CCA 3.4 Lesson 4: Personality

When choosing people for sales work, most sales managers would prefer a workable personality over specialized training. Many companies have a policy for hiring sales professionals as they seek people with certain fundamental personality characteristics, then proceed to furnish the necessary sales training. We have discussed in this chapter several factors to consider in developing positive first impressions. Your personality can help you maintain this positive first impression or change the impression if it is a negative one. A person’s personality is unique because it distinguishes one person from another and it is that which makes an impression on others. A personality can help determine if people like or dislike you. You should know that there is no such thing as an ideal personality, but there are some things you can incorporate in your life that will make your personality more persuasive and appealing. Before we discuss those things that will give you a persuasive personality, let us first define exactly what makes up your personality.

Key Points of the Personality

Consists of many things.

First five years are crucial.

Can be reprogrammed during life.

Many strategies exist to improve it.

Personality is a sum total of many things

Your personality is very complex and is a sum total of several things. Among the most important elements that make up your personality are your traits, attitudes, personal experiences, physical characteristics, attributes, and your environment. Your personality determines how you will react and interact to the world around you. Personality is the outward expression of an individual’s personal worth, which is made up of all the things that are learned and acquired throughout life. As mentioned before, personality includes the qualities and traits that people like or dislike about you.

A personality is developed throughout life

People have wondered, “When do we develop our personality?” Most psychologists will agree that our personality is starting to form from the day we are born. The years that seem to be most crucial are ages 1 to 5. Our family has a great influence on us, but our personality continues to develop as we grow because of our relationships that are developed and the experiences we have. Our minds are very complex and are very similar to a computer. From day one, we download everything we see, hear, and experience. Even though our conscious mind can’t recall all this information, our subconscious mind stores all the information that we acquire. Every time we experience something, it is just like entering a new program into our computer download. We draw on these stored programs whenever we are faced with a situation. Past experiences will often determine how we meet the situations we are faced with in the future. These programs in our mind determine how we handle life’s situations and how others will act towards us.

We can reprogram our mind

We discussed how we develop our personality early in life, but we must realize that we can change parts of our personality by going through a reprogramming process. We can program our minds with thoughts of failure that will instruct us to produce failure. We can also reprogram our minds by entering thoughts of success that will produce healthy productivity.  Ben Franklin teaches us a simple way of reprogramming ourselves. His method of doing this is simply to select a trait to improve on and write it down on a card with specific instructions on how to put the desired change into practice. Keep this card in your pocket for quick and easy reference and practice this desired behavior trait for a week. By making a conscious effort, you actually begin to alter an undesirable behavior trait into a desirable one that will improve your personality. We all should spend time in reprogramming our mental computer. The following guidelines contain some areas that you may want to concentrate on in developing a more persuasive personality.


1. Learn to be socially sensitive: Learn to practice good manners, respect opinions of others, and avoid offending others by using profanity, dirty jokes, interrupting, and smoking without permission.

2. Call people by their names: The most magical sound in any language is a person’s own name. Learn to pronounce names correctly. Develop a system so that you can remember a person’s name and call the person by his/her correct or desired name. Any conversation becomes warm and personal when names are used.

3. Make others feel important: Learn to give recognition and encouragement to others.  Learn to speak well of all people and look for the good in all people.  Develop the talent of giving sincere praise that is specific and deserving.

4. Learn to project a spontaneous smile: Smiling makes you a pleasant person to be around and it also promotes a positive atmosphere. A smile can open doors and reduce tension.

5. Develop a genuine interest in others: Learn to be a good listener and encourage other people to talk about themselves. Attempt to see things from the other person’s point-of-view before making any judgments. Talk about things that interest other people.

6. Keep appointments and follow through: Develop the habit of always being early or on time. Follow up on what you do and say and always meet deadlines. If you are going to be late or miss an appointment, please be courteous and call the person in advance.

7. Be careful with humor: Avoid dirty and sacrilegious stories based on race, religion, sex, or national origin. Develop an ability to tell jokes well and respond to humor. Remember that humor can relax people and be a great sales tool for breaking the ice and warming up people.

8. Learn to look people in the eye: Maintaining good eye contact shows self-confidence, interest, and concern. The skill of good eye contact can provide you great information as you look over and read your buyer during a sales presentation.

9. Develop good health habits: Obtain the necessary rest and exercise–this will keep your mind fresh and productive. Good health habits help avoid burn out.  A healthy body enhances your ability to think and solve problems.10. Watch your appearance and grooming: Develop the habit of wearing clothes that compliment your physical makeup. Always wear clean and pressed clothing.  Always look clean by bathing and watching personal body odor.