17 Jul 2018

Sales – A skill or an instinct

More often than not, many of us come across young executives on the streets or venues like malls selling/promoting a product of the organization they represent which is known to us as Direct Sales. Sometimes we meet them in the form of hawkers knocking door-to-door. But the most invading of all are the telemarketers trying to convince you why you should opt for their service provider. Mostly all of them, at some point or the other, make us subliminally wonder if they really are able to make conversions and achieve their assigned targets within specified time limits. And perhaps a few of us even try to empathize with the young salesmen we run into.

A question worth seeking an answer for is – Is sales a skill or an instinct?

After working in the fundraising industry for nearly 3 years now (where the product is a dream and an idea of something that will happen in future), I staunchly believe sales is a “natural” instinct. Failures are often faced by people who try to master it as a skill relentlessly but are reluctant to shed off inhibitions and embrace candour. Sales is about being able to shamelessly sell your product without having the prospect feel intruded. In other words, bowling him.

Positive strokes and reinforcement of what you already possess result into concrete experiences, clearing the air on whether the career path suits you or not. What happens in a training room forms only the basis of a trainee’s knowledge but it is his instincts that play a vital role in guiding him through the process of convincing a prospect to sign up for whatever the former has to offer. Whether the conversation will die an unfateful death and whether you still stand a chance to exploit it further depends on how well you have been able to influence the person in front you to keep his ears glued. Sales conversions depend partially on how the information is being perceived by the prospect but depend  largely on how you want it to be perceived.

A salesperson might come across as crass like a high-school student with a hyper-aggressive attitude but if he has got the solution to one’s needs, the annoyance is forbidden. Sales personnel with smart mouths often have it in them to manipulate words that roll out of their tongues. To be able to choose the words tactfully and improvise on field to handle objections is something no classroom teaches. A sales script is a standard script provided to executives coming from different walks of life, holding different interests, speaking different languages and showcasing different personas altogether.

Therefore, instincts as opposed to skills acquired deliberately over time with experience, hold an upper hand in determining the success of a salesperson.

Written by Richa Deokar

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