With some people, sales professionals have pretty bad reputations. Working in sales has gotten such a toxic reputation that most people don’t want to deal with salespeople at all and certainly don’t want to become one. It’s important to know, however, that much of the bad impressions surrounding sales work is based on myths and misconceptions. Though pervasive, these common beliefs about sales simply aren’t true.

“Salespeople are born, not made”

People often view salesmanship as a magical power bestowed on people at birth. They believe that one is born with the magic of sales and if they don’t innately have this skill, they’ll never make it in sales. In reality, however, selling is a skill. While some people do seem to have a knack for selling, anyone can learn to sell and hone their sales skills with some practice.

“Everyone is a buyer

Bad salespeople fall for the myth that everyone they speak to is a prospect. When told no, these people just push harder and annoy their victims. Being good at sales requires learning about the product and understanding who it can benefit. When the right product gets taken to the correct customer, sales becomes much easier. The salespeople who do this hear yes much more often than no, and do so without being pushy or rude. Not everyone is a potential buyer. Someone without a dog, for example, is never going to buy dog food, no matter how great the product. In order to succeed in sales, it’s important to understand this key difference.

“Sales requires a golden tongue”

Many people believe that to succeed in sales, one needs a golden tongue. If you aren’t great at persuasive arguments, many believe that you won’t do well in sales. In truth, good listeners sell better than fast talkers. Listening to a client reveals what they truly need and want. This skill helps the salesperson match the right products to the right people, creating a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller. Fast talkers can sometimes force a sale, but more often they turn people away from the company or product.

“Sales equals lies”

People often hesitate to get into sales for fear the job requires lying. It doesn’t. Sadly, some salespeople do lie, and it often works in the short term. In the long run, however, lying erodes trust and fails to build a strong customer base. Most people in sales want to help their customers and are actually very honest about the products and services they sell.