Most people don’t grow up wanting to be a salesperson. If you talk with a kid, they might say a fireman, doctor, or journalist – or, perhaps today, a pro basketball player, movie star, or American Idol contestant. Sometimes (yes, it’s true!) sales can even get a bad rap. Think of portrayals from Glengarry Glenn Ross and Tin Men or the age-old caricature of the used car salesman.

Mary Kay Ash, an extraordinary salesperson, once said, “Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.” Given that Friday is National Salesperson Day, we’d like to show our appreciation all week long and recognize the positive and often unsung attributes of the sales profession. Salespeople put themselves out there every single day, and deserve to be celebrated for their many exceptional abilities.

Sales leaders provide enormous value and fill an important need – not just selling products or services but selling new ideas, new methodologies to solve problems, and new ways of thinking.

Here are just a few of the qualities that we admire in top salespeople.

Salespeople never give up.

Hearing the word ‘no’ can be disappointing; however, salespeople never take ‘no’ personally and, in fact, often welcome a ‘no’ – because they understand that it frees up their time to focus on other, potentially bigger opportunities. Books like ‘Go for No,’ have shown how increasing your failure rate can actually accelerate ultimate sales success.

In addition, salespeople recognize that getting turned down from one person doesn’t always mean they’ll get the same answer for others in the organization. They keep moving on – chugging up that hill and don’t give up. They think they can – and in the power of thinking they can – they frequently do.

Salespeople go the extra mile for customers.

Salespeople are ‘people-people.’ They want to please customers and get satisfaction from solving real problems. What is sold changes from month to month, year to year, and decade to decade. But the art of selling is timeless and based on cultivating and nurturing relationships. Joanne Black, founder of No More Cold Calling and an expert in referral selling, identifies relationship building as THE one activity that will get you ahead in sales. (10 Ways to Gain a Competitive Edge.)

A good salesperson goes out of his or her way to assist a customer in need – to build the relationship, even if it doesn’t necessarily result in an immediate sale.

Salespeople don’t let fear hold them back.

Fear of failure can be powerful – and paralyzing. The American journalist Dorothy Thompson said, “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” Salespeople embrace that belief, and we celebrate that ability not to let fear hold them back. According to Jonathan Farrington, globally recognized sales thought leader, being afraid to leave one’s comfort zone can hold everyone back – even those with far superior skills and talents. Good salespeople don’t let fear stop them from trying.

Salespeople like to have fun!

Good salespeople enjoy what they do! They’re friendly! Top sales leaders today advise you to smile when you’re calling prospects and be friendly to increase the duration of prospect engagement. If you smile, the whole world will smile with you, right?

To tap into that spirit of fun and pay tribute to salespeople on National Salesperson Day, take this short sales ‘personality’ test ‘What’s Your Sales Psyche?’ Answer five short questions to learn your sales psyche!

This blog first appeared here.