August 30


To Sell Successfully, Do You Need to be a Natural Born Salesman?

By Michael Q. Pink

August 30, 2014

natural born salesman, sell successfully, succeeding in sales

This morning I received this question from Mike and I thought he raised a question many of you are asking. He writes…

“Do you believe some people are not born with the gifts or ability to sell? All of my friends say that I am a natural salesman but I can’t seem to sell anything. I usually get into trouble that even though I follow scripts I never get any return phone calls. I am a natural follower and lack much confidence. The lack of confidence has nothing to do with knowledge but how I view myself. What makes someone persuasive or not?”

Confidence Level Conceptual Meter

Hi Mike;

Succeeding in sales is less about what you are born with and more about what you do with what you are born with! I believe we are all (generally speaking) born with the necessary gifts to sell, play the piano, play tennis, waterski or do ballet for example. In other words, for the most part, we can develop our God given attributes to gain proficiency in those things. It is true however, that some people pick up a certain skill quicker than others and are more suited to one thing or another.

I’ll bet your friends would tell me that you are a great guy. You are friendly, easy to get along with and a lot of fun. You can make folks laugh and have a good time. Your friends know this about you and would buy from you because people tend to buy from someone they feel comfortable with. But hear me well my friend…

Selling is simply the transference of passion.

You say that “confidence has nothing to do with knowledge”. Well, the lack of knowledge is a common reason for lack of confidence. I am going to assume that you are not lacking knowledge in your chosen field of work and it’s true that knowledgeable people often still struggle with lack of confidence.

It doesn’t matter how nice you are or how much you know; if you lack the ability to transfer your passion for your product or service to someone else, it won’t happen. Now a lot of folks I know truly believe in what they’re selling. They do have knowledge and conviction about it, but they still flounder. That sounds like you.

Your lack of confidence is in yourself. But that can change and I can help you. I wrote a blog from my Rainforest Strategy book called, The Lies we Believe Can Stunt Our Potential. It speaks to the root of confidence issues. I guarantee you that you believe certain lies about yourself that run contrary to what God and His Word say about you.

Three other things affecting your confidence include the things we fear, the pain we carry and the image we see. But these are really a subset of the lies we believe. We tend to interpret things in a way that causes fear or pain or a poor image. That interpretation in most cases is a lie.

Now catch this…

The image you see of yourself is generally how others will see you. Numbers 13:33 says, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, who come of the giants. And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Notice that the ten spies who were speaking in this passage, SAW THEMSELVES as grasshoppers, and because of that, the giants saw them the same way.

Have you ever seen a small dog chase a big dog away? How does that happen? It’s because it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog! And so it is with confidence. It’s not as much dependent on your abilities. It’s more about what you believe about yourself and your circumstances.

But here’s the trick…

That belief must be much more than intellectual. It’s got to get deep down inside you. In your knower. And sometimes that only comes by confronting your fears and doing what you are fearful of until you are no longer fearful. Do it until you have great confidence. That confidence should be rooted in the Truth, which you can learn from God’s Word, but believe me when I tell you, this whole confidence issue is fixable.

Mike, I’ve given you a very short answer, but I could easily write a book about the topic. I’m not sure if you are signed up to be notified when our Christian Business Institute begins, but if not, I recommend you do that here. Becoming strong and confident will make an immeasurably positive difference in your life. You should invest in yourself to make that happen.

When I began my career in sales…

I remember having so little confidence that I once sat in my car outside a prospects office for maybe 45 minutes, trying to get the nerve to walk into the lobby and speak to the receptionist. After struggling for a long time, I drove away without making the call! I was that low on confidence. I have gone on to speak to thousands in arena settings since then, so I do understand how to make that change.

A lot of people don’t want to pay the price or endure the struggle to make the change and they end up settling for a lesser life. You don’t have to be in that group if you don’t want to be. Gaining a healthy confidence while remaining dependent on the Lord will serve you incredibly well the rest of your life. If you go into ministry, you will be far more effective. If you remain in business, your earning differential could easily be seven figures over your lifetime,

That choice is yours. You can do it!

Michael Q. Pink

About the author

Michael is America's leading authority on applying Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law to sales and business and has authored 19 books including The Bible Incorporated, Selling Among Wolves and God's Best Kept Secrets. Using that knowledge, he has helped thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs experience radical transformation in their lives and careers, including helping a start-up with 3 struggling sales reps turn the corner and become the 16th fastest growing company on the INC 500 list. 

  • Michael, hay thanks for answering my questions!!! While I was reading your answers, I came to the part of the blog where you suggest reading your other blog about the lies we believe. I said to myself, “He is right, it is not a head problem but lays deep within my heart of self worth.” I told myself that noting I will read will be able to change how I feel about myself! But I read your blog and was like, “Oh my gosh! He is right!” I am that kid who was raised without a father and an absent mother. My mother would tell me that I was worthless as a kid and was not smart enough to graduate high school. As a child I pulled and pulled at that rope and found out I was powerless against it. And accepted my weaknesses as something as who I am not something I could ever overcome. Thank you!!! Now I realize there is a light somewhere out there (confidence).

    • Hey Mike; As unfortunate as your story is, it’s not too uncommon. I was dropped off at a doorstep when I was 3 and again when I was 11. Not the best of starts. I know too many people who were told they were stupid or worthless while growing up by people who themselves had their own issues. No need or benefit to blame them of course.

      Think of it this way… During World War II, one report emerged of a POW camp where the American and British POW’s were told daily by their German captors, how the Germans were winning the war and both the Brits and Americans were suffering humiliating defeat. This message was repeated daily in one way or another. It was meant to demoralize the prisoners and remove any motivation to escape because after all, it was a lost cause.

      The prisoners were despondent and lethargic. Then one day, an American fighter plane buzzed the POW camp and sent the Germans scattering. The sky filled with more American fighter planes. When the prisoners looked up and saw the American planes flying unhindered in the skies, they knew liberation was on the way.

      It was then they realized, THEY HAD BEEN LIED TO!!!! That changed everything! Everything they had been told during captivity WAS A LIE! Hope arose! And victory soon followed.

      We are so often like the POW’s who have been lied to. But when we find the truth, if we embrace it, we will be liberated. Mike… you were lied to growing up. Not so much by your mother, but by the enemy of your soul, the devil. Jesus said He’s a liar and there is no truth in him.

      God made us with substantial built-in gifts and talents. Our natural potential, given us by God is beyond what you have ever imagined. Walk away from the lies. Step into the Truth. There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that you can succeed beyond anything you or your family have ever imagined.

      Read what God designed for you. Believe what Jesus did for you. Mike, you are loved more than you can or ever will be able to understand in this life. Step into your future with boldness. Your steps may be shaky at first and you may flounder, but keep pressing. Like the toddler learning to walk. They stumble and fall but keep on keeping on until one day they are trying out for the Olympics!

      Blessings on you Mike!

  • I noticed I have three things going against me after reading your blog..

    1. I believe in what I sell (its a good product and works for some people) but I am not passionate for it.

    2. I lack confidence in myself and when people hear me they feel the same lack of confidence in what I sell (product/ service).

    3. Lastly, and more importantly. The bible speaks against being “hastey” so I want prospects to go home and “think about it” or “talk to their spouse” when they get home. I don’t like selling because I don’t want to cause people to be hastey in their desissions or pressure them in any way.

    Thoughts? Thanks Michael and God bless you and your help!

    • OK Mike… I will address your 3 points…

      1. If you are selling a good product but it doesn’t really stir conviction in you, consider this… Until you can get a job or start a business doing something you truly are passionate about, you should use this current employment to hone your skills and build your confidence. I sold copiers that I believed were the best at the time. I was not at all passionate about selling copiers, but I saw it as an opportunity to develop and grow. You are not ready to move on. Not really. Make yourself excel in this job before moving on. Think of it as a boot camp. You don’t want to stay there long, but if you put your heart into it and learn from it, you will be a much better warrior going forward.

      2. Write out the reasons you believe in your product. Do you really believe them? If you do, say them with conviction. Confidence comes from doing, not so much from listening or studying. So begin to do that thing that you lack the most confidence in. Do it and do it and do it. I used to be most afraid of cold calling on businesses. So what did I do? I set entire days aside to do nothing but make one cold call after another, until I was no longer intimidated by that. Confidence began to arise. It wasn’t reading about confidence that built that, it was acting on what I had read and learned.

      3. Your motivation to not rush someone is a good motive but your thinking is flawed. First of all, who are you to tell someone else how long they need to “think about it”? I asked my wife to marry me within a few hours of meeting her face to face. That was only 4 days after meeting her online. She said “yes” and we were married 9 days later. Would have been sooner but we couldn’t work it out. It’s been 4 1/2 years. If you want to see how that worked out, read Needless to say, some people thought we should “think it over”, but they didn’t know, nor were they responsible to know, what was best FOR US. Allow people to set their own time frame.

      What sales reps tend to do, is put on the prospect the mindset they have. If the sales rep would hesitate and delay due to lack of confidence in the decision for whatever reason, they assume the prospect will think the same way. If the sales rep thinks the purchase is a big financial decision, they assume it is the same for the prospect. DON’T DO THAT.

      Having said that, you shouldn’t PUSH someone into a hasty decision either. But what is “hasty” to you, may not be hasty to the next guy. I never want to encourage you to be pushy, but don’t be a pushover either. It’s ok to push or at least gently nudge the prospect, as long as it is in their best interest. In order for you to know whether it is or not, you have to ask a lot of questions.

      Never push too hard because there are always things you don’t know and they may never reveal. But if you are passive, many prospects will end up with something that is not in their best interest. Something that may be costly or worse, to them. I do not know what you are selling, but I can tell you that passivity will never carry the day. It is not good for you to be like that with the prospect. It is not good for you to be passive either.

      Have an opinion that matters. Have conviction in that. Share that.

      Hope this helps some.

      Blessings, Michael

      • Thank you Michael for all your time and insights. You have hit so many subjects ‘right on the head.’ I wish to ask one more (I love sales by the way and want to be good at it).

        Many people say I am “passive aggressive”. Meaning I let people walk all over me, and hate to engage in arguing (or defend my position). But when I finally do, I come out to aggressive. I don’t seem to have that middle ground where I can firmly and strongly overcome any objections. I need a cool head at the negotiation stage. I am either too pushy or passive. Can you offer me any help in this area? Thanks again so much!

    • Great stuff!! I hope you don’t mind if I ask you questions on this! I am at a real delicate time. I was just married myself about 2 1\2 years ago. I also have a little girl of 1 1/2. I am in print advertising and it is a tuff sell. No guarantees. I have been there for 3 years and have been on suspension 3 different times for not meeting goals. The base is too low to support my family as the wife is a stay at home mom. I also worked a gym selling memberships and an online school. The total years in sales is just under 10. So you might understand my hesitations in continuing in sales.

      • As they say in stock investing… “Past results are not an indication of future performance”. In other words, the fact that you haven’t done well does not mean that you can’t or won’t do well. However, if you are in sales because it was the only job you could get, it might not be for you. Sales is the best job in the world because it forces you to succeed or die trying.

        Kind of like bootcamp. If you survive the training, you can make a great soldier. If you survive your sales job and by surviving, I mean that you learned to excel in it, the skills you acquire will serve you incredibly well the rest of your life. Most successful entrepreneurs were in sales at one time.

        I believe if you decide you want to succeed and take the necessary steps to succeed, you will succeed. Having said that, if you don’t enjoy that type of work, then you should gravitate to something you can do with joy.


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