Hiring professionals often wonder what type of people to hire or promote in the sales department. Hiring a wrong person can not only be costly for the organisation but also demotivating to some people. Well, knowing a bit of psychology may help.
In the early 1920s Carl Gustav Jung, the father of Analytical Psychology, who studied people’s personality made a distinction between introverts and extroverts. According to this broad classification, extroverts draw energy externally, and introverts extract it from within. Companies who capitalized on this theory have used concepts such as open-plan offices, recharge areas and “group work”. They cater for and increase the productivity of both personality types. Lying in between the two ends of the spectrum, extrovert and introvert, is a broad range of personality types. They are collectively called ambivert, a word coined by a psychologist named Hans Eysenck in 1947. Truth of the matter is that a vast majority of people are ambiverts who fall somewhere along this continuum. Ever since its introduction, this word has entered into the lexicon of the psychiatrists and psychologists and has gained immense popularity.
Ambiverts, the in-betweeners
An ambivert who falls smack in the middle make the most excellent salespeople. To that end, to an extent, all salespeople are ambiverts by nature. A true ambivert doesn’t incline too much in either direction. Because they are neither extrovert nor introvert, they can easily adjust their approach to different types of people depending on the circumstances, allowing them to connect most effectively. Perhaps the back-slapping salesperson in yonder years although appearing to be an extrovert may have truly been an ambivert and became successful by knowing when to lean toward which side of the personality spectrum. Superior salespeople who are serious about improving their performance consciously try to gain insights about their tendencies and preferences and match their approach to the situation.
Advantages of being ambiverts
The personality traits of those people on either end of the spectrum remain stable throughout their lives. Extroverts tend to stay extroverts with a domineering attitude and introverts are inclined to stay calm and hypersensitive for most of their lives. It is hard, if not impossible, to change their personality traits naturally. There are no absolute right or wrong personality types. But so-called born salespeople project a façade of extroversion when meeting with new clients and turn to being introverts in times of introspection. This temperament is what is known as ambiversion. It is this adaptive nature that stands in good stead with sales people.
Salespeople inherently being ambiverts have some professional advantages over extrovert or introvert types. Have a look at some of their behavioural patterns.
- More balanced, or nuanced personalities and wear many hats at work
- Move between being solitary at home or being social at work or vice versa
- Loves the stimulation that comes from teamwork as equally as private work
- Speak up and listen carefully with ease while working with people
- Have a right balance of contrasting skills making them dynamic salespeople
- Connect with a wider range of individuals because of their adaptability
- Are flexible to adapt to any social situations and formal settings
- Nimble making the right amount of hem efficient salespeople for prospecting new clients
- Find it annoying to be an introvert for too long and hence love outdoor sales
- Do get burnt out when stuck being an extrovert out of necessity
- Don’t allow their emotional side to get too carried away and tend to hide it
- Make robust salespeople who can handle rejection from clients with poise
Anyone can become a salesperson
A pure extrovert or introvert is in the minority, and a vast majority of people belong to the wider range of the spectrum, in other words, are ambiverts. That being the case almost anyone has the potential to work in sales. However, to excel in the sales career, it is important to understand one’s real personality and to assess which side of the spectrum the character traits lean. Such self-awareness can be beneficial. A good salesperson is someone who exhibits qualities of both extroversion and introversion. If one’s job is congruent with this temperament, it unleashes vast stores of energy and creates stellar sales performance. The ambiversion nature in a salesperson has enough introversion and the right amount of extroversion in them that they are comfortable in both the situations and find them both satisfying and rewarding.
Ambiverts are better at closing deals
For some reason, there is a belief that extroverts make good sales leaders. Adam Grant, the associate professor at Wharton School, has proved them wrong based on 35 separate studies. According to the studies, there was no statistical relationship between extroversion and income. In fact, ambiversion turned out to be the most proper attitude of high-performing salespeople. Interestingly A-achievers belong to this category too. Sales career requires professionals to be working with different kinds of clients under different circumstances. If a seller efficiently leverages the ambiversion temperament they can be assertive as well as empathetic enough, both at the same time in good measure, to persuade clients to close deals effectively without coming across as too pushy.
Are you an ambivert?
Many personality tests such as Jung typology, Myers-Briggs, Big 5, etc. can be utilized by hiring managers to gauge the personality of the shortlisted job candidates. Although each human being is complex more often there is a natural tendency for people to fall in one or the other types. Sales people who would like to obtain a good grasp of their selves to manage their interaction with potential clients better can also use these tests. It sure can lead to higher sales performance and brighter career prospects.
To learn more about becoming an SMEI Certified Sales Professional, please visit our website.
Images are an excellent addition to any website or blog post. They are key to successful social media – posting images on your social networks helps your posts get shared and liked more.
However, not all images on the internet are okay to use (in fact most are not).
There are laws that allow people to claim rights to their images. Using any image that you find on the internet can get you in big trouble and leave you with a hefty fine!
Image Copyright Laws
We live in a world where images are so easy to find with just a click of a button but we can’t use any image that shows up in search results since there is a cost for ownership of most images. It’s important to be aware of copyright laws in your country to ensure you don’t get fined for using content that you don’t have the right to use.
In Canada, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. This means that if someone takes a photo, it is their photo and anyone else that would like to use it has to seek permission from the photographer. The photographer is not required to register their work to have it copyrighted – when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll) it is automatically subject to copyright and protected under copyright laws. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to keep these laws in mind because if you get caught using an image that belongs to someone else, you could be fined!
How To Find Great Free Images
There are many ways to find images that are free and can enhance your content.
1. Create your own images: Grab your camera or even your smartphone to capture some images! This allows you to be in full control of what the image will loook like and leaves tons of room for customization. Also, having your own images ensures that the content is original and authentic.
2. Find royalty-free images on Google: When you search on Google, make sure you’ve clicked the “labelled for reuse” button! This allows you to reuse the image. See below:
3. Use Creative Commons to search multiple platforms to find free images: This site allows you to search for images easily and helps you find free images from various platforms. Check out this blog post on Creative Commons for more information.
4. Find royalty-free images online: Using sites such as allthefreestock.com allows you to search for various free images, videos, music and icons that are royalty-free.
5. Tools such as Canva: Canva allows you to edit your images and it basically works as an easy-to-use graphic design platform. It also has a massive repository of free images along with fairly inexpensive images (approximately $1 for a high-quality image).
6. Buy images: There are sites that allow you to purchase high-quality images. Sites such as iStock allow you to buy images for as little as $12 per image. You can also get a subscription for $40 per month that gets you 10 images per month.
7. Hire a photographer – sometimes only the highest quality images will do. Hire someone who knows how to set up and take the perfect pictures to showcase your brand.
If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check where that image appears online through TinEye. You simply upload your image or paste a URL of the image and this tool does a reverse search to find out where that image appears online.
Objection #1: I plan to wait until fall
- I understand that you need more time to think. What are your reasons for and your reasons against buying now?
- We very rarely hear that. Why would you delay making this important decision?
- Perhaps, I can help. I am aware that this is an important decision for you. What do you think you will gain if you buy in the fall, and what are you going to lose by waiting?
- Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to use the product right now? No. They why wait until fall? Why not start benefiting today?
- What will change then? Probably nothing. Your need might even be greater. If we can solve your problems today, why delay?
- What will change then? Probably nothing, except our prices might be higher. Why not buy today, and take advantage of the low price?
- You impress me as a very proactive businessperson. You make bigger decisions than this every day. Why are you hesitating now?
- You remind me of Mr. ____ in ____. He planned to wait several more months before buying our equipment. Unfortunately, his company didn’t have the luxury of waiting. During those months, they lost their competitive edge. The competition had new machinery and they didn’t. They lost a lot of business. I would hate to see anything like that happen to you. Why not buy today and get ahead of the competition?
- If your kid needed medical care, would you put it off? Of course, not! Well, why delay on this purchase decision? Aren’t we in a similar position? Your company needs this machinery very badly. Let’s get it in place now, so that you correct this productivity problem now.
- Are you in the habit of putting off important decisions? Isn’t it time you broke that habit?
- Do you promise me you will definitely buy in the fall? Good! I will call you in the middle of the summer so that we can set it up!
- You will buy in the fall? So, what you are telling me is that you definitely want it, right? Well, let’s fill out the paperwork today. We can arrange to have it shipped to you this fall, okay?
- You want to wait until this fall? Is it just a matter of money? If that is all it is, we can arrange to have it shipped today, and we won’t start billing you until this fall. Okay?
Objection #2 We tried something like it, but it didn’t work
- What happened? (Get specific information on the customer’s complaints about the other product. The show specifically how your product is different.)
- Our product has been on the market for five years. That other product was new and untested. You won’t have to worry about our product’s reliability. We guarantee it unconditionally!
- (Prospect’s name), have you ever eaten fast food that didn’t agree with you? One that gave you indigestion? We all have. Yet, you didn’t give up eating just because that one meal upset you. You said you’ve tried something that didn’t work. I respect your experience, but please, do not compare your five-star meal with fast food!
- I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I know how you feel. I have disappointed myself with many purchases. I can assure you that what we’re offering is as different as night and day from that other product. We guarantee it. Let me explain exactly how we are different.
- Let me show you these letters from satisfied customers. See for yourself how we go about producing and backing up what we make. Did you ever see letters of praise like this for that other product?
- Was it really the product that didn’t work or was it the service you didn’t get? We are known for having the best service in the industry. Isn’t that important to you?
- That’s unfortunate and I can understand how you feel. Do you really think that this single experience will prevent you from looking at new and better opportunities?
- We have all been hurt at some time, haven’t we? I am sure you have been hurt in love, right? Has that turned you off to all relationships? I hope not. I respect the fact that you have been hurt. I promise you that will not happen here. We take outstanding care of our customers.
- Are we comparing apples with apples or apples with oranges? Please do not compare us with that other company! We are totally different. May I show you how we differ, and the many benefits we offer you?
- Our product may look similar on the surface to ____’s product, but is only a superficial resemblance. I am sure you have heard that saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” right? Well, it is really true in this case! Can I open the book and show you the ways in which we are different and far superior?
- We are really the Rolls Royce of the industry. Is it really fair to compare us to a Hyundai? Can I tell you more about what makes us the Rolls Royce?
- How would you feel if your company’s products were compared to the worst products in your industry? Well, that is exactly the position you have just put me in. What would you do if you were in my position? May I please give you some information as to why we are far, far superior to that other company?
- When did you try it? You know, great strides have been made in our industry since then! The products we offer today are light years ahead of what you experienced back then! Why not take a new look at what is available today?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a Model T with a Ferrari! Is that really a fair comparison? Don’t you owe it to yourself to take a closer look at what is available and how it can benefit your company?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a 1990 computer with a 2017 computer. Today’s computers are much more powerful, aren’t they? And, they cost less! We are in exactly the same position! Our products are far superior to what you experienced in the past, and they cost less money! Don’t you owe it to your company to take a closer look at what today’s technology offers?
Objection #3 Your competitor’s product is better
- You’re kidding? (Act surprised.)
- Better in what way? (Have customer list features he/she likes in the other product; then show how yours has the same or better features.)
- I’d be interested in hearing your unbiased opinion on the two products.
- Obviously, you’ve had a chance to look at their product. What did you see that impressed you?
- Are you referring to quality, service, features, or the value of the product after five years of use?
- Everyone has a unique way of presenting their product. We let the product speak for itself. I’m positive that you will quickly see that there is a difference between promotional promises and actual facts. Can I tell you what some of those differences are?
- I would agree that there are some differences in design; however, what counts in the future is the quality of the service. What advantage is there in having a slightly better figure on the spec sheet when you need same-day service – and they won’t give it to you? We will guarantee you same-day service. How much is that worth to you?
- Will all the features you see in our competitor’s product, there is one they can never have: our commitment to service. We have more units in operations, more highly trained service engineers, and a better response record than anybody in the industry.
- I’m amazed that you would say that. We have a reputation as the best in the industry. What, specifically, do you think is better in my competitor’s product?
- Our competitor’s product appears to be better? Appearances can be deceiving. Let’s take a look beneath the surface to see what you are really getting. Okay?
- Who told you that? Have you talked to people who own the two products, or have you only been listening to advertising? I am sure that if you talk to owners, you will find that our product is far better respected than our competitor’s
- Some of our happiest customers are people who used to own that other company’s product! Here, let me give you some phone numbers. Call them up. Let me tell you why are product is so far superior to the competitor’s product!
- Better compared to what? All of their major design features are “borrowed” from us. That’s merely a copycat product. (State with disdain.) Our technology is two years ahead of theirs. Shouldn’t you take a closer look at what we are offering?
- It is true they may have some features we don’t have. But please look at the price difference. Their product costs much more up front and their service calls are twice as expensive as ours. Over the course of five years, you could pay twice as much for their product as compared to ours. And they both do the same job! Why not do your company a favor and same it some hard-earned money! You don’t need a gold-plated solution to this problem. Buy our product!
To learn more about earning the right to call yourself a professional, visit our website.
(Adapted from the book “Sales Scripts That Close Every Deal” by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher of Selling Power)
Hire for potential, retain through training, and charge with autonomy
HR executives recruit candidates based on the accomplishments they see on their resumes. And they fail so miserably because it relies on the flawed assumption that people who have done well in the past would do equally well or better in the future. Accomplishments are previous results. On the other hand, candidates who have been hired without any accomplishments but purely because the CEO or the top management believed in him or her, have proven to succeed so spectacularly. Why? The answer is potential.
Potential is the ability to adapt to increasingly complex roles and environments. After hiring the high potentials, continuously keep them in a stimulating environment under which they thrive through leadership programs. Also, give them decision-making autonomy in their respective areas of leadership. So, the human resources professionals need a complete retraining that will offer an extraordinary opportunity for the company to exploit the human assets. The new skills they require are the following:
- Hiring: How to spot potential
- Retaining: Develop effective leadership-developing programs
- Charging: Help the best get better by giving them autonomy
Let us examine them one by one.
Candidates must have not only the right skills but also the potential to learn new ones. Competency-based appointments are increasingly becoming insufficient. That is because what makes someone successful today in a particular role under certain circumstances might not tomorrow because of the ever-changing competitive environment, the dynamic company strategy and the need to manage and work with a different group of colleagues. What is required is the potential of the candidate to fit into future roles. Unfortunately, a candidate’s potential is much harder to discern than competence. Consider Egon Zehnder who developed and refined an empirically validated model over two decades with a predictive accuracy of 85%. In conclusion, this model predicts potential based on five indicators:
- Motivation: pursuit of challenging goals
- Curiosity: explore new ideas and avenues
- Insight: see connections where others do not
- Engagement: with their work and colleagues
- Determination: overcome setbacks and obstacles
Perhaps the CEOs who took a leap of faith and hired a candidate who did not have any past accomplishments to show for must have subconsciously seen all the above qualities in him or her. They were competent people with potential. Sadly, most organizations have HR professionals who kill off good candidates and endorse bad ones. The best interviewers’ assessments and the right kind of hiring can vastly improve the odds.
So, of what are high potentials made?
The superior level of performance of high potentials is consistent in a variety of circumstances and settings. Moreover, they have a high propensity to grow and succeed faster and more efficiently than their co-workers. They are three distinct qualities in high-achievers. They are broadly categorized as performance, behavior, and X-factors as illustrated in the table below.
|Deliver results strongly – credibly
||Recognize that action counts
||A drive to excel
|Master new types of expertise
||Exhibit behavior that reflects the culture of their companies
||A catalytic learning capability
|Perform with distinction with a broad range of stakeholders
||Demonstrate company values in an exemplary manner
||An enterprising spirit
|Competence not at the expense of someone else
||Be a role model and teacher
After hiring the real high potentials, focus on keeping them not only because of the tendency to fall off voluntarily but also because the talent market is very tight. Make sure that the candidates live up to the high potential spotted in them by offering them future leadership assignments. Companies have targeted leadership development opportunities, job rotations, stretch assignments, and executive programs designed to nurture high-achieving individuals. They push their high-achievers up a straight ladder toward bigger budgets, bigger jobs, and a larger team. These measures have managed to continue their growth but not unleash their ultimate potential. According to a research 40% of internal job moves by “high potentials” have failed because of the following flawed assumptions of senior managers.
- Assumed that high potentials are highly engaged
- Equated current high performance with future potential
- Delegated down the management of top talent
- Shielded rising stars from early derailment
- Expected star employees to share the pain
- Failed to link the stars to corporate strategy
A disciplined approach is needed. Leadership development initiatives should reflect the needs of the rising stars and align with organizational goals. Make sure that the job rotations and relevant stretch assignments they are getting suit their temperaments and aptitudes.
Hiring for potentials and providing them with the proper training is not the end of it. Keeping them in the company without the competitors luring them away is another challenge. There are some proven strategies that management can adopt to keep the top potentials who have attended the leadership program engaged, motivated and driven. They need to reinforce and explicitly express that the “high potential” title is not only an acknowledgment of past accomplishment but also of future potential. Also, give them autonomy in the following four “T” dimensions: Task, Time, Team, Technique
We cannot predict the competencies and skills needed to succeed in the future because of the dynamic nature of geopolitics, business environment, competitive landscape and the tight talent market. It is, therefore, imperative to hire and nurture people with the highest potential and not just those who have proved their abilities in the past. That doesn’t mean forgetting factors like intelligence, experience, specific competencies, performance, and leadership skills. But the implication is that companies should hire competent people with potential. Recognize their competence and potential by enrolling them in an executive development program. And finally, cultivate a sense of ownership in them by giving them autonomy in the decision-making. Thus, hiring for potential, retaining them at every level of the organization, and charging them by giving them independence are the key success factors of the most admired companies in the world.
You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.
Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.
Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. it is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe.
A product is something made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by the customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.
Great design will not sell an inferior product, but it will enable a great product to achieve its maximum potential.
When the product is right, you don’t have to be a great Marketer.
Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.
Good products can be sold by honest advertising. If you don’t think the product is good, you have no business to be advertising it.
If you believe your product or service can fulfill a true need, it’s your moral obligation to sell it.
Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
You cannot inspect quality into the product; it is already there.
According to this view, democracy is a product of western culture, and it cannot be applied to the Middle East which has a different cultural, religious, sociological and historical background.
Divorce is a by-product of the fact that maybe the nuclear unit is gone.
My feeling about work is it’s much more about the experience of doing is than the end product. Sometimes things that are really great and make lots of money are miserable to make, and vice versa.
A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one.
I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
The only way to advertise is by not focusing on the product.
I hate bring thought of as a product.
If you don’t sell, it’s not the product that’s wrong, it’s you.
Product management really is the fusion between technology, what engineers do and the business side.
The sales department isn’t the whole company, but the whole company better be the sales department.
Alan Kay’s famous aphorism is that perspective is worth 80 IQ points. An innovative insight is not the product of an individual’s brilliance. It’s not as if innovators’ heads are wired in different ways. Innovation typically comes from looking at the world through a slightly different lens
Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy … Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.
I already am a product
Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships.
I strongly believe that missionaries make better products. They care more. For a missionary, it’s not just about the business. There has to be a business, and the business has to make sense, but that’s not why you do it. You do it because you have something that motivates you.
We experiment endlessly, with new products, new companies and new marketing. A successful business the emphasis is on experiment and development, ideas are the lifeblood of business.
A disruptive innovation is a technologically simple innovation in the form of a product, service, or business model that takes root in a tier of the market that is unattractive to the established leaders in an industry.
Have you listened to the radio lately? Have you heard the canned, frozen and processed product being dished up to the world as American popular music today?
When you are having fun, and creating something you love, it shows in the product. So, when a woman is sifting through a rack of clothes, somehow that piece of clothing that you had so much fun designing speaks to her; she responds to it and buys it. I believe you can actually transfer that energy to material things as you’re creating them.
Mitt – what I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs. What I speak to Mitt Romney about is China, because he’s got a great view on China and how they’re trying to destroy our country by taking our jobs and making our product and manipulating their currency, so that it makes it almost impossible for our companies to compete.
Most businesses think that product is the most important thing, but without great leadership, mission and a team that deliver results at a high level, even the best product won’t make a company successful.
I don’t go cheap on anything, but I’m not a shopper. If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I’ve got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957.
Price is rarely the most important thing. A cheap product might sell some units. Somebody gets it home and they feel great when they pay the money, but then they get it home and use it and the joy is gone.
We have our factory, which is called a stage. We make a product, we color it, we title it and we ship it out in cans.
A sale is a process that takes one closer to the next step until you cross the line marked red. And that is when you complete a sale. Until then it is a dance between the prospect and the Sales Professional. So what are the steps involved in making the final sale? How does Sales Professional figure when to move on to the next step? Here we give you some commonly required steps that would ensure that you get a reasonably good chance of making the final sale.
Qualify your prospects
In sales, it is essential to moderate the customers because it can save you an enormous amount of time. Qualifying the prospects is best explained using the acronym ADD where A stands for Affordability, the first D stands for Desire, and the second D stands for Decision-maker. Regarding affordability, the question we need to ask is can this prospect afford our product. Secondly, does this prospect have enough desire and be motivated to buy our product. And finally, are we talking to the decision-maker or does somebody else make the decisions for the candidate on their behalf in which case we need to ensure that the concerned decision-maker attends the sales meeting.
Entice through convincing
Once you have recognized the decision-maker and had an opportunity to lay down the basics, it is time to entice them with perks. These perks would make their decision-making that much easier. They are a free offering to go along with the final sale that is complementary to the product, absolutely easy payment terms, and a test sampling of the product. It may look like hand-holding the prospects, but that is precisely the objective. The onus is on the Professionals to convince them enough to make the sale.
Commitment in Action
Having made the prospects sample the product, the next thing to do is get them to take some action. The act serves as psychological commitment and is a clear indication that they are willing to possess the product. Willingness to own the product helps accelerate the sales process to a great extent. Without writing down the desire to own the product, it is just a dream. When they have put it in black and white, in this case filling out and signing a form, it triggers off a chain of events that make the dream come to fruition.
Follow-up for payments
Payments are a crucial part of sales. People have a tendency to delay payments. Sales have a role to play in pushing the prospects to make payments as fast as possible. One way is to ask them to make a partial deposit to secure the booking. The other way is to make it easy for them to make the payments. Payment follow-up is like conveying a message. And for a message sent to be effective, it has to be transmitted at least three times in different formats – Conversation, Email, and Reminder.
Eliminate buyers remorse
The sale is not complete until the refund period expires. After the sale, there is a certain grace period within which time the customer is entitled to claim for a refund. It is because once the product is in the hands of the client, buyers’ remorse kicks in and they start doubting as to whether the purchase was necessary or not. Sales people should try and understand the reason behind the guilt and try to alleviate it. Invite them for cocktails, having a conversation or simply asking for referrals can do the trick.