Just as some individuals are driven subconsciously and unconsciously to become psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors to overcome personal issues, so do others become salespersons as their own form of therapy. Sales managers have long been puzzled by the resistance of salespersons to training, especially the new ones that need the training the most. What neither the managers or salespersons understand about this resistance is the need of the individual to work through issues on one’s own. This dynamic in itself is puzzling because those who enter sales know that they need guidance and training to learn a new skill set. Why then do they resist the training they need in order to succeed? I believe it is because overcoming a personal issue that restricts them in other parts of their lives is the real goal of selling. The sales job is a structure that forces the agent to become aware of personal resistances that hinder him or her in relationships of all kinds. Let’s look at cold calling as an example.


While there are a few salespersons who brag that they have never had to make a cold call because of their base of friends and associates, most agents must make some cold calls to get started. Even the ones who do know many people and could depend mainly on referrals choose to approach strangers instead. Why? The reasons could be many. Perhaps the person feels uncomfortable talking to strangers and wants to learn how to do that more effectively. This could be because the individual wants to expand his or her circle of friends and uses selling to learn the art of approaching strangers. Maybe he is shy with members of the opposite sex and wants to improve those skills. A more complex reason could be that the salesperson actually wants to fail so as to maintain happier relationships with family members who only reward failure. This would be true of the agent having the “Try Hard Driver” I describe in my book “Sales Self-Sabotage.” This last reason leads us to understand why so many new salespersons wash out of selling early on.


Selling appears to be a simple process of doing a few things well, like cold calling. The belief is that by working hard for long hours, anybody can succeed. It is the overcoming of procrastination to accomplish a better use of time, learning what to say and how to close. What causes the wash outs is not the person’s inability to overcome the obvious, but not seeing or knowing how to overcome the invisible barriers of deeper personality issues. Read my article on this site “Not All Salespersons Are Trainable” to get a general sense of how these complexities of personality stop a person from achievement. The average person simply is not equipped to overcome multiple Drivers that stump even the best psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors. One of the reasons I wrote “Sales Self-Sabotage” was to make salespeople aware of some of these complex personality barriers so that the person would not feel like a complete failure when unable to sell better. It is not a self-help book because average people cannot do for themselves what even a good psychiatrist would have difficulties in doing for that person. These complexities certainly do not stop all who enter sales. The upper 20% Personality do not have such problems and some of the 80% can overcome them to become fairly successful.


The point I’m trying to make is that while many enter sales subconsciously or unconsciously to overcome personal issues, they simply have no idea of what they are getting themselves into. By using the structure of a sales job to overcome certain personality issues of shyness, fear, and procrastination, they run the risk of encountering deeper issues that stop them because they do not know how to deal with them effectively. I’ve dealt with many of these deeper complexities in my own life and with others in therapeutic settings and offer my expertise to any who wish to work through to become top achievers. Contact me at lanestokes18@yahoo.com.


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