The Natural Born Salesman

Is there such a person? Someone born with a native style that fits the accepted salesperson template?

Or is the art of selling an acquired skill resulting from disciplined study and practice in the field?

Personally, I think it’s a little of both, leaning pretty heavily toward the study and practice side.

It’s true that some salespeople use only a few of the conventional strengths associated with the profession and still find an acceptable degree of success.

I’ve talked with salesmen around the country who have had long, acceptably successful careers without specialized training or education. They just used what comes natural to them: they just talk to people, and tell a story.

You can’t just tell people what to do; you have to contact them emotionally. And the best way to do that is to tell your own story.

When asked about their secret to success, they uniformly say the same thing:

“Everyone I meet is a friend, or will be. I find everyone interesting and I guess it shows. I just talk to people. I don’t go in with the idea of trying to sell them as my first thought, I’m sincerely interested in the people I’m meeting. Then if there is a way I can help them with what I’m offering, they buy from me. They are my friends first and my customers second.”

Their native selling style aligns perfectly with the territory, environment or product they are selling. The old adage, “people would rather buy from their friends” also holds true in this case.

But, transplant them to a different sales situation and they will often come a cropper, and run into difficulties.


Because they’re using one tool, arguably the most important one, but still their “tool kit” is somewhat limited. Selling is a human activity and human beings are different one to another. Sometimes you have to adjust your selling style to match theirs.

Human beings can and do act and react in some very unscientific and unpredictable ways. Unless you as a salesperson are able to adjust your selling techniques to the customer, you will always lose out to someone who can.

This fact alone highlights the limitations of the natural born salesperson. This type can sell when the customer fits into what this salesperson is good at. But being good at only one thing will severely limit your opportunities.

The real secret to success in sales is to align your selling techniques to the underlying natural laws of selling. These two factors (natural laws and learned techniques) taken together are practically unstoppable.

Basic principles plus practiced techniques will win out over the natural born salesperson in the long run.

Now, all that being said, is there such a thing as the natural born salesman?

If there is such a person it is someone with an inborn ability to tell a story that people can relate to.

Said best in this well-worn maxim:

Facts tell, stories sell.

Telling your own story in your own way is the closest you’ll get to becoming the natural born salesman.

After all, what is more human than stories about you, coming from you, that your customers can relate to?

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2012-2030, all rights reserved


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