istock_000000543922medium2A salesman born or a salesman made?

A popular question from sales managers, especially when it comes to recruiting the next one.

Of course, both types of salespeople exist and both types have their advantages and disadvantages. The ‘salesman born’, the intuitive type, can be quite a charismatic figure and likes attention and success. However, this type, when promoted to sales manager themselves, often find it difficult to train and develop others as they have no ‘system’ to pass along, no ‘structure’ to how they have achieved success in the past.

The ‘salesman made’ is structured and understands that there is a system to be worked. Sales is not necessarily a numbers game, but at least he will know the numbers and how to work them. There will be a process that is followed and if followed will lead to the sale. However, this type of salesperson is often not so charismatic or dynamic enough to get noticed by senior management. He rarely raises his head above the sales trench.

These are two extremes of course and most of the time there will be aspects of both characteristics in every salesperson; either can be successful and could be your top salesperson.

Personally, I look for attitude when I am recruiting someone and evidence that they have ‘bounced back’ at some point from a business or personal failure. You can teach and train everything about sales – but it’s hard to teach or train someone to have the right approach and attitude.

So whether your staff were born to sell or trained to sell – a positive attitude leading to positive actions – are the only attributes in sales that will get us through these troubled times

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