By debunking commonly held myths and tackling silly stereotypes, you can find out what it takes to succeed and whether a particular career is right for you. Today we’re kicking off with sales. 

The Myth: You need to be an extrovert to succeed. 

The Truth: Many customers enjoy the showmanship often associated with selling but just as many find such theatrical behaviour rather off-putting. Selling is sophisticated and nuanced, with the successful salesperson reading reactions to fine-tune both persona and approach – without ever losing integrity.

The Myth: You need to have the ‘gift of the gab’. 

The Truth: Yes, it’s important to know the technical details and merits of a new washing machine or insurance policy but these should be discussed. This involves listening, as well as talking, to find out what a customer needs and wants. The best salespeople are great listeners- this is how they keep the customer satisfied. 

The Myth: It’s all about the numbers. 

The Truth: If the product or service does not have to be tailored to the customer in any way, reaching out as often as possible will inevitably reap rewards. But when it comes to high-value sales, more calls don’t always equal more orders. In deals where there’s a large investment, the focus is more on taking time to understand needs then finding bespoke solutions. 

The Myth: Sales is about being stuck on the phone. 

The Truth: The modern sales world is packed full of innovation and the day job can involve making podcasts, offering video links and creating strategies for social media. It’s great fun and gives you skills that can be transferred to other job sectors.