Are sales people born or made? Is there such a thing as a natural born sales person? This question has been bandied about for years and a good case can be made for both sides of the argument.
So, what is the answer? I can’t give you scientific facts — I can only give you my opinion — but I think some people may be born with a natural talent for sales, but to become a great sales person you need training and practice. I would also argue that a great sales person needs an innate desire to sell.
Let me relate a few stories from my background that shed some light on my thinking.
Some Sales People May Be Born with Selling Skills?
When I was at Xerox many years ago, I had a team member who was an amazing sales person. She was tenacious, aggressive and closed a high percentage of her deals. She was the top producer in her group month after month.
Her background? She had a Masters degree in Opera from The Julliard School! Can you think of a more unrelated background for a great sales person to come from? This begs the question-where did she get her aptitude for sales? This instance certainly lends itself to the belief that she might have had some been born with a natural ability that could be shaped into sales capability with great training. Conversely, she could have had no ability and was just incredibly receptive to training.
Every Sales Person Gets Better with Training & Practice
I think of my own background as a selling professional. I have written in my blog about traveling with my father who was a wedding photographer. I spent countless hours with him going to see prospective brides and listening silently to his sales pitch. If I had not had all of that exposure would I be the sales professional I am today? I often wonder if I had a father who was a scientist and I spent hours listening to him talk about some scientific topic, would I have been a scientist? I honestly do not know, but I think you get the point.
It would seem to me that in both cases, there might have been some basic wiring for a sales temperament and it was surfaced and shaped in one’s early years through excellent training and mentorship.
Here is what I do know for sure: I think anyone who wants to be a great sales person can be one if they committee to training and education. It’s more than a personality type or a level of aggressiveness. There are many types of sales people-and since I have said many times that “everyone is in sales”, then perhaps we are all natural born sales people!
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