I posted a query a few weeks back, as I got offered a job as a Stockbroker which required me to build up a client base from scratch.
I wasn't sure about the role, as although I work in stockbroking, most stockbrokers here in the UK don't really require you to go out and either cold call or network yourself to build business. I'm not a salesman but I think I come across well to clients and I suppose this got me wondering whether I would be able to do what the office head wanted, which was to cold call local accountants, lawyers etc and bring business in and also network and make contacts that way. He also said I could contact dormant clients, or clients who had left, which I imagine would be easiest.
Anyway, I'd be interested to know your thoughts as to whether someone who isn't a natural salesman (or has "the gift of the gab", as we call it here in the UK), could ever become a good salesman? Is this something you could learn?
I think anyone can be a salesmen. Some may be naturals but I'm willing to bet that most just seem to be naturals because they worked at it. I think if sales is where you want to be then you need to practice and also learn from others. The best way to do this I think is to get a mentor who can show you the ropes.
I'm not in sales but my brother is and I know that over the years, whether he's selling pharmaceuticals, car, or heavy machinery, he always seems to have someone above him that is seeking advice from. They maybe his direct boss or they may just be some expert in his field. The point is, my brother is a natural salesman (especially to women I think) yet he seems to be always seeking new tips from others. I think that's the way to make a buck in sales.
I would say an outgoing (but not overly forward and obnoxious) approach is really all you need.
Hmm, I turned the guy who offered me that job down for a variety of reasons - I have no sales experience, it's in a new city (far away for the UK) where I don't know anyone, and the other more experience brokers who I asked said they thought it would be extremely difficult to bring in £50,000 revenue without any existing clients in your first year.
He left the door open for me to accept the job but despite my current job really getting me down, I keep on veering between thinking I should take it because my job's making me depressed and thinking I shouldn't because it's too big a risk (it's essentially a self-employed role too).
I guess it's proper dilemma...
As someone working at a manufacturer's representation firm, yes, almost anyone can do it. The job just requires you to have the capacity to deal with people. You can't be timid or easily give up on things. In my industry, once you establish relationships with your retailer buyers and factory sales managers, it's really just babysitting. But no college-level knowledge is really necessary. I work on a team of 6 that pulls in almost $3M in commissions, and I'm the only one with a degree. You just have to be personable and persistent.
Also, if you haven't already, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People", and then read it again every few months until you have it down.
No, not really. It takes a special kind of personality to have the ability to get told "no" 34 times and still ask that 35th guy, and do with the the enthusiasm and optimism that you had with the first guy.
Most people can be trained to be mid-level salesmen, but it does take a particular personality type to break into the real money in a commission based atmosphere.