3 Undervalued Sales Hiring Traits

Juliet D'cruz

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I was a salesman for years before I realized that the 3 Es were more important than how much or what you could sell. It’s easy to get caught up in numbers and forget about human interactions, but as time progresses those who can relate well with people will succeed where others fail because they understand them on an emotional level without even having met face-to-face.

As such after realizing this little truism myself during my early careers at multinational electronics firms around Europe over 30+years ago now – which boiled down simply: “It isn’t always* just about delivering messages effectively; we must also become truly customer-obsessed.


My friend Brad Smart (the author of Topgrading) trained me several years ago on the Topgrading interview methodology to select A Players (A Player = top 10% performance for a given pay level). During that session, I asked Brad if he could point out any qualities he found common to all A players. What did Brad say? Resourcefulness, of course.

Resourcefulness is being able to go over, around, or through obstacles. You should make sure that your sales reps possess an abundance of these qualities the less your business has defined and mapped out its sales process.

What is the importance of resourcefulness? It is a no go when we are looking for a new recruiter to work at Sales Talent, because we know the sales professional is highly resourceful. Hirings that didn’t possess this trait have failed. More about resourcefulness can be found in One Trait ALL Top Sales Reps Possess.

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Angela Duckworth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania with an IQ of 133 and a passion for a study that surpasses anyone else in many fields including mathematics has found something new to add to this world. 

She made quite possibly one most important discovery called “Grit” or grittySystems Director- grit theory which states people who are intelligent but don’t apply themselves well enough will struggle more than someone without as much brainpower yet still manage to thrive when they have massive amounts of soul force behind them.

This means if you’re going after your dreams despite being smart enough not to do it then there must be some other motivation.


The world is a complicated place, and so are our customers. With few exceptions, the elite sales headhunters meet have moved away from pitch-oriented “old school” approaches to more consultative methods which focus on building strong relationships with people in order to find out what they need before recommending solutions that will work for the best-case scenario.

Today’s highly sophisticated buyers are not responding to old-school tactics like “pitching” and clever closings. With few exceptions, the elite sales professionals I meet take a consultative approach to sales- where they listen carefully to your needs before recommending anything at all or pitching their products based solely on price alone.

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