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Top entrepreneurial qualities that sales people should employ (Or, Top sales skills that entrepreneurs should employ)


You may be aware that I advocate the motto “everybody lives by selling something”. Whether you’re in sales or not you’re selling something of value, your services, skills, ideas or advice.

Therefore, in sales, you don’t need to look far to get inspiration and tips for selling.

If you see there is an industry or individual that is doing something great and becoming successful have a closer look at what they’re actually doing. Take a look at what they’re “selling” and how they’re doing this.

I’ve found quite a few entrepreneurs who possess qualities that sales people should implement into their sales processes.

Entrepreneurs combine sales and business in a unique way and have the responsibility of looking after every aspect of their business and a large part of business is about sales.

Entrepreneurs are selling their business idea on many levels. They need to prove whether their business concept will make ROI to potential investors, or if it will sell well to its target market. They’re also putting themselves on the line and selling who they are.

They’re the founders and need to show that they’re competent and resilient. Being an entrepreneur is a tough gig and people will look to the entrepreneur for reassurance that they can pull off what they set out to do.

Entrepreneurs are sales people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. They have come up with what they believe to be a revolutionary business concept and all eyes are on them to see if it sinks or swims.

Whereas salespeople can be seen to be “representatives” of a product or a service, an entrepreneur is looked at “as the business”.

The following are top qualities that successful entrepreneurs possess and what sales people should also demonstrate.

Calculated risk takers

Entrepreneurs may seem as though they’re taking a gamble. In fact, they’re just not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and take part in self testing.

They take calculated risks, evaluate outcomes and calculate their next move from there.

As sales people we should be trialling different options and gauge the interest and suitability of these options with our clients. This is how new products or services emerge.

Strive for success

Entrepreneurs have the need to strive for achievement, affiliation and influence.

Although you need to be careful that these attributes don’t become narcissistic qualities, a healthy amount of these characteristics, particularly the need for achievement, will see you as a sales person aim higher and achieve higher.


Unlike “old fashioned” social questioning where a client is asked about his or her personal life which ultimately comes across as fake (particularly if it’s a first time encounter), entrepreneurs engage in opportunity questioning.

They ask questions with the aim of securing opportunities and use these opportunities to help grow their ideas.

As sales people we should always be asking questions to see what opportunities are available as to how we can genuinely meet our clients and customers needs.

We can all learn a lot about sales skills and qualities from looking at other successful industries and professions.

The ability to effectively sell involves combining various attributes and processes.

Long gone are the days where the “smooth talking” business person will get you anywhere. Today, it’s all about strategy, genuine understanding of others needs and the ability to see opportunities when they come along.

To help you be on the front foot next year with the expected volatile economic conditions check out the Annual Barrett 12 Sales Trends Report and see what’s in store for your business in 2012.

Sue Barrett a business speaker and adviser, facilitator, sales coach, training provider and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting, support system where you can get access to sales assessments, sales consulting, sales coaching and sales training programs including planning, prospecting, selling skills, account management, emotional resilience and more. Visit www.barrett.com.au