6 of the Most Underrated Sales Skills

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Well-trained salespeople are a business’s most valuable employees. Effective sales representatives must possess a combination of soft skills and technical know-how in order to persuade clients and close sales. 

There is a misconception that the best salespeople are confident or extroverted. This is far from true. In fact, some of the most important qualities in a salesperson have more to do with how they view others and the world than how they view themselves. 


Optimism is sometimes confused with idealism. However, an optimist can acknowledge that things can and do go wrong. The difference is that an optimistic person believes in their ability to manage the situation and turn it around to their advantage. For this reason, people with optimistic personalities tend to excel in sales. 

An optimistic outlook often coincides with an internal locus of control. This means that an individual assumes responsibility for outcomes. A salesperson with an external locus of control may blame their customers or the economy for their poor performance. 

On the other hand, a representative with an internal locus would review their pitch, adjust their target base, and try new approaches until they are successful.

Optimistic people also have a more realistic view of the sales process and view rejection and failure as par for the course. This positive mindset can keep them motivated during difficult periods. It can also uplift other team members.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ,  is a network of traits that enable a person to understand their own and others’ emotions. People with a high EQ often demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Acute self-awareness- They are aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
  • Emotional self-control- This refers to the ability to recognize one’s emotional state and limit how negative emotions affect their behavior. 
  • Empathy- An empathetic person can put themselves in another’s shoes and try to understand their feelings and viewpoints. 
  • Interpersonal skills- People with strong interpersonal skills can read and manage other people’s emotions and body language. 
  • Self-motivation- A self-motivated person is internally driven to reach goals and maintain high standards. 

Salespeople with these traits can easily develop a deep understanding of their customers. They succeed at building trust and relationships, which are key to securing and maintaining sales.  As a positive or negative mood can impact client interactions, effective salespeople must learn how to manage their own feelings.


Openness to experience is one of the measurements used in the Big 5 personality test. An individual with a high level of openness enjoys gathering information and knowledge and interacting with people from different backgrounds. Openness also correlates with creativity, problem-solving skills, and experimentation. 

In sales, openness can help an individual thrive in a dynamic environment. Successful salespeople must be comfortable navigating ambiguity and finding their own solutions. 

The willingness to embrace new information also helps salespeople adapt to changing consumer behaviors. Agility and a desire to learn new skills enable salespeople to respond to and overcome challenges. 

Presentation Skills

The difference between a mediocre and an outstanding sales pitch often lies in its presentation. Even if a salesperson is highly knowledgeable, they will not be able to make a sale if they cannot keep a prospect’s attention, especially on a cold call in a tough niche like real estate. 

Presentation skills include an effective communication style, organization, and a sense of design and aesthetics. When put together correctly, a presentation is an opportunity to build rapport, understand the client’s needs, and identify how the product or service can address the customer’s pain points. 

Salespeople should also be familiar with a variety of presentation techniques. Common presentation formats include phone, email, webinar, and in-person. 


In many ways, sales is a numbers game. The more qualified prospects a salesperson contacts, the higher their chances of securing a deal. 

Being consistent is less about talent, and more about focus, motivation, and commitment. Salespeople who consistently set and achieve their prospecting goals are more essential to a team’s success than their top-performing, but less reliable counterparts. 

Sales representatives can boost their consistency. By Systemizing the prospecting process and routinely reviewing results and key performance indicators.

Desire to Teach

The best salespeople are not singularly focused on their individual goals. They are also invested in the success of the team. These representatives serve as leaders and mentors. They are ready to share their advice and nurture newer colleagues as they develop their skills.

Connecting experienced and novice sales representatives through a structured coaching process can greatly improve sales outcomes and increase team members’ motivation. 

Sales managers and senior representatives can deepen their impact by using sales coaching software to track each team member’s progress and analyze trends and patterns. 

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