We are often asked by clients if there is a preferred sales type or profile that is the best predictor of sale success, unfortunately the answer is NO.
Certainly there are the vested interest sales gurus that spin their particular band of sales stereotyping for selection purposes. As an example, the ever present Myers – Briggs profiles i.e. ENTJ while interesting doesn’t really correlate with any real success.
The reality is there are a variety of profiles that produce exceptional sales professionals. The common denominators are more about the desire to succeed, self- reliance, and the commitment to hard work.
Without these internal drivers, stereotypical skills and characteristics while important such as: communication, listening, analytics, organization and personality pale in comparison.
Similarly top sales professionals come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines ranging from teachers, coaches, accountants, mental health workers, to administrators and so on.
The best predictor is to look at a person’s work history and search for a pattern of dedicated hard work and results.
You can always provide training on product knowledge, however you can’t kick people out of bed in the morning!
Words to live by unknown poet, ”The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were tolling upward in the night.”
Recently I got out in the late one afternoon at my favorite golf course and was please to find I was all alone and could revel in playing a round at my leisure.
As I made the turn at #10 a father and his 17 tear old daughter asked if they could joint me and said only she was playing and he was along for the ride.
I agreed reluctantly being distracted from the joy of privacy of a singleton round.
As the youngster teed up for the first hole, her father said she was a member of a local high school golf team and was being courted by a number of prestigious universities to accept a golf scholarship.
I was already impressed before she struck the first ball. Moments later, I was even more impressed witnessing a beautifully pure swing and perfect results right down the middle of the fairway.
After a few more holes, I commented to her father that she appeared to be a “natural”. He looked at me quizzically then replied to the contrary, she had worked her butt off to be a superior performer.
He said the desire came from her and she followed a simple formula APC (Awareness, Plan and Commitment) which became her mantra for continuous improvement.
He pointed out once she decided to excel at the game, she became aware of what areas she needed to improve on, then got a coach who designed a developmental plan and she committed herself to the plan. After years of hard work, she now looked like a “Natural”!
As I reflected on the lesson this young person unintentionally provided me on the golf course, I was struck by the simplicity of her approach and the formula for those who want to excel in any endeavor.
I’m now including APC into our discussions with business owners, sales managers, and sales professionals who want to improve their performance.
You just never know when an idea presents itself!
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