What It Takes to Be a Successful Sales Representative and Business Entrepreneur

by Lisa Wilson, L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc.

Recently I was reading the article in Agency Sales magazine entitled, “The Talk Part 2,” by Russ Sorrells. After reading the article, not only did I strongly agree with what I read, but I wanted to share personal experiences of how exercise, good nutrition, and mental health play such an important role in being a successful business entrepreneur. Additionally, after working 23 years in business operations for eight different companies, and operating L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc., for 25 years this September, I wanted to share what personality traits I feel make a good sales representative.

What personality traits make a good sales representative? Understanding and knowing people and their personalities are the keys to improving communication and making better decisions associated with a situation.

Openness — Exhibits characteristics such as imagination, insight, and inquisitiveness. People with a high level of openness display a broad range of interests. They are curious and eager to learn new things and enjoy new experiences. People with high levels of openness tend to be more adventurous and creative and are extremely focused on handling new challenges.

Conscientiousness — Spends time preparing and finishing tasks on time. You must be thoughtful and possess good impulse control with goal-oriented and detail-oriented behavior. You should like a set schedule. Think about how your behavior will impact others. You must be mindful of deadlines.

Extroversion — Talkative, assertive, enjoys meeting new people and has the natural ability to make new friends. Enjoys starting new conversations. Active, enthusiastic with a lot of energy.

Agreeableness — Shows a lot of interest in other people and usually cares about others; tends to be empathetic and likes helping other people. This trait helps to develop trust with customers. This person has an optimistic outlook on human nature.

Persistent and strong-willed — Has the ability to deal with stress and is emotionally stable. Organized, focused, and can handle new challenges. Does not give up! I think persistence is one of the major traits a successful sales representative has to have.

Getting back to the article by Russ Sorrells, I just want to say what we put into our bodies plays a major role in how well we feel and think. It affects our energy levels and mood. Sales takes a lot of energy mentally and physically. The mental stress of helping our customers put out fires, dealing with supply chain problems, traveling via car or plane and dealing with airports and rentals requires tremendous energy. I have found that eating healthy and staying physically fit through daily exercise has helped give me the energy I need to get through each day. I can’t tell you how many times I have been able to sort through business issues in my brain by running, bicycling, or other forms of cardio exercise. The exercise puts me in a positive frame of mind to be able to deal with whatever comes my way that day and makes me feel good. It improves our brain function, increases cognitive skills and helps with retention. Let’s face it, exercise helps to keep you physically fit and healthy to be able to endure mentally and physically.

Finally, do something that relaxes you — meditation, fishing, gardening, boating. Whatever it is, we need to take time to relax, and that is not always an easy thing to do when you are a business entrepreneur.

Lisa Wilson is president & owner of L.S. Wilson & Associates, Inc., a manufacturers’ representative firm based in Bristol, Wisconsin that has been in business since 1998. Before opening her rep firm, Wilson spent 23 years in manufacturing positions that included purchasing management, production scheduling and planning, and customer service. Wilson also is on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Rail Mechanical Association.

Fill in these details and we’ll send you a link to run a FREE trial rep search!


Prefer not to share your info? Go directly to MANA’s RepFinder® database without registering!

Fill in these details and we’ll send you a link to run a FREE trial manufacturer search!


Prefer not to share your info? Go directly to MANA’s LineFinder® database without registering!