Are Good Sales People Born Or Bred?

Issue 35

How do we make our youth more employer ready and equip them with the necessary skills that our businesses need?

First, we need to debunk the myth that sales people are born and not bred.

Can you really turn anyone into a good salesperson? Well, science has recently proven that a natural propensity for selling but it’s not a genetic pre-disposition.

Epigenetics, the very latest field of research in DNA human science aims to understand the changes in gene behaviour. The most recent papers confirm that within everyone’s DNA some strands of proteins can be either activated or deactivated throughout someone’s lifetime depending on their human experience.

This means that the type of life we life, be that the experiences we are exposed to, how we respond to those experiences, the lifestyle choices we make or the emotions we feel actually do affect our DNA. This change in our internal genetics increases or decreases our propensity to not only specific diseases (for example, arthritis) but also changes in personality and behaviour.

Thereby, supporting the belief that there is a potential salesman in all of us.

So, if we accept that scientifically we all have the propensity to develop persuasive and influence skills, what then can we business leaders do to support the development of these skills with the more inexperienced members of our organisations?

1. Provide solid training from day one. Include sales training in your induction and as part of ongoing career development. Sales should be part of your culture and not just a department.

2. Allow open access to supportive peer communities. Could you introduce a job sharing or internal mentoring/coaching programme into your business encouraging the more experienced people to nurture the talent and skills of the newer team members.

3. Build a success based environment. Catch people doing things well. Make a habit of sharing good news. At CS I send out a weekly email (or sometimes text) which starts with the words … “And this week we’re celebrating.” Success breeds success, so make it a habit within your team.

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