The Single Most Important Trait for Sales Success


There are thousands of websites, articles, and books about how to be an effective salesperson. With the massive amount of information out there, it can be overwhelming to actually apply the lessons to your professional life. With all that information, if someone came to you and asked “What is the single most important trait to be successful in sales?”, what would you say?

You might be thinking about a few different answers. If you asked someone who worked in sales, you’ll probably get a wide variety of answers too, ranging from superior objection handling abilities to having the ability to persuade expertly. However, just like anything else, some things are better when it’s kept simple.

There is one single trait that basically supersedes every other distinguishable trait. It’s essentially the building block of a successful career in sales. If you possess it, you have a very good chance of being successful. If you lack this, the road to success will be very difficult.

That trait? Being active.

Activity drives performance. Without getting out there, knocking on doors, or picking up the phone, you have a very slim chance of making a sale. In almost all instances, those salespeople who are the most active in terms of getting in front of leads/customers are the ones who are constantly the most successful.

Think about it! Ultimately, sales is a numbers game. You can complicate it all you want, but the more people you see, the more deals you will close. Sure, the  reps who are amazing at objection handling, rapport building, etc will close a higher percentage of those, but even those who are new to sales can still be successful just by seeing more people.


  • Person A sees 10 people in a day and closes at about a 20% rate, so person A closes 2 people in a day and earns a fantastic living.
  • Person B closes at only a 10% rate, but commits to seeing 20 people per day. Again, this means closing 2 people per day and earning the same as person A.

Another benefit to increasing activity is having the chance to improve your skills. The more practice and experience you get, the better you will do. You can be taught sales skills, but you simply cannot replace activity. Be careful not to confuse activity with being busy. It’s easy to get caught up in the weeds of administration work. In this sense, activity is all about getting yourself in front of more prospects and customers.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to

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