respond to stories. Stories evoke an emotional response, and research shows that emotion is what drives 95% of purchase decisions.
So, think about your ability to tell stories. Do you regularly have the table hooked on a simple story about something that happened to you during the day? If so, this is a sign of a storyteller.
Storytellers can take the mundane and relate it in a way that makes people feel something.
Do the same thing with your leads, their needs, and your offering, and you'll watch those sales numbers climb.
Are you diligent and conscientious? If the answer's yes, you're in luck because this is another vital criteria for sales success.
The stereotypical image of a salesperson is often the charismatic people's person, not the organized admin fiend.
However, being organized, conscientious, and industrious is a major component of working in sales.
Pro Tip: According to statistics, salespeople only spend 30% of their day interacting with prospects. The other 70% is devoted to writing emails, data entry, prospecting, and research.
All of these tasks are highly important in sales. If your data is inaccurate, you don't find new prospects, or you're unfamiliar with your products—this will show in your sales metrics.
Traits of a Successful Manager
Now that we've covered the tendencies that can make one successful at sales let's take a look at what qualities great managers share.
Once you know what these are, you can compare them against your strengths and weaknesses so you can find the right career for your personality.
You're Great at Resolving Conflict
Are you the one who calms ruffled feathers when there's a dispute, makes things alright, and gets everyone to see eye-to-eye again? This is a quality that excellent managers share.
Teamwork is impossible if team members are at odds. However, some level of conflict is inevitable in almost all teams.
If you diffuse tension, help people work through their differences, and honor conflicting perspectives, this will go a long way to enhancing the effectiveness of your team.
The results? Happy employees and projects that get knocked out of the park.
You Inspire People to Get Involved
A common trait among top-performing managers is the ability to inspire peoples' involvement.
If you can get groups of people to invest in an idea and feel like they're a part of something bigger, you'll excel at management.
Teams that are inspired, fully involved, and working towards a common goal have a much higher likelihood of effective outcomes than those which are just going through the motions.
You Bring Out the Best in People
We all have good and bad sides. High-performing managers are able to bring out the best in those working under them.
Instead of Susan being snide and Larry being lazy, with the right manager, Susan might write witty marketing copy. Larry might be the one who keeps everyone calm and on track in the face of looming deadlines.
Pro Tip: Tapping into the best in others is a valuable quality and one which will provide the magic sauce to make your team outperform the floor.
You're Hard to Manipulate
Although it's important for managers to have compassion for their team members, strong managers aren't swayed by manipulative tactics.
In other words, effective managers aren't pushovers. Managers who are easily manipulated quickly lose the respect of their teams and departments. With that, they can lose the ability to hold authority.
Capitalize on Your Strengths and Weaknesses
As you can see, it takes a variety of skills and strengths to stand out as a manager or salesperson. Both of these paths require you to have good people skills. However, where managing is focused on attaining people's co-operation, sales requires you to build trust.
Now that you know what it takes to be a good manager or successful at sales, which career path do you think is best suited to your personality? Do your strengths and weaknesses align better with sales or management?
Are you leaning towards sales but not sure where to start? If so, you're in the perfect place. Here at TR King, we specialize in supplying high-level contracts with the nation's leading insurance providers.
Ready to get started? Get contracted now via our easy application process.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via live chat, a phone call, or an appointment.