Sales People = Humility, Active Listening, Critical Thinking and Learning

The secret to finding a good salesperson lies in their soft skills. Sometimes, we tend to seek security in hiring by considering other aspects such as experience, but this should not be the focus of hiring. We explain what skills will ensure the success of your recruitment.


Sales profiles rather than great conversationalists, are curious by nature and like to ask and learn, so we do not talk as much as you may think. We find out, listen and connect needs, that is the guarantee of success of a salesperson, a sale and therefore the company.

When Outbound People meets with clients, a common question we ask is to define their ideal candidate.

Many companies ask for experience in sales roles, for them to come from the same industry, sales methodology or even sector experience. These details are necessary when the average sales ticket is high and your buyer persona is corporate, or when the person is required to set up or lead a team. But those are not the key requirements that will ensure success.

What makes a great sales candidate?

Soft Skills. In fact, they prevail over experience.


We are in a rapidly changing world where technology advances at the pace of light, and regulated university training, specific experience or knowledge are no longer enough.

There is something that has become pivotal for any team – it is the need for continuous training. The important thing is not what you have learned but everything you are capable of learning, the ability to adapt to change and to think critically and create what does not yet exist.

These are all soft skills, unrelated to years of experience or specific technical knowledge. They can be learned if you have the motivation and tools and will help them overcome any situation.


We never know enough, humility helps us to listen and appreciate the contributions of other people without labels or biases. Humility is a strength that makes one value themselves and the environment.

Salespeople are humble, because it makes us curious, that’s why we ask questions and listen. It helps us understand and learn to find solutions.

Active listening

If we do good active listening, we are able to understand our interlocutor and ask if there is any detail that we are missing. We understand your situation, your objections and help us overcome any reluctance.

Critical thinking

After identifying the problem, and with the information we collect from our questions, it is what makes us connect with the possible solutions and discuss them.


From each conversation and situation we will be able to constantly improve.

How do we know this works?

A CEO told us that we had presented him really good candidates, whom he hired, and he acknowledged that he would had never interviewed them had we not made the introduction.

The secret is to identify in yourself what you are looking for and then you are quickly able to detect the similarities. When you are looking for something you do not know, it is difficult to be certain. But seeking advice from highly experienced professionals will help you achieve it.

We leave you a beautiful quote, that summarises the aspects discussed on this post –

Human thought goes far beyond calculation and problem solving. Through Passion and Doubt, man illuminates what is not seen, what is beyond the horizon.

Byung-Chul Han

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