“You have to be born to be a salesman,” they often say. The fact that some employees already have a certain talent is undisputed. The question arises, however, as to whether sales success is really largely due to our genes or can be learned through sound training? In any case, one thing is certain: sales representatives are a species in their own right and are characterized by a characteristic expression of concrete personality traits.

A profession of prejudices

Whispering in the office, whether it’s reality or not, the general public has gained a concrete picture of the typical salesperson over the years. While determined and self-confident, they embody two positive attributes, egocentric and obtrusive are less so. Situations in which a sales representative simply did not want to let up, although the customer has already expressed several times that he has no interest in his offered service, are certainly not the rule.

Nevertheless, it is precisely such negative experiences that remain in the customer’s memory and have a lasting effect on the image of the profession. Often the characteristic is therefore ascribed to Vertrieblern to be above all good in it, other something to “talk up”.

Most prejudices remain therefore a generalization of fewer negative examples of the industry. Nevertheless it is not to be denied that most Vertriebler exhibit certain characteristics, which are weaker pronounced with representatives of other professions. After all, we certainly all know someone who would simply not have been created for the profession of a salesman. How do we make this clear? – His character traits.

Wind- and weatherproof

According to this study, the characteristic of team orientation is significantly weaker than in the comparison group. However, this does not mean that salespeople cannot be good team players. This value stands for the fact that they are not afraid of conflicts and function well without absolute harmony.

Always on the lookout for challenges

High performance motivation is also one of the characteristics of a salesperson and this is probably due to the nature of the industry. Nothing is more in focus than the financial indicators and often the commission makes up a not inconsiderable part of the sales revenue. So it is only logical that sales people strive to achieve, if not exceed, their sales targets.

Not all salespeople are the same salespeople

However, not all sales employees can be sheared with one comb. There are also differences within the profession. One of the best known differentiations is the Farmer-Hunter model, which distinguishes between two basic sales personalities that equally determine the success of a company.

The Hunter

A salesperson who is always looking for variety and new challenges – is used in customer acquisition. He makes sure that he wins new customers and, by consciously listening, always keeps his finger on the pulse of customer needs and thus recognises new potential. Ambitious and motivated on a daily basis, he provides the company with a steady influx of new customers.

The farmer, on the other hand, finds his calling in customer care. Often in the position of a key account manager, he seeks consistency in contrast to his counterpart and contributes to maintaining existing customer relationships. He is less interested in hunting than in the subsequent shepherding of the sheep. His strength therefore lies in the identification and continuous response to existing customer needs. He increases customer satisfaction through an individually tailored offer culture and thus binds the customer to the company in the long term.

Both sales personalities are characterized by concrete characteristics that could hardly be more different. But both are invaluable for the sustainable success of a company, because they need both: Existing and new customers.

It is certainly true that sales people have a talent for presenting the positive aspects of an achievement. To sell an Eskimo a freezer – as the vernacular often puts it – is however not desirable for both the customer and the sales department. A good salesman identifies his leads, addresses them specifically and keeps an open ear and a feeling for their needs. Because a customer, who was urged to buy, will not be more satisfied in the long run and thus probably bring more costs than benefits to the company.

Demonstrably different

The subject of the study was the possible relationship between personality and profitability in sales. However, another fundamental question was also: Do sales people differ in their personality structure from people from other professional groups? The answer – a clear yes.

Always open to new ideas

The first point with a notable difference – mental flexibility – should not be surprising. An open and unbiased sales talk is an indispensable competence of any good salesperson. Because in sales there is no scheme F according to which a potential customer can be won over. Although every sales talk follows a rough guideline, it is in the hands of the salesperson to formulate and place his arguments in exactly such a way that they meet the needs of the customer.

No fear of risk

“He who does not dare, he does not win” could also be attached at this point. According to this study, sales people have a far above-average risk propensity, which can be very effective in sales. Because sometimes it is the unconventional way that leads to winning the attention of your interlocutor. In this way you might get a chance to present your performance, which would not have been possible under the motto “rather play it safe”.

One thing is certain: there is a lot you can learn in sales. This applies especially to the tools of the trade. Generally to say “practice makes perfect” is not easy, however, to sign. Even if some competencies can be expanded over the years, there are still character traits that promote success in sales and marketing and that have literally put us in the cradle.

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