I’ve been assessing salespeople since 2001 which, as you can imagine, has provided some unique experiences. These experiences have revealed some odd factors that seem to be supportive of sales success.
The oddity is that there seems to be a yin and a yang to abilities…a give and a take. Here are just a few:
Fearlessness vs. Compliance
This oddity might be the most common. There is a component to successful selling that involves a fearlessness to adroitly ask difficult questions to qualify prospects. Many (most) people are uncomfortable asking these questions.
For instance, it is “impolite to discuss money” is one of our social mores. However, you will not get far in your sales career if you are incapable of accurately qualifying the prospect’s budget. This ability requires a fearless attitude.
The other side of this coin is compliance which is oddly infrequent among most salespeople. Sales leaders need a certain level of compliance to maintain some semblance of order within a freewheeling sales department. Good luck.
My experience has found that most salespeople are non-compliant and I think there is a specific reason. Compliant styles like to plan a predictive sales call. They like to almost script the call with expected questions and well-constructed answers…then the call happens. The compliant salesperson begins the call/meeting based on their anticipated script and the prospect makes a 90 degree turn and the script blows up. Low compliance, high fearlessness is an advantage to sales success as they are freer to move with the prospect no matter which direction they go.
I’ve encountered other oddities along my assessment travels – I will share those in the near future.