The Myth of the Natural Salesman
Posted on 2nd August 2017 at 09:04
It is rare in these times to meet consistently exceptional sales people. According to statistics recently 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.
The idea that certain types are naturally better sales people than others doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. 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
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.
So, lets stop worrying about who is a natural sales person and who is more of a sales person than another. It’s a myth. Lets 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, lets 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 out perform their peers, even the ‘naturals’.
Make sure they plan their work and work their plan.
Then watch them soar.
As a Speaker, Sales Trainer and Accredited Master Coach (CSA), Glen Williamson is passionate about helping SME business owners and sales professionals of all levels reach new height of sales performance delivery.
Taking his 30 years of experience in sales and business development, Glen founded GWC Sales Training in 2011 to deliver consultancy and training for clients across a wide range of sectors including logistics, financial services and oil and gas.
Meeting the needs of our increasingly complex and competitive business environment, Glen’s “Master The Sales Conversation Masterclass”, and Complete Target Account Selling Program create interactive opportunities to embed new ideas and techniques for consistent, predictable sales success.
Glen believes that sales is a collaborative process, part of who we are and how we survive, and at its core, should be a desire to ‘help’, not ‘sell’.
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