Five Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Image courtesy of Jacob Bøtter's photostream

Image courtesy of Jacob Bøtter’s photostream

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. They work in many different industries and while some refer to themselves as the boss, many answer to someone else. A common misconception of entrepreneurship is equity. While ownership in a company is a potential perk of being an entrepreneur it by no means is a requirement. While many professionals aren’t willing to take a risk by putting it all on the line to start their own business that doesn’t mean they aren’t entrepreneurs.

Sales people are a great example of a professional contingent that are prime candidates to be entrepreneurs that don’t necessarily hold equity with the companies that employ them. They are self-starters that are driven to succeed. Whether their motivation comes from financial gain or client development, sales people really must have entrepreneurial spirit.

Here are five common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs:

1.    Resourceful – There’s no doubt about it, entrepreneurs must be resourceful people. Whether they’re in a marketing role or operations, they’ll need to be quick on their feet to find the shortest path to the solution. And in many cases in business the solution isn’t obvious forcing entrepreneurs to approach projects or issues differently.

2.    Charismatic – This is by far one of the most difficult skills to learn. Not everyone gives you the feeling of trust and comfort but really great entrepreneurs, and professionals, can do this. Some may not even say this is a skill but rather something you’re born with. And while that may be true, certain aspects of a charismatic personality can be learned including optimism, enthusiasm and confidence.

3.    Relatability – I wouldn’t expect your call center representative at your phone provider to be your best friend by any means but it can be expected that they find a way to relate to you on a personal level. Getting the conversation started is the hardest part but most good entrepreneurs will find at least one nugget on commonality – sports, family, community. They are all great topics to help build the rapport customers are hoping for when dealing with companies.

4.    Understanding – Not every transaction goes as planned and not every customer is a happy camper. Let’s face it; things happen. Incorrect products may be delivered or customer expectations may not be on par with your company’s sales reps. Taking an approach of understanding and an attitude of ‘whatever it takes to make the customer happy’ should be the goal. After all, we’ve all been in a situation where we weren’t satisfied with the outcome of a purchase. Try to show a little compassion when defining a solution.

5.    Knowledgeable – Undoubtedly it is expected that the person selling you something has a vast knowledge of the item they have on the market. Many times, though, this is the not the case. Used car sales is a perfect example. Many used car sales people don’t know much about what they’re selling. They’re simply looking to make transactions. And while it can’t be expected that used car sales people know every detail of every car, they should show knowledge of other details of the transaction by acting as a consultant to help you purchase the vehicle you fell in love with.


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