Sales Is A Skill

Learning to play guitar, tennis, drive a car, fly an airplane, speak a foreign language, do calculus, and countless other skills all have this in common…. it takes time and effort.

Would you trust a doctor whose sole qualification was a one-hour seminar? Or fly in a plane with someone who took one lesson that morning and was awarded a pilot’s license?

Yet in sales, the majority of reps believe in magic. That there is a short cut to success and attending a seminar will make them a sales master.

They talk themselves into becoming true believers. Under the spell of a sales guru they will drink the Kool-Aid and become a glassy-eyed zealot. Sales training morphs into some kind of quasi-religious experience that needs no defense against non-believers.

The morning after finds the poor rep struggling to remember what it was he believed in so stridently. What was the incantation, the holy words, that seemed to transform him from lowly poser to lofty closer? Like a meth addict spiraling downward with each puff of toxic smoke, the rep desperately seeks out another motivational fix. There are no shortages of gurus (or dealers) to supply it.

Worse than the above is the belief that sales is not or requires no skill. That it is simply a matter of getting people to like you and talking them into things – otherwise known as rapport and closing. This is the posers dream. That they can fake their way to success. It is widely believed because for some it actually (seems to) work. These are the charismatic schmoozers or skilled coercive liars. They are good at pretending to be sincere while oozing likability. They are self-serving manipulators who measure life as what they can get and have no concept of integrity. They want money, prestige, adulation, and power and don’t care how they get it. They have always been around but seem to be the norm in recent years.

Those not naturally charismatic or who don’t want to be a con artist must either master the skills needed for success or suffer in mediocrity. Each element must be tested, and if proved beneficial, practiced until mastered. New habits must be purposely acquired instead of randomly and thoughtlessly adopted.

You can be like the master journeyman, fearless fighter pilot, skilled neurosurgeon and others who have paid the price over years of effort and now enjoy an enviable life. Their success was earned in proportion to the value they offer to others. Their value in turn proportional to the skills they acquired. The skills proportional to their efforts following a best process.