Prior to getting into agency sales recruiting, I was the Director of Sales for a major service organization. I was the final stamp of approval for all of our sales hires and because I had moved up within the organization from sales rep to management to executive management, I was regularly asked in interviews, “What makes someone successful?”, or “What made you successful?” I think there are several qualities that a successful person possesses or behaviors they employ, but what separates the absolute best from the rest?
There are skills that can be taught and there are traits that are innate; these are what we consider the elusive “intangibles”. I’ve thought about the people I’ve worked with, or known, who have had “it” and here’s what I think makes them stand out from the crowd: They Have a Hunger to Learn.
They are always striving to better themselves. This could be via continued education, or researching articles, listening to podcasts, following trends in their field, or getting mentored by someone more senior to them. Learning never stops for someone with “it”. They want to be the best version of themselves.
They are not afraid to ask questions, or for help! This is probably the person you consider to be somewhat “high maintenance” because they darken your doorstep with whatever they need, whatever questions they have, whenever they have them. You may regret that open door policy some days! But we all know it: they’re performers. They will reach out to others in the organization to ask questions, they welcome feedback, they will look for mentors and be happy to give guidance to others, because it only improves their learning process.
If they’re asking the questions, they probably want the answers = COACHABLE! They are generally very open to constructive criticism, changes on approach, tweaks in language, and other various changes. Who doesn’t want an employee who is open, easy to work with, moldable, and wants to be the best version of him or herself?
I would love to hear your thoughts! I have spent the majority of my career in sales and sales management, so that is the perspective from which I write, though I imagine the topic applies to any field of work. It is often so difficult to determine whether someone will be successful, but when you see it in action, you know it! So, what do YOU think determines the “it” factor?