Sales Skills Are Taught At an Early Age Not Later in Life

As a favor to me, a guy by the name of Eric Marcy, who is a friend of mine in Chicago, mentors some of the younger sales representatives at my firm. The other day, we read a blog from a sales consulting company discussing how anybody can learn sales. I don’t blame this company, well, then again I do. On the first hand, they are trying to make money, on second hand, they are misleading the organizations whom they are consulting for. Quickly, we agreed; sales is not for everybody. You can’t force sales. You can’t teach sales. Yes, you can teach somebody to ask questions to uncover needs, though aside from being in the boardroom with them, what are you supposed to do? These firms are about 25 years late to the dance as sales is taught when you are younger.

Not only is it the way someone is raised and the values they are brought up with, being effective at business development has to do with education as well. Let’s begin with the upbringing aspect. Children mimic their parent’s behavior. Therefore, if their parents show them that being rude is acceptable, than they will grow up, mostly as there are exceptions, thinking this is the correct way to handle things and treat people. Also, I’ll never forget and am quite grateful that one day, while driving in the car with my mother and my best friend from grade school, my mother reprimanded me for using the word “good” as an adverb. My household was not in the least bit strict, however speaking like an educated, sophisticated person was a hard rule.

Additionally, children are taught at an early age the two most important words that a sales representative has in their inventory, “thank you.” People who are taught to appreciate the actions of others are miles ahead of the game. Those who are not, yes, can skate their way through sales for a bit. However, once a client puts a $1,000,000 into their product, the purchasing company is in for quite a good ride as to getting that person to do any sort of account management. I try to teach this to my vendors and the only way I know how is to be upfront with them about my expectations and the subsequent ramifications if they are not meant.
Now, there are many consulting firms who have statistics about the rise in sales after they go help a company. I have two theories as to why this is.

The first is that these employees are not top sales representatives or they are made aware as to how much the company just spent on these lessons and begin to move their you know what. Also, when you go in and train a Fortune 500 company, there are too many variables to truly tell who made a difference. I’m not saying that sales consulting does nothing, but it is the personality of the person which counts and a person’s personality is mostly shaped by his or her family. Eric’s opinion, which I hold in high regard is similar. Don’t mistake that I am saying that the salesman with the most “best friends” wins. It is the salesman who understands that his or her clients are paying a lot of money for the service which their company provides and they should be treated with respect and appreciation.

Therefore, all the sales people who are reading this and my presumption is that if you’ve made it the whole way through, you have some agreements with me, should thank their parents and their friends for making them the sales professional which they are today.

Author's Bio: 

Ken Sundheim runs a New York City sales recruiting firm sales recruitment agencies and marketing staffing company new york city marketing recruiting firms