Sales strategy

The 3 most important qualities for a successful career in sales

What were the 3 qualities that made me successful in Sales? And what can I recommend to young Sales starters, who want to earn a lot of money?

It has now been almost 15 years since I started working in Sales. Now that I look back on the past few years, a lot has happened. There were many beautiful moments, but also many disappointments. Recently I have therefore increasingly asked myself the following question: “What were the 3 most important characteristics, which made me successful in Sales in a very competitive industry? And what can I recommend to young starters who are considering starting a career in sales ”? And that is exactly what I am going to answer for you in this article!

1. Reliability

In my opinion, the most important characteristic is and remains your personal reliability. Simply and briefly summarized: keeping agreements, keeping promises, being honest and credible. And don’t lie and cheat.

I am convinced that if you do not do this right, it will work against you and sooner or later will be bad for your “sales karma”. Because of your unreliability, your momentum will disappear and never come back.

Customers greatly appreciate it if they know they can trust you and can count on you. And you fulfill your agreements. And you are there for them, in difficult times or when they themselves are under pressure.

My advice to young starters in a sales career: “Don’t be tempted by non-ethical and cross-border behavior and stay reliable”. In the end, all the good things about Sales, such as success, recognition, winning and money, will always come to you.

Stay reliable and remain an honest, sincere partner for your customers. And you will always be successful. Trust me, I know for sure!

2. Speed

In my opinion, very close to reliability comes Speed on the 2nd place. And maybe we should mention speed in 1 sentence with the other important word Discipline. I’ll explain why.

In a highly competitive industry, such as data centers or telecommunications, it is extremely important that you respond faster than your competitor. And that you always stay one step ahead of the competition .
Consider, for example, the arrival of a random customer request by e-mail via the website.

I discovered that if I was the first to react and super fast with almost instant response, that I almost always managed to close and win the opportunity.


Simply by responding very quickly and having a personal conversation (preferably not by e-mail) with the customer. Not only in the first interview, but also in following up and when sending the quotation. Here too, you must continue to retain and repeat this positive experience for the customer.

It is all about subtly exceeding the expectations of the customer, because this is a very pleasant experience. Especially when the customer is under pressure to come up with results quickly. For example, to make a decision. Or to present something to management.

By always being just a little faster than your competitors, and by subtly exceeding the expectations of the customer, you score a huge amount of points. And the customer will always remember you, as that reliable, fast partner, on which he can count and so pleasantly do business with.

A personal tip from me to you: say, for example, that you will send the quote tomorrow, while you actually already know that you can do it at the end of the afternoon.

That way you can easily and quickly exceed your client’s expectations, with very small simple things. But they will be greatly appreciated and you will score points!

3. Your own unique personality!

Sales people do not always have the best image by definition!

This is mainly due to (some) annoying kitchen sales people and certain furniture sales people, who first show you a super high price. And then start spreading out of the blue with all kinds of discounts. In the end, then you still pay too much and get cheated.


Everyone has experienced this at least once. And this is really not a pleasant experience. And everyone is tired of being called and disturbed by sales people over the phone.

You must therefore do everything to ensure that you come across as human and as your unique self and personality. That is the only thing that can and will distinguish you from the rest of the crowd: your unique own self and personality! There is only 1 and that’s you!

Don’t be tempted to come across as too much as a sales person or a closer. Be sincere and always bring tangible relevant added value when you contact a customer. That is, after all, the only reason why someone is willing to put down their duties temporarily, to listen to you.

Indicate what motivated you to call. And what you can mean in concrete terms to solve a certain problem. Or to make them even more successful.

I have met many people in the past, who encourage you to learn more specific traits. And want you to change yourself as a person, so that you fit more in for their ideal picture. That is wrong and you should never cooperate! The only thing that distinguishes you from the rest is you. And your unique personality.

But do Learn certain technical relevant knowledge and useful soft skills to training and courses, but always ensure that they complement your unique personality. And that they never come at the expense of your unique personality!

I hope you found this article useful. I tried to limit it to the three most important properties. That was difficult because three is not enough and of course there is much more to it!

Do you agree with these three most important personality traits for a successful career in sales? Or would you like to replace one or more of these characteristics?

I would like to hear from you. Thank you for reading and share the article with friends or colleagues on social media.

This is an excerpt from the book “The corporate sales winners guide” by Gerrit Jan de Vries. View the ebook and the paperback version on AmazonRakuten KoboBarnes & Noble and Google Play Books.


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