According to the Harvard Business Review article, “What Makes a Good Salesperson”, there are two critical characteristics necessary for a salesperson to be able to sell successfully—empathy and drive.


If you were to look up the word empathy in the dictionary, you’d find it to mean: “the capacity to recognize and participate in the feelings or ideas of another”. This is in contrast to sympathy, which is when you experience sorrow for someone else’s misfortune; empathy is about seeing the situation from another person’s perspective.

Think of empathy as “walking a mile in their shoes”.

Internal Drive

Internal drive is your self-motivation. It is your personal passion and desire to make a sale (for reasons other than financial gains). The dictionary definition of drive is: the emotional or physical energy that leads somebody to act or behave in an extreme way.

Develop your skills

As you work to become a more successful salesperson, continue to develop your empathy and build your internal drive.

Reflect on these questions: What drives you? Why do you get out of bed every morning to go to work and sell your services?

Wishing you every success!