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Breaking Down The Sales Stereotypes

By Alice Speri

Since we have all had to deal with a salesperson at one time or another, we think we have a firm grasp on this industry. Here, we take a look at some of the common misperceptions of sales careers.

Because the art of selling is so broadly practiced and everyone has had to deal with a salesperson several times in their life, the category is stereotyped like no other, and false myths are perpetuated by both customers- impressions and salesmen that live up to the cliche. Needless to say, most of these ideas are unfounded, here are some to watch out for.

"You are either born a salesman or you aren't." Wrong. Though some natural talent for persuasion won't hurt, selling is a lot less of an innate predisposition than it is a skill acquired with training, trying, and failing. You are not born a salesman, you make one of yourself, with patience and perseverance and the ability to learn from your mistakes and those of others.


"People only buy from someone they like." Very wrong. Although selling might be difficult if your client passionately dislikes you, that's very rarely the case-and if it is you might want to review your approach, a lot. Instead people will buy from someone they trust, so make sure your honesty is clear from the start, and once that's achieved, focus on the product's qualities. After all you're selling a product, not yourself.


"The more calls I make, the more sales." Not exactly. Zero calls equals zero sales, of course, but the equation is not exactly a directly proportional one. You'll certainly need to place a certain number of calls before you hit a success, but quality is ultimately more important than quantity. Your clients will be able to tell if you are in a hurry and just go through the script automatically, and most importantly, a ten second conversation will rarely allow you to make a connection. Take some time; you are not trying to go through all the phone numbers in the country in one session.


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