Many businessfolk have odd ideas about salespeople, especially those who are the best at what they do. The antidote to these misconceptions is scientific research, according Chally Chairman Howard Stevens (he and I are writing a book together):
Fact: Most top performers in sales today are better at listening than talking and are careful never to appear pushy or "hard-sell."
Fact: Sales talent is inversely related to school grades. It is easier to teach any subject matter to a great salesperson than to teach an "academic genius" to sell.
Fact: When you convert a sales superstar into a manager, you lose a great salesperson and you gain (at best) a mediocre sales manager. The real victim: the customer.
Fact: Success in sales is mostly based on innate talent. All the training in the world can't make a great salesperson from someone who doesn't have the aptitude.
Fact: Great salespeople seek independence and financial reward. They prefer to avoid the politics and bureaucratic inter-dependence inherent in a management position.
Fact: Even the most successful salespeople usually fail when they attempt to sell in a different way (like moving from outside sales to telesales).
Fact: E-Commerce companies that don't offer "real people" to relate to and consult with customers are over seven times more likely to fail.
Fact: Contrary to the "build a better mousetrap" theory, nearly 85 percent of all new products patented never succeed in the real world.
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