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People may not always have very nice things to say about sales people, but really, are all sales people the same? Can we lump them all into the same category of being ruthless and only out to sell, sell, sell? Let's bust some common misconceptions about sales people.

1. The best sales people are naturals

John Marsh, owner of Elecompack Systems Inc., believes having natural sales ability is an asset, but there are still things you need to learn. The very best sales people come by most of the social skills naturally. Teaching someone to be outgoing is not easy, says Marsh. Good sales people can deal with large amounts of rejection'try to teach someone that, he continues. However, Marsh explains that training is still crucial, especially when closing a sale. Obviously product knowledge in relation to your competitors is the most important.

2. Sales people embellish the facts

So, you think all sales people will fib a little (or a lot) to make a sale, leaving you wondering how you ever got through the day without their better-than-sliced-bread product? Simply not true.

Brian Johnston, sales trainer for Brijon and Associates (representing Hofstetter Business Technologies), says, I'm here to give you an opportunity and if it's not what you are looking for, you move on. Johnston explains that a good sales person needs to be honest. Don't lie and say your product or service can do for the customer, what it can't.

3. It's all about the Benjamins

This may be true some of the time, says Marsh, whose company supplies medical offices with products such as stationary, labels, paper gowns, and masks. The company tells you that you have to hit the numbers. And if you don't you may lose your job.

But this doesn't mean that all sales people are simply out for your hard earned cash. We aren't asking them for anything. We ask them, ÔÇÿDo you use this?' and if they do, we send them a price list and let it speak for itself, Marsh explains.

4. Once they've made a sale, they're gone

Sales people promise the world to get your money and disappear as soon as you realize it is not all they said it was, right? Wrong.

Many sales people follow up post-purchase to see what worked out and what didn't. Amanda Fordham, CEO and President of Canadian Home Healthcare, says, I do think that sales are highly driven, and very competitive, but I'm more clinical and focus on patient care. So, I'm there for the long-term. I go back and I follow up. If we can't deliver the service that they want then I say we can't.

5. They don't care about clients

Sales people often care about clients about more than the number of bills they have in their wallets'they care about the well-being of their clients. My emphasis is on fostering and developing the relationship for the long-term, Fordham explains. It is critical that clients feel they can place reliance on us.

Johnston agrees. We put the customer first and provide a service to that customer, Johnston stresses, adding that, In creating a relationship, you create a friendship.

Photo: kzenon/Thinkstock