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You have all heard it before: “He is a born salesperson.” “She could sell ice to an Eskimo.” The question is, what exhibited traits cause that comment? The odds are that it really has nothing to do with how good of a salesperson he or she is. More than likely, the comment is about a personality trait: outgoing, friendly, never knows a stranger, easily participates in conversation. It is seldom a comment on how successful he or she is because typically the person making the statement is not aware.

One of the most mistaken impressions about salespeople is that it is a career of last resort. I have heard many times someone express that if his current job does not work out, “I can always go sell something.” The reason people say that is because getting a job in sales is perceived as an easily acquired job. The newspapers, regardless of the economy, are always full of ads for salespeople. And in many cases, the entry requirements are very low. If a person can fog a mirror, then usually someone, somewhere will give them a shot at selling something on a straight commission basis.

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