Alot of people blame their sales failures on a lack of natural sales talent. But some experts believe that being good at sales is a choice. Photo: pexels.com
The 80/20 rule applies to sales people as much as anything else. That means it is 4 times more likely that your sales person is part of the under-performing 80. Is improvement possible? Or, as sales expert Dave Kurlan recently asked, What to Do with Lousy Salespeople? Fortunately, Kurlan points out, sales assessment company Objective Management Group has determined that, statistically, more than half (56 percent) of sales people are trainable. The bad news is that it takes lots of time, energy, expert coaching, and the resources to pay for them. Oh, and add patience to that list: According to Kurlan it could take 18-24 months for the training to become productive.
That's fine and well for big corporations with teams of sales people and the money to spend on sales coaches. But what about the small remodeling company where the owner does most of the selling? Applying the same 80/20 rule, that lousy sales person could be … well, it could be you. The problem, as Jill Konrath points out in Can You Learn How to Sell – Or Do You Need Innate Ability?, is that a lot of people blame their sales failures on a lack of natural sales talent. But Konrath believes that, far from being innate, being good at sales is a choice. Most of us are stuck in old habits that keep us from improving, but the best salespeople, she argues, are the ones who look first at their own culpability and are constantly asking what they could have done better.
So how do you get started? Formal sales training is an option you should probably consider, but Mark Hunter suggests 7 Sales Training Ideas You Can Use Now. Most of Hunter's suggestions—like daily self-evaluation to identify one area for improvement, making a regular appointment to talk with other sales people, and measuring your performance against key metrics—don't cost much more than your time. But you will need to make them part of your routine and give yourself up to six months to see improvement.