Bogus Belief #4
Successful sales people are born with a gift for sales.
This belief rests on the assumption that success in sales relies on some special talent granted at birth, and it does not fit our experience. It may be true that some people are born with certain talents that make their entry into the sales profession relatively easy. However, we find that successful sales people work diligently to develop their sales skills regardless of their starting capability.
At this point in training discussions, people often ask: “Talent or skill. Whatʼs the
difference?” To answer this question, letʼs define some terms.
Talent – A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
Skill – Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience.
The difference is pretty simple. Talents are natural abilities. Skills are acquired or developed abilities.
So, does sales ability come from some talent available to only a select few people, or does it come from a skill set that anyone can develop?
When we lead training sessions we often hear we have a “great talent for sales.” We take the comment as a genuine compliment, and might even agree with it if we had forgotten where we began in sales.
Except for persistence and drive, the words and actions people see in us today bear no resemblance to what they would have seen in our performance when we
started in sales. For example, we now speak about and give our absolute best effort to model:
• Focusing on benefits to the client
•Allowing time for the client to speak
• Working to connect with the client
• Giving clients the time they need to reach a decision
When we first entered sales, someone watching our sales calls would have seen us:
• Focusing on product features
• Speaking more than we listened
• Interrupting clients
• Working to close the sale
• Impatience when clients wanted to collect more information or “think it over”
Basically, we started with very few of the positives and nearly all of the negatives.
The good news is this: If we could develop the skills to be successful in sales, other individuals can develop the skills as well. Anyone with the desire to work on themselves and grow personally can learn what weʼve learned. It really doesnʼt matter where people start, as long as they view sales as a profession and invest the effort necessary to learn and perfect the skills.
Better Belief #4
Successful sales people become successful by
applying a set of learnable skills.