With no formal sales training and very little real-world experience, today’s salespeople aren’t equipped to succeed. Did you go to school to learn how to sell? I didn’t. I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree (English major, history minor).
I never expected to have a long, successful sales career. I was young, soft-spoken, shy and very, very respectful of my elders. I mistakenly believed all salespeople were pushy, arrogant, in-your-face, loud, obnoxious extroverts. But while some sales reps are all those things (and more), the best salespeople—the rainmakers whose sales pipelines never seem to dry up—are honest, straightforward, respectful, inquisitive and genuinely interested in helping their customers make the best possible decisions for their businesses and families.
The problem is that because these success secrets are generally not taught in school, salespeople must learn them on the job. Most new salespeople have little training, even less coaching and no real-world experience. So they wing it—and come crashing down to earth.
Marketing expert Dan Lyons’ online article “Study: Three of four sales reps have no idea what they’re doing” draws on research from the Objective Management Group: “At first glance it seems shocking that there could be a profession in which three-quarters of practitioners are inept. If the same ratio were applied to medicine, we’d have patients dropping dead all over the place.”