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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#197: The Sales Gene

I feel sometimes like half my job, when I'm working with non-traditional sales teams, is to dispel myths. My favorite is that there are certain people with a "sales gene."

As if people exit the womb, finger-guns at the ready, immediately selling the delivery room staff on why they should be able to skip the bath and get right to nursing, or something.

Being good at sales is not like having dimples or curly hair—it's not baked into our DNA. Good salespeople are made, not born. Yes, some people are better at talking than others, but that doesn't make them better at selling. In fact, it can make them worse.

Just as someone who is told they are a "natural athlete" might not practice as hard, a salesperson who thinks they can rely on charm and the gift of gab is more likely to forego the discipline of sales. They aren't as likely to get in their reps, if you will.

So before you dismiss yourself as a salesperson because no one ever told you that you were a natural, remember this: being good at sales isn't about your genes. It is about working hard, listening carefully, and following through on your promises. And I'm not aware of any gene that controls all that.


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