Characteristics of Great Sales Reps

Characteristics of Great Sales Reps

September 4, 2019

We recently interviewed 3,500 business owners or primary decision-makers and got their perspectives on local marketing sales reps. At the time of the interviews, over half of the businesses were working with multiple service providers. As you can image, these business owners have seen the full spectrum of sales representatives. So, we asked them what the key characteristics of the great ones are. We’ve consolidated their responses into five main characteristics or behaviors:


They take ownership of situations. 

Business owners stated the great sales reps have a positive attitude, are well organized, confident and committed to helping their clients be successful. They also take ownership of problems or issues, and don’t pass the buck.

They are well prepared. 

Business owners stated the most significant mistake with poor sales reps is coming to meetings unprepared or late. Business owners have limited time, and the great reps recognize this. They come prepared and are efficient with their time.

They know their products. 

Business owners stated that many times, sales reps don’t know anything about their products or services. The phrases “I’ll have to get back to you” or “I’m not sure” were mentioned a lot. Great sales reps spend time getting to know how the products or services work, and they can communicate the value propositions to the business owners.

They build a positive relationship. 

Business owners trust great sales reps. This trust is earned over time through positive interactions. Following-up, sending cards, being invested in their success are some of the things that generate trust.

They are trying new things. 

Business owners stated that great sales reps are up to date on the latest trends. Even though business owners might not try every new tactic / product that the sales rep brings to the table, they appreciate the thoughts and vision for the future. Business owners want sales reps that provide value and will help them move their business forward.


To learn more about our interviews, send us an email at


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