Are Sales People Born or Made???

Sales and marketing is an important pivot of any business or organization. After all, if an organization is unable to sell what it produces / offers, the business will come to a standstill. Which is why having the right people on your sales team is so crucial.

Opinions are divided on whether “selling” is part of the personality make-up that one is born with, or more of skill that can be learned and developed. At Psychometrica, we did extensive research before creating the Sales Skills and Personality Profiler (SSaPP), and our research and analysis shows that selling is a mixed bag, it requires the right combination of certain personality traits as well as certain skills.

Are Sales People Born or Made???

Sales Personality

So what kind of qualities does one need to have as part of one’s personality in order to be a good and effective salesman? Here are a few of the key qualities:

  • Achievement Motivation:

A seller needs to have the drive to take up challenges and the persistence to stay put despite setbacks and disappointments.

  • Interpersonal Warmth:

While ambition and drive is the fuel, in order to be a truly impactful salesman, you need to have genuine warmth and liking for people in general. If you’re someone who likes interacting with people, who is quick to smile and honestly interested in others, you’ve got that foot in the door for sure.

  • Presence of Mind:

Being able to think on your feet, and adapting your approach based on the client sitting across you is an invaluable trait to have if one has to be an effective salesman.

  • Enthusiasm and Energy:

A person with an exuberant and positive personality is naturally more likely to be heard by a prospective customer. So if you’ve got an optimistic, energetic and animated personality, the odds are in your favour.

  • Self Confidence:

So, so important, isn’t it? If you are going to quake in your shoes as you wait for your customer, and shiver at the thought of convincing him or her to buy your product, you might as well pack up and leave. Confidence communicates itself through your body language, your speech and the way you conduct yourself, and it is hard for someone to trust the word of someone who lacks in confidence himself.

Sales Skills

Along with the above mentioned personality traits, a few skills are also critical for being an effective sales guy. The good news is that these skills can be inculcated and developed with practice and effort.

  • Rapport Building Skills:

This is what matters at the outset, and can make or break your deal. How well you break ice with a prospective customer may well decide how well your deal will go, so you better turn up your charm and sharpen those rapport building skills.

  • Oral Communication Skills:

Naturally, you’ve got to be a good talker in order to sell! However, what matters is not what kind of accent you have or how impressive your vocabulary, but how well and clearly you convey your thoughts to the clients.

  • Listening Skills:

As important as communicating, listening is key to knowing what your customer is thinking and contemplating. So, make sure you listen to the said and unsaid messages of your customers!

  • Negotiation Skills:

It goes without saying that you’ve got to be adept at transacting a deal. Negotiating is all about striving for a ‘win-win’ that will make the customer happy and also keep your company in profit. Can you do it?

Needless to say, over and above this combination of personality traits and skills, it is absolutely essential to have a sound knowledge base of the principles of selling. So if you have this combination of skills and personality traits, go and try your luck for a sales job.

To find out if you have the right sales profile, you can also take the Sales Skills and Personality Profiler (SSaPP) and see where you stand.


Ms. Samindara Hardikar – Sawant
Clinical Psychologist
Psychometrica | Disha | Career Pathways


About psychometrica

Psychometrica has an experienced and trained team of psychologists who have developed the range of psychometric assessments.

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