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Were you born to sell?

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I want to get you thinking today, so here’s a question:

If research showed that being a successful salesperson was a 100-percent learned skill, how would that impact your perception of your own success—or lack of it—today? 

I know that sounds like a strange question to ask, but bear with me. If it were true, how would it impact how you react to a competitive loss or a prospect who decides to do nothing? Would you be more curious to know how you blew it or what went wrong? Would you examine your own culpability in losing the deal? And would you have tried to figure out a better way to help your prospect see the value of your solution?

Being good at sales is a choice. The reality of it is that we, as individuals, are key components of our success. That’s why it really bothers me when I hear people making excuses or saying that they’re just not a “born to sell.”

I assure you that I’m not either. I never even wanted to be in sales. When I started, I didn’t have any natural talent. Nor did I have a charming personality or the gift of gab. Yet, I made the decision to learn how to sell, because I saw it as the vehicle for achieving my goals. I repeat: I chose to learn how to sell. And you can too.

Good salespeople are good learners. When things don’t work out for you, realize that you just haven’t learned what it takes to be successful—yet.

When nobody responds to your voicemails or emails, you just haven’t learned what it takes to pique their curiosity—yet.

When prospects say “Thanks for the information; we’ll let you know when we’re moving ahead,” you just haven’t learned what it takes to build a business case—yet.

Yes, some people do have a more natural proclivity for sales. But most of the really good ones are learners. They throw themselves into figuring out what works best. They’re always striving to improve.

Don’t sell yourself short. You’re capable of quickly learning everything you need to know in order to be a colossal sales success. But be honest with yourself: What do you need to learn right now, today, to take your business to the next level?

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.