Are salespeople born or made?
Based on my informal surveys of groups I speak to, about 95% of current salespeople never thought they’d end up in sales; they somehow fell into it.
In these same groups, about 95% of those that KNEW they were going into sales had a parent who either was in sales or owned a business.
These two groups got different messages from their parents.
I’m in the first group. My parents made it clear to me that I should become a professional: have letters behind my name. So I did. The only reason I got into sales was to start my first business.
When we assess candidates for sales positions, or evaluate a sales team, there are two data sets we review.
First, we determine what the client company will require their salespeople to do, the kind of prospects they will meet and what their sales process looks like.
Second, we look at the 21 core competencies we know salespeople must have to be successful. (Let me know if you’d like a copy of these core competencies.)
The 21 include sales skills, of course, but also what we call Sales DNA. That is perhaps too strict a term because this DNA isn’t genetic. But it is learned. And things learned become neuropathways that are strong patterns, suborn and difficult to change.
For example, pretend you’re 5 years old and your mother asks you to go out and play: “Have fun, honey, and remember, don’t talk to….” Right, strangers. We all heard that message growing up.
Now you’re in sales. What is your job? Talking to strangers. Who is your subconscious going to listen to: Mom, or your sales manager?
Mom has “helped” you create a neuropathway over your first 12 or so years; your sales manager has only had you for 3 years…
In this Dave Kurlan article, he describes which is more important: sales skills or Sales DNA. Care to guess?
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