Are they born or made? Is this natural talent or simply hard work? This is a question that we are always faced with and a strong argument can be made for both.
Those who say sales people are born, correlate it with their character. Sales people tend to be extroverted conversational people who enjoy engaging with strangers. Generally not scared to step out of their comfort zones. They have the ability to establish rapport and connect with people that they can sell the value of the product or service.
They might even go as far as saying that it doesn’t require any hard work or rehearsing (only the product knowledge). They possess what is called the gift of the gab and have the ability to sell something that might not be needed. They tend to be more reliant on their ability to charm potential clients while using the products value proposition as an added bonus instead of the deciding factor and may struggle with administration that binds them to desk and screens as they could lack focus. In addition to being the life of the party, they only feed off people who like them and stroke their ego. They tend to distance themselves from what they perceive as negative people.
Those who argue that the best salespeople are made, emphasize on the science of closing the deal more than the art of winging it. Because they are aware that they lack the natural ability, they tend to only approach clients that they have a certain level of comfort with. This can be in the form of gender, culture, race or age. They tend to do more work before and after the sale than during. Their lack of confidence usually leads them to work harder and smarter. Because they are wired in a certain way, some make the typical mistake in thinking that others are wired that same way so when they present, there might be a disconnect and they could leave the potential client in a state of boredom. Emphasis is placed more on their product and industry knowledge than it is on people knowledge so they focus on features, not really benefits.
I personally feel that you can make a success either way (born or made). Although both has pros and cons, the level of input needed to execute may differ but still requires both types to work at it. As the director of the company, the decision lies with them to identify what role in the company will bring the best out of that individual so that they can exceed the expectation.
Sales is a combination of science and art. The art is your flexibility to relate while the science serves as the general template to follow (which stats have proven to work over the past few years).
Following the process as a guideline:
Stalk your prey. With Social media access to people and information is easier than ever. If you need to find out who the decision makers are, search the internet, then search the person. look for their hobbies and interests and a reputable mutual friend (emphasis on reputable, bad associations can kill you). If needed, ask the reputable mutual friend to give you more info about the potential client so that you can use it to establish rapport (connect).
When getting ready to meet, ensure that you have an appointment and that you look and smell like a million bucks. Greet with a firm handshake and come with samples, visuals and proof of concept if needed. Identify the character type (introvert or extrovert) and engage them in a way that will make them feel comfortable (it’s about them, not you). Implement the info you collected and lead the conversation (subtly) in that direction so that It can flow. Only start selling or closing once you have peace that the client has connected and understood the value.
Then leave your business card and profile and send an email thanking them that same day
The Follow Up:
Let 4 days pass before following up via email. Be mindful that introverts tend to take longer when making decisions. If no response after 7 days, follow up with a call. if after 2 weeks, still nothing, ask your client to have candor so that you don’t get hung up on this sale and if there is still nothing, add them to a follow up list in 6 months’ time. By then you need to have an assistant that can do this for you.
The science is this above template. The art however is all the gaps that are left open to fill. In some cases the art might allow you to go a completely different route.
Hashtag Fusion: 10 Essential Salesforce Metrics for Every Company to Track