The Myth of the Natural Salesman Article Image
Opinion

The Myth of the Natural Salesman

It is rare in these times to meet consistently exceptional sales people. According to statistics presented in Sales and Marketing Management magazine, 80% of successful sales are credited to only 20% of the entire sales team.

This indicates a serious issue in the area of appointing the right people in the sales profession.

The myth around great sales people having or knowing something very different to the rest of the team still exists. Sales people often tell me that this person is a ‘natural salesperson…’ or that person is …’more of a salesperson than I am!’

Mostly, when I meet these natural sales people, and analyse their results, there is not a great deal of difference between their results and those who have put them on a pedestal. In their assessment of these naturals they seem to have conflated charisma and the ability to develop strong rapport to create opportunities with the ability to sell consistently at acceptable margins.

Are certain types of people really better sales people?

The idea that certain types are naturally better sales people than others doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when once the sales team is equipped with a certain perspective about what a sale is and why a buyer buys, all of them can be highly effective in delivering good quality revenue for your business.

We are made to sell, it is how we exist and survive. We sell all the time, in and out of work. The same skills, used over and over again, honed and refined over a lifetime.

I believe there are two critical dimensions of sales success. 1) The degree to which we are genuinely interested in helping our customers succeed and 2) The level of integrity the sales person has within themselves and through their actions.

We simply need to realise that there is an unbreakable correlation between integrity and the extent to which a sales person wants a customer to succeed, and the ability to sell consistently at high margins.

Stop worrying - it's a myth

So, let's stop worrying about who is a natural sales person and who is more of a sales person than another.

It's a myth. Let's stop trying to find the holy grail of sales and placing unrealistic expectations on the shoulders of sales people. Let's stop employing sales people on the strength of their extrovert personalities.

Instead, let's just do this:

  • Find a candidate who is personable, responsible, high on integrity and genuinely interested in people and what they do. Someone who cares about helping people to succeed
  • Train them so that they are experts in your product and market
  • Train them so they understand how your target market buys and the main challenges your customers face in maintaining their systemic integrity, as it relates to what you do
  • Develop powerful value propositions that speak directly to your customers’ problems, issues and challenges
  • Ensure they have at least an intermediate level of business acumen, the modern sales professional must understand business drivers in their target market
  • Train and continuously coach them on value based, consultative selling
  • Coach them in taking consistent actions and ensuring they are strong at follow up
  • Coach them so that they are resilient, and demonstrate emotional courage in the face of no's.
  • Teach them how to create powerful context in the first phase of the sale
  • Show them how to help prospects to fit your product/service into their businesses/lives

This person will consistently outperform their peers, even the ‘naturals’. Make sure they plan their work and work their plan.

Then watch them soar.

Want to get more out of your sales team?

Get in touch with Glen or one of our advisors to see how you could grow your business through a sales strategy and bespoke training for your needs.


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