What makes a great salesperson?

I have been doing sales since I was 12 so it safe to say that sales has been my whole life, I have over 17 years of experience in sales so far everything from selling door to door Verizon Fios when I was in college to Software sales selling to financial services, big pharma, Fortune 1000, local businesses…the list goes on.

I am very active in the sales forums and regularly participate in these types of discussions and consume my fair share of sales podcasts and webinars/books.

I think there are 5 main traits that amazing sales people have. Let me know if you guys agree or disagree with me.

1.Being a great active listener. Great sales people can read in between the lines and really be able to figure out the pain points without people having to say it outright.

2.Being a challenger- or getting people to think differently than what they are currently doing. Salespeople ask questions that really dig deep to see what they currently like about their current solution, what they can do better, what type of a relationship they have so when things aren’t going well, you would be the first person they call.

The challenger really is not afraid to ask the hard questions, how much are you currently spending on your current provider? How much longer until the contract is over? Who the decision makers on this process? What challenges do you foresee? What did you find valuable about our presentation or discovery call? What are your objections? What concerns do you have?

Are all of your concerns addressed? Who else would have to sign off on this? When do you ideally want to be fully up and running/implemented by? What does your technology roadmap look like and how can we fit in? What is your budget? Do you have any wiggle room on that?

What are the drivers? What other departments have to get involved? You get it the list goes on.

3.Having a great deal of self-awareness- knowing your strengths and leveraging resources/partners, technical resources to be able to help you with the things you do not know. (offsetting your weaknesses)

For instance, in a highly technical sale being able to leverage the sales engineers and management team depending on how large of a deal it is if you are not sure how to approach a new situation. Being resourceful is such a valuable and underrated skill.

In today’s world, if you think about it, you can literally google anything so the technical knowledge does not apply as much as just being able to leverage your connections and network to help you out can mean a lot in 2017. The relationships are more important than what you know. Of course, having a great growth mindset is extremely important but knowing how to leverage people such as what Dale Carnegie alway says is even more valuable.

Especially if you are a giver and you are always adding value to everyone’s lives you touch, people will never hesitate to help you out.

  1. Getting feedback and implementing it. You can always become better at something, all of the amazing sales people I know are great at being able to have others critique their style and sales techniques and still be original but at the same time tweak things and be super adaptable.


Being able to roll with the punches is really important. Things come up and if you are not able to think quickly on your feet. Change is evitable. There are changes everwhere and if you are reluctant to change you are going to be left in the dust. That’s why you always have to stay on top of trends and skillsets because what might be relevant one day is going to change a month later.


  1. Preparing and really doing your due diligence. Preparation is so important, really figuring out who the key players and knowing the ins and outs of your prospect’s business. Understanding their business model and how you software or service can impact the business’s key performance indicators. If there is no driver, there is no point in even meeting with them.


That is why you have to be able to get all of the questions figured out so that you are not wasting each other’s times. This takes time and patience. Because trust takes time and so does building a relationship. Truly understanding a person’s needs really takes all of the skills mentioned above combined to add value and be able to create a driver big enough for change.



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Davidson Hang is currently in Sales at Cheetah Digital which is a Marketing technology company located in NYC.

Davidson is an avid networker, personal growth- life and business coach.

He loves spreading the love and regularly helps people create and design the life they want for themselves.


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