From the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

There are a handful of traits that will bring your reps the most closed sales and repeat customers. Wendy Weiss, a New York City-based sales trainer and author of Cold Calling College, shares her top five traits to look for in a salesperson:

1. Stick-to-itiveness: The most important trait is the ability to keep going. "Sales can be a tough world," says Weiss. "The stark reality is that some prospects will say no." What the salesperson does with that no is key. They can allow it to stop them, or they can put it aside and continue. Look for someone who does the latter.

2. Empathy and rapport: The ability to put oneself in a prospect's shoes is crucial to building a good sales relationship.

3. Creativity: Being able to think quickly and differently sets a good salesperson apart from the competition and helps him or her solve problems--creating a great edge.

4. Strategic thinking: Planning the approach, and knowing what to say and when to say it, will help good sales reps succeed where others fail.

5. Follow-through: Some people are great openers but have no ability to sustain the sales relationship. Following through, staying in touch and keeping promises put a salesperson miles ahead of the competition.

Kimberly L. McCall ("Marketing Angel") is president of McCall Media & Marketing Inc., and author ofSell It, Baby! Marketing Angel's 37 Down-to-Earth & Practical How-To's on Marketing, Branding & Sales.