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Are Sales People Born Or Are They Made?

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

I received this question from Tony Underhill 2 days ago:

“Hi Sean, I’ve just read an interesting blog post on another site about whether sales people are made or are they born that way. As you are “my guru” what’s your take on this? The posting said that it’s a mix of the two”

My thoughts on this:

It’s an interesting one because as a child I was the kid who would stand in the playground on his own!

I was a right “Billy No Mates”!!!

Natural sales person as a youngster? NO

Outgoing? Loud Mouth? NO

As I got older and began to improve my communication skills this obviously changed and today I can speak in-front of 3,000 sales people at a conference and not bat an eye lid.

So I certainly was not a “born sales person”. I’m 100% made!

There are no doubt some people who will be naturally more outgoing than others, that’s probably in their make up, or their DNA as a person and this has helped them to be seen as a “natural sales person” but just because they can talk the hind legs off a donkey doesn’t mean that they are a good sales person.

It’s just that they “seem” to be a natural sales person because they are more outgoing.

I don’t agree with that.

Buyers don’t want a “flash, cheesy sales person” They want an expert and whether that’s an over the top, gregarious person or an introverted thinker, it’s up to the buyer to decide.

Having the “gift of the gab” is no longer good enough. It might have got you through 20 years ago but not so today. Today’s sales people need to be seen as trusted advisors, as experts in their field and have a good alround business knowledge.

Some of the very best sales people that I have met have been 100% made. i.e they were not deemed as having a natural talent for sales until they did it. Maybe it’s their down to earth, natural approach that makes them seem more “personable and human” that makes the difference.

So no matter what end of the spectrum you come from remember that everything has to be approached from the agenda of your prospect.

Your buyers want to deal with an expert, a sales professional.

Happy selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

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Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 2,500 different organisations and 50,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

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  • http://www.fromtheheartsalestraining.com Jim Klein

    I agree with you Sean, sales people are made not born. I love what Tom Hopkins says about never hearing of a doctor holding up the baby at birth and saying it’s a salesperson.

    Any of the skills that are needed as a salesperson can be learned as long as that person has two things; the desire and they are teachable.