Think some salespeople get their skills naturally? Think again: It's a myth.

Have you ever heard someone say, “He is a natural-born salesperson”? Please realize nothing could be further from the truth. There are no natural-born salespeople. It just doesn’t happen.  All development is self-development. All development takes effort. It takes energy. It takes focus. And it will all happen faster if you are around winners.

Think about this. It’s easier to be a teammate with a perennial winner than it is to play with a team at the league’s bottom. Every athlete will tell you that you’ll earn more and you’ll get more recognition and you’ll receive better coaching and you’ll have more fun and you literally will play better ball when you’re around better athletes.

To play on a winning team in the sales field, you must be constantly increasing your sales knowledge and improving your skills and strategies.

Golf illustrates life

In the early 1990s, I played many, many competitive golf matches. Here’s the most important life lesson I learned back then.

When the competition was better, I was better. When the competition was not so good, I was not so good.

Psychologically, I don’t really know how to explain the phenomenon. Maybe it’s just a competition gene deep inside your soul. Maybe it has to do with your desire. Maybe it has something to do with your core values.

How does this relate to what you do? 

You have to be very careful about the kind of people that you associate with. You have to be very careful about what and who you listen to.

Givers and takers

There are only two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Now, I’d like to ask you to separate the people in your inner circle into one of these two categories. Remember, their name can go in only one column or the other. That’s it. They’re either a giver or a taker. Be truly honest with yourself. 

Once you write out that list, you have to be very careful of the takers on your list, no matter how close you are with them. They will suck the lifeblood right out of your body. 

The takers are usually a group of non-dreamers. They are usually a group of people that see the world through a half-empty glass. Do takers need to be entirely eliminated from your life? No. But you have to be extremely careful because they are going to negatively affect your mind and your choices in unbelievable ways.

What about the givers? What about you? If I ask five of your friends, “Are you a giver or a taker?” what would they say?

If you don’t feel like you’re a giver, do you feel like you can become one? Do you think you were naturally born to be a taker? Or do you believe that it might be a learned behavior? Is it possible that you can make better choices on a daily basis?

Here’s a hint: If you spend more of your time with givers, you may find yourself changing.

Constantly look at your list. Constantly upgrade your list. Keep thinking about being better and doing better.  Keep planning for self-improvement. Remember, what we regularly and consistently affirm about ourselves has a way of becoming reality. 

Here are some questions and affirmations that may serve to guide you:

What is talent but originality robed in resourcefulness?

What is achievement but a dream dressed in work clothes?

What is accomplishment but ability stripped of its doubts?

What is life but a series of opportunities masked as difficulties?

What is significance but effort that is draped in day-to-day self-improvement?

Becoming more significant

What I want to constantly encourage is for you to be more significant. Ask yourself these two questions on a daily basis:

  • What did I do today?
  • What random act of kindness did I perform today? 

 Many of you have sales and business development roles. I promise, if you spend time on the self-improvement habit, your business will grow.

For more from Marvin Leblanc, see:

Business Gets Personal

The Referral Word Track

No Leader is Without Weaknesses