Are sales professionals born with a specific sales gene, or are sales professionals nurtured, trained, and honed into unstoppable closing machines?

Over the past twenty plus years we’ve worked with sales professionals of all levels and have seen “born” sales people fail and “non-sales minded” people become consistent top producers.

We’re not going to delve into the specific key traits of successful sales professionals in this post. While the specific traits are important, and should be sought after, perhaps even more important is to acknowledge that there are key behaviors that top sales professionals display consistently and that those traits can be trained and developed.

Let’s take a different perspective. Take, for example, an Olympic athlete. While one can argue that some children are more genetically inclined for gymnastics at age 4 than others, no one can argue that in order to be considered for the Olympics gymnastics team, one must dedicate a lifetime to intense and vast practice and training to the sport. In fact, any great athlete dedicates their time to formal sport-specific training as well as cross-training and studying.

Why would becoming a top sales professional be any different?

The fact is, great sales professionals constantly honing and developing the traits and skills that make them great.

Okay, so sales people don’t go to the “sales-gym” for five hours a day for formal sales practice, but they engage in productive sales “cross-training” all day in every social interaction they have. They are practicing their listening skills, their empathy skills, their presentation skills, and all the other important traits that make a sales person good.

As a sales professional, you owe it to yourself, and to your team, to do the exact same thing.

If you’re still new at sales and not sure what you need to work on, then start with a sales evaluation test and some formal sales training. From there, find a mentor to provide some of the coaching you need to continue to develop and most importantly, dedicate time every week to self-improvement and growth.

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