Norton: Is there such a thing as a born salesperson? (column) |

Norton: Is there such a thing as a born salesperson? (column)

So, occasionally, my selling roots do show up in some of my writing. And, although you may not be in sales yourself, two things may happen by continuing to read on. First, you may know someone in sales, and they could find this column interesting. Second, even though it looks like a column about the selling profession, it’s really about much more.

Over the years I have heard two sides of an argument. There is one school of thought that believes there are certain people who are born with the gifts, personality, attitude and skills to be recognized as a born salesperson. The other side of that argument is that there is no such thing as a born salesperson — salespeople are made, not born. They will argue that even though they may have been blessed with the gifts, personality and attitude, there is no way they were born with the skills.

Do you know any born salespeople? I mean the kind of person that without any guidance or direction just somehow ended up in sales. And not only did they end up in sales, they were somewhat successful and sometimes even wildly successful. I know that I can personally name a few men and women who I know and who I have worked with who may have me thinking that they actually were a born salesperson.

Now having spent most of my professional life in personal and professional development, and having met thousands of salespeople over the years, I may be qualified to choose a side in this debate. Just like I believe there are born athletes, born musicians and born chefs, I also believe there are born salespeople. But just like an athlete, musician or chef who was born with certain gifts, personalities and attitudes, somewhere along the way they were taught and perfected skills and techniques. Somewhere along the way they received coaching and training to elevate them to a new level of achievement.

When we look at the difference between being born with certain physical qualities and positive attitudes that help us get to where we want to go in life, there is also this other quality called desire and another trait called work ethic. And when we can marry our desire and work ethic with the qualities and attributes we were born with, while working on ourselves and our craft, we can become great at anything.

Maybe the argument shouldn’t be about whether or not we were born to be a certain kind of person, maybe the argument should be that we were all born with gifts, personalities, attitudes and the ability to build upon each one through some great coaching, training and practice.

A born doctor, a born nurse, a born leader, a born teacher, this list could include any one of us. Sure, maybe we had a little guidance and direction, and maybe we felt a pull or tug toward an area that we are passionate about. But every person who has achieved success has done so by coupling who they are and what they aspired to become with hard work, desire, perseverance and endurance. Yes, even the born salesperson.

So how about you? Are you making the most of the gifts and talents you were born with by coupling them with desire and work ethic, skills and practice? I would love to hear your story at and when we realize that we were all a born somebody, who can be great at anything, it really will be a better than good week.  

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

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