The Top 5 Traits of Retail Rainmakers

What to look for when hiring your next salesperson

The Top 5 Traits of Incredibly Successful Salespeople

What to look for when hiring your next salesperson

It goes without saying that your most successful salespeople are the people who close all the deals; they make all the money, and they make it look easy!

We’re often asked to define what a top salesperson looks like and what makes them special. So read on to discover the 5 traits that we’ve found make the most successful salespeople.

Knowing what makes a top salesperson tick is an important part of providing an amazing customer experience for your shoppers, but it also helps you increase sales.

Every retail team needs an incredibly successful salesperson, and here’s how you can learn to spot one from a mile away.

Successful Salespeople Are:


They’re not afraid to tackle big challenges and set bigger goals.


They’re know how to listen more than they speak!


They know what it takes to get the job done!

1. They Dream Big

Successful salespeople aren’t afraid to set big goals. They’ll reach their target, no sweat! What they get the most satisfaction out of is setting their own target (above their KPI) and beating it.

You’ll notice that the best sales people in your team don’t see sales targets as something to strive for…it’s their baseline.

They’re able to do this because they’re SMART about goal setting.

They set goals that are:

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Action-oriented,
  • Relevant, and
  • Time-bound.
The Definition of a Smart Goal

Did you know that less than 20% of the population commit their goals to writing and only 20% of those people set out to review their goals regularly?

Goal setting can be a daunting task for a lot of people, but top salespeople know that getting their goals in writing is the best weapon to have in their arsenal.

It’s also been shown that people will put in greater effort to achieve tasks that are seen as “moderately difficult” while the lowest levels of effort are shown when the task is considered “very easy”.

Because they dream big, and their goals have a higher level of difficulty, the effort put in by your best salespeople will naturally be higher than most other staff.

2. They Listen More Than They Speak

Listening skills are important in the sales game. But, do we know just how important?

Consider the type of customers you’re likely to encounter in your store:


Intrinsic Value Customers (IVC)

These customers will know what product they’re after and how they need to use it. They already see value in the product they’re looking at, and there’s a high probability they’ve made up their mind before they enter the store.


Extrinsic Value Customers (EVC)

These customers care less about the product, but more about how they can use it to meet their needs. They believe your business is valuable if your team fully understand their needs.



On one hand, we have a relatively easy sell. The IVC encounter is more about the transaction, rather than the sell.

You don’t need to be a top salesperson to make money from these people…

On the other hand we have the EVC.

This is where your sales star will shine.

Because of their ability to listen, they’re able to ask the right questions to fully understand what their customer is looking for and match a solution to their needs.

3. They Turn Features Into Benefits

Now, it’s one thing to be able to listen to your customer and find out their needs. But, to be able to sell effectively, salespeople need to be able to convince extrinsic value customers that your solution is right for them.

By turning features into benefits, successful salespeople don’t convey information, their goal is to solve a problem.

Commonly, they’ll take a ‘Consultative Selling’ approach, giving advice to buyers, rather than selling a product or service.

Within RedSeed’s B2B Sales Training Programme, we outline the important relationship between features, advantages and benefits.

Your top salespeople understand all three and can link them together seamlessly to present a compelling solution. Check out our training video below to see how to masterfully present FAB’s.

It’s not a new approach.

In-fact this approach has been adopted by one of the most profitable companies today, Apple. “Sell more by NOT selling!” has been Apple’s sales philosophy for years.

What do they mean by that?

It’s all about solving customer’s problems, educating them, and getting them so passionate about Apple gadgets that they simply have to have one.

It seems like a new approach and one that is working for them according to the stats. More people visit Apple’s 326 stores in 3 months than visit Disney’s 4 theme parks in a year!

That’s about 60 million customers!

Apple’s annual retail sales per square foot are $4,406, higher than any other retailer on the planet.

4. They Hold Themselves Accountable

Because successful salespeople like to take complete ownership of their sales results, they like to make sure they cover all bases.

When you think about how much value a top salesperson sees in goal setting, you’ll notice that they also place great value in taking strategic steps to reach their goals.

This doesn’t just mean driving a hard bargain with customers to make the most out of them.

No, killer salespeople know that’s not a sustainable practice, so they also seek out ways to improve their sales process.

A study in 2000 found that goal-performance is highest among those who are committed to goals, while another study found that people who are involved in goal setting feel more commitment towards achieving that goal because they have claimed ownership of its achievement.

Now, the nature of our goal-setting salespeople means that they naturally tend to hold themselves more accountable than other team members.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Because performance is already high, they’re more likely to set their own (high) goals
  • Because their goals are self-assigned, successful salespeople take greater ownership of achieving them
  • Because they have ownership they’re more efficient in developing strategies for achievement
  • Because they’re more efficient they’re more likely to achieve their goals

5. They Don’t Sell…They Build Relationships

It can cost up to five times more to gain one new customer than it does to keep an existing one. This could very-well be one of the biggest reasons why top salespeople are an asset to your business.

Successful salespeople know that, over their lifetime, loyal customers spend up to 10 times more than other customers and the probability of up-selling or an add-on sale increases to 60-70%.

Relationship selling is all about building lasting relationships with customers and listening to their needs. The more trust a customer has in you, the more likely they are to give you the right information to help you provide the best solution for them.

There are little things that you’ll notice your top salespeople do that help them build strong relationships with your customers:

They Skip the 'Work Talk'

They skip the “work talk” and are more likely to show an interest in the customer’s day than the product they’re looking at

They Make it Personal

They understand the value of remembering a customer’s name, and make a point of learning the customer’s name so they can greet the customer personally next time.

They Learn Buying Behaviour

They remember their customer’s purchase history and are able to slip it seamlessly into conversation to show they care (e.g. How’s that computer working for you?)

Anya Anderson - RedSeed CEO

Anya Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of training specialist company, RedSeed, which has been built on her own personal experience working in the Learning and Development industry for over twenty-five years.

Making content relevant, and of high-quality are the most important factors for Anya when developing new programme content for large corporates, hosted on the RedSeed LMS, a proprietary learning management system developed by RedSeed out of the need for a system that was easy to use, while being flexible enough to meet the training needs of a wide variety of business types.