Are Sales People Born Or Are They Made?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Information Board Of No Salespeople Cold Callers Or Canvassers S 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 McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image at

Sales DNA

Originally published: 11 August, 2009

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