Are Great Salespeople Born or Made? As a Consultant or Coach, Why Do You Care?


Maybe you’ve heard this debate.  Are great salespeople born or made that way? 

Maybe you even know peopel who have used it as an excuse to avoid all the pesky business-oriented tasks. You know, like:

  • Marketing
  • Prospecting
  • Having sales conversations with prospective clients
  • Doing an effective discovery session and/or presentation and . . .
  • (Gulp…)  Asking for the business

After all, why should you have to do all that sales stuff?  If God had wanted you to sell, you’d be a salesperson and not a consultant or coach! Right?

Why Do I Have to Do All That Sales Stuff?

Well, let’s take a look at your business…

  • You’ve got a waiting list.  Right?
  • People are lined up around the block to work with you.  Right?
  • Referrals are coming out of your ears.  Check?
  • No peaks and valleys in your cash flow.  Yes?
  • Never under-pricing your services.  Affirmative?

If you’re as comfortable and confident talking to prospects (and asking for the money) as you are doing the meat of your consulting work, coaching or training – then the question doesn’t matter to you.  "Are Great Salespeople Born or Made" is really irrelevant to you.

You also represent less than 20% of the consulting/coaching profession. 

What about the rest of us who know we weren’t born Great Salespeople?

Born or Made, Selling is a Skill That Can Be Learned

Fifteen years of guiding thousands of consultants, coaches and independent professionals has proven one thing to me:  selling is a skill set that can be learned.

And it can be learned to the level where – in a matter of weeks – you can have effective conversations on behalf of your business.

Take a moment to look back over your career (or careers).  How many times have you looked at a new skill set – from getting the copier to collate and duplex, to delivering complex services – and thought you’d never be able to do that.

And yet in weeks you have the rudiments.  In months you are getting pretty skilled.  In two years, it’s completely effortless, and you look back wondering why you were making all that fuss. 

Selling is exactly the same.

Like any other professional skill, you can continue to polish and hone your sales skills for the rest of your life.  We all know that’s true. 

But here’s what I also know is true:

  • In weeks you can have the rudiments.  Will you be doing it perfectly?  No – and candidly – you don’t have to. 
  • With even rudimentary skills you will stand head and shoulders above your competition.  After all, they will still remain unskilled while you have grown in behalf of your business success.
  • You will be having simple discovery conversations and asking for the business naturally and organically.  And they won’t.

The Big Question

So here’s the big consulting/coaching question for today:  How badly do you want to grow your business?

If you’re independently wealthy and not counting on your business to pay the mortgage, gaining even basic selling skills is totally unimportant.  You could care about whether great salespeople are born or made.

But if you are counting on your business to keep a roof over your family’s head, educate your children and fund your retirement, how long can you wait to get the basic skills that can make a bottom-line difference for your life and your business?

Take Action – Make This Your Own

  1. Have a candid talk with yourself.
  2. Are you avoiding prospecting and closing conversations?
  3. Have you told yourself great salespeople are born that way – to let yourself off the hook?
  4. Do you have revenue concerns that could be addressed by even one or two more clients per week/month/quarter/year?
  5. Would you like to have a candid, no-close conversation with someone who’s been there and won’t think you’re weak or lazy because you don’t know how to sell?  Contact me  

You can also check out these related posts:

Avoid the Instant Expert – 5 Quick Steps to Separate the Burger from the Bun
The Need for Approval – How Much is it Costing You?
Are Prospects Mistaking You for a Non-Profit? How to Stand Your Ground and Demonstrate Value

Share a comment:  Your take on the Born or Made question?

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