Dear Future Salesman,
I would like to give to you a brief thought on the never-ending discussion- are salesmen born or made?
What is a born salesman? Simple example taken from your years in high school is that guy we all had in class-the natural salesman.
This guy was able to convince every single teacher he has done the work and bullshit his way through the year with a decent or excellent mark, while you were either failing or studying as hard as one could possibly do.
He is the guy who would get you and the gang out of trouble with the most unbelievable story that actually made sense coming out of his mouth.
He is the same guy that was always making money off you, but you never felt ripped off, because everything he offered to you seemed like a great deal and you loved it and for what is more ,you loved him.
He is the guy that was centre of attention at every single party and always got the girl(or at least a girl).
If you are not that guy, do not worry, there is still hope!
Harvard Business Review has conducted a research estimating that “over 70 percent of top salespeople are born with natural instincts that play a critical role in determining their sales success. Conversely, less than 30 percent of top salespeople are self-made — meaning, they have had to learn how to become top salespeople without the benefit of these natural abilities.”
What those 30% could do to achieve what the other 70% got by pure chance.
1. The first differentiating factor between the success or failure of the self-made salesperson is language. While all competent salespeople can recite their product’s features and business benefits, very few are mavens who can conduct intelligent conversations about the details of daily business operation. What you should do is to never stop self teaching yourself. Always do your homework before you meet a prospect, always look for something in their business that actually interests you . Ask questions, engage with the answers!
2. Try to continually learn through the ongoing accumulation and consolidation of information from their sales calls and interactions with customers. From this knowledge base, salespeople can predict what will happen and what they should do in light of what they have done in the past.
3. Political acumen is extremely important. “Political acumen is the ability to correctly map out each decision maker’s influence and motivations.” Successful self-made salespeople consider this their top priority. Political acumen drives winning account strategy whereas strategic planning without political acumen is a losing proposition.Business is about people, not about money. When you are about to meet a prospective client you shall not go with the mindset to close a deal, but open a relations!
4. Try to be greedy. Wait, isn’t that a bad thing? In sales, “greed” takes on an entirely different meaning. In sales, greed and self-respect are closely intertwined. Greed can be thought of as the desire to be fairly paid for one’s time. Time is a salesperson’s enemy because time is finite. Time is the governor that determines how many deals can be worked and where effort should be focused. Salespeople are on a mission to learn the ultimate truth, “Will I win the deal?” Greed compels the successful self-made salespeople to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and ask difficult qualifying questions while continually pushing for the close.
Have a nice weekend.
The Self-Made Salesman