“No one can arrive from being talented alone, work transforms talent into genius.”

– Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova knew what she was talking about. She was a Russian prima ballerina in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries who danced with the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes. She is most recognized for her creation of the role of The Dying Swan and she was also the first ballerina to tour the world with her own dance company.

Anna Pavlova was likely born with a whole lot of talent, then she trained at the Imperial School of Ballet in St. Petersburg for 8 years before joining the Imperial Russian Ballet. The rest is history.

The story of Anna Pavlova has a parallel in sales. Anna Pavlova was born with a lot of talent but had she not trained for 8 years at the Imperial School of Ballet, she would have never joined the Imperial Russian Ballet, never have been promoted to prima ballerina and never have toured the world with her own company.

There is an insidious myth in sales, the myth of the “Born Salesperson,” that there are people that are born with the “gift of gab” and are just “natural salespeople.” This myth does a huge disservice.

Much like ballet, selling is a skill and it can be learned. Talent is only a starting place.

If you or your team are not having the success that you envision, the really good news is that sales training can change that. In addition, it is unlikely to take you 8 years to get to where you want to be.

Anna Pavlova also said, “To strive tirelessly and at all times to reach one’s goal – therein lies the secret of success.”

In this first month of this new year, I wish you your success.

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