No doubt you’ve heard someone referred to as “a born salesman” but is this old adage true?
Having spent 25+ years in the sales industry in every role from rep to manager to trainer of reps and managers, and having observed a countless number and wide variety of salespeople over that time, I am uniquely qualified to answer that question with a tried and true “yes and no”.
How many born doctor, born attorney or born scientists do you know? Likely not many. With many years of teaching and training to achieve those occupation designations it would surely be improper referring to those (or any other honorable profession) that way.
Put in an athletic perspective, you are not “born” to be a great basketball player, a great golfer, a great tennis player, etc. It is true, however, that many great athletes are indeed born with good genes and innate physical characteristics that, when properly developed and applied, result in great achievement.
So while many “born salesman” have natural attributes like “outgoing, articulate, optimistic, assertive, nurturing” that lend themselves well to success in the sales profession, top ‘Pinnacle Performers’ combine this with a set of skills learned over time, and reinforced through continuous practice and disciplined application.
For companies that are hiring new salespeople, that means ideally you would want to start with an individual that has that strong foundation of natural attributes and then build a top performer through a consistent skills development program.
As I cover in my “Strong Selling In A Weak Economy” speaker program, this is especially important in a down or ultra-competitive market. Why? Because many of those alleged “born salesman” (and saleswoman) fail under those circumstances. Often these folks have those natural ‘gift of gab’ attributes to talk the talk but come up short in the training and development required to walk the walk and perform in those tougher selling environments.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” That quote applies to success in sales and any other profession. Top performers don’t rely on fate/destiny, they decide and commit to being a student of their profession and work to master their craft over time.
The fact is, top performing sales people are not born. However, they can be made by combining natural talents with proper training and development.
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