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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Best Practices'>Best Practices</a>
Sales Strategy
Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

If you're considering a career in sales you’re likely excited by the prospect of a dynamic career path with high-earning potential. However, you might be equally nervous about the notoriously high turn-over rate... If you’re wondering whether you have what it takes to succeed, take our acid test to determine whether you have what it takes to be successful in sales.

Question One: Do People Usually Like and Trust You?

There are many (not necessarily accurate) preconceived ideas about the type of person who succeeds in sales: brash, confident and loud come to mind? While it is good to be confident, it’s far more important that you are able to get people to quickly like and trust you than whether you are super extroverted. Success in sales is all about being authentic and building relationships. Often, people find loud extroverts or over-confident personalities annoying turn-offs. So ask yourself these questions: Do I draw people into me? Do people usually trust me? Do I find it easy to build strong relationships? If the answer is no, then sales will not be the career for you.

Question Two: Are You Resilient With a Strong Work Ethic?

You have to take a lot of hits in sales. It’s not unusual to hear the word “No” nine times out of ten. Resiliency is key to being successful in sales. If handle rejection badly then this is not the career for you. You need to be ready to take rejection, learn from your mistakes and then get back to the grind. Because of this, a strong work ethic is imperative. Yes, you can earn big bucks, but you need to be prepared to work hard for it, oftentimes doing tasks like cold-calling that are difficult and hard.

Question Three: Are You a Good Listener and Do You “Get” People?

Good listening skills are vital if you want to be successful in sales. Letting your prospect lead the conversation will enable you to demonstrate your product’s value in solving their problems. Equally important is strong empathy. You need to be able to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand what will be appealing to them. In this way, a strong understanding of psychology and what makes people tick will go a long way.

Question Four: Are You Competitive and Driven?

If you don’t have a fire under you, it’s unlikely you’ll get very far in the competitive world of sales. Being the type of person who’s highly motivated and driven to achieve goals will stand you in good stead. If you’re a naturally competitive person, this will help you rise to challenges and achieve targets. A sales career is not for the light-hearted or lazy; don’t expect to get far if you don’t really want to succeed.

Question Five: Are You Assertive?

An assertive personality is another must if you are going to be successful in negotiations. Sometimes you’ll have to hold a hard line against customers who don’t like being told no. But if don’t and you’re naturally a pushover, you’ll profit margins (and your pay) will take a huge hit. Note, the question doesn’t ask if you’re aggressive. There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Being aggressive in sales is almost worse than being a pushover. An aggressive sales rep won’t build lasting relationships and will likely close bad deals that never come to fruition when unhappy customers back out.

Not all of these things come naturally to all of us but many of them can be honed and developed. If you think you pass the acid test but still need to develop your skills and competencies, consider the CPSA’s Essential Training programs which can help you achieve your potential and lead a successful career in sales.

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