Are Great Salespeople Born?

I just attended Jeffrey Gitomer’s seminar for sales managers and leaders.

Before Jeffrey started his presentation, I was chatting with the gentleman next to me who is a VP of Sales. I asked him what kind of sales training he uses.  He said, “Oh, we train our salespeople ourselves.

Salespeople are born, anyway. They either have it or they don’t.”

I couldn’t resist pulling out my copy of Forceful Selling and saying, “That’s interesting you say that. This book says that is one of the myths of sales.”  And I showed him the list of sales myths, including the illustration of the bulldog salesperson who is born with a purchase order in his mouth.

He said, “Well, just because some guy wrote it in a book doesn’t mean it’s right.”

Later, Jeffrey was an hour into his talk and he said, “Anybody who thinks salespeople are just born is an [insert expletive]. You can teach sales skills. In fact, you must teach sales skills. What you cannot teach is smarts and happiness. If you hire smart, happy people, they can learn to sell.”

What are your thoughts? Do you believe selling is a mystical art that a few lucky people are gifted with?

For millennia humans have invented myths to explain behavior they didn’t understand. So are people who say great salespeople are born simply saying they don’t know what they don’t know about the science and art of selling?

Challenge your team. Challenge yourself — to develop a new skill everyday. After doing that for, say, 1,095 days (3 years) people will start to say, “Wow, you’re amazing. You were just born to sell!”

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