This is not something you hear very often but I can tell you with certainty and from my own experience that salesmen are definitely not born. Salesmen are made.

Yes, some people are born with natural tendencies in certain skills which might give them an advantage (sometimes an unfair one) over average people. Take for example a 6-year old child prodigy that plays a Beethoven piano sonata on the level of an adult pianist with 30 years of experience.

But can the above possibly mean that others cannot become professional pianists or violinists, coders or salesmen?

I can tell you from my experience that if I did it, so can you. Back in my teen years I was an introvert who was afraid to speak out his opinion, let alone go and sell anything to anyone. This changed in my early twenties.

Upon graduating from my university studies and with no relevant job on the horizon following the 2008 financial crisis. I decided to work in sales for a company in London. We had to knock 100 doors a day, selling charity memberships to house/flat tenants/owners. At that point I had zero experience in sales and still felt like the introvert teen I used to be. But this changed over the course of a few days.

One door after another, watching my experienced colleagues in action, I got intrigued. I thought to myself that at that point, this was the most impressive thing I had ever seen, after a child performing piano concertos. In some cases I couldn’t believe my eyes, that a house tenant who at first was negative and/or hesitant, was eventually turned to a positive paying customer with the use of the right words and body language.

I started to apply the same techniques. It wasn’t easy at first, some of my colleagues were indeed natural. Others had just learnt how to do it, equally well. Sometimes even with better results. You could always somehow tell the difference between the two. But it didn’t really mattered. What mattered was the result.

Eventually, I started to close. It wasn’t easy. A close plays the most important role in the life of a salesman. A close for a salesman is what a goal is for a football striker. Without it, psychology is affected and a “lost attitude” kicks in. The only option is to deal with it and keep pushing for results.

Later in life, while working in the advertising sector, I used the same door-to-door approach to close businesses in Cyprus. It worked. I even closed the first business I visited on the spot. Then another, and another. Within 3 months, I closed €100K worth of advertising services.

Closing deals enabled me to improve myself and become a better person. It eventually made me an extrovert and extrovercy pays back more.

I hope you found this article useful.

Till next time.

A. M.