Everybody talks about “types” of people, in order to try and figure them out.
Salespeople are all taught to mirror, model, and type their prospective customers. Big mistake. My opinion: total manipulation. Total joke. Total waste of time. The key word is harmonize. Not mirror or model. Harmonize is sincere. Mirror or model is manipulative. Get to know them as a person, not a personality type.
But that’s not what I am writing about. Instead of “typing” customers and prospects, let’s talk about types of salespeople. What’s your type?
“Eh, wait a second Jeffrey,” you stammer. “I may not want to know what type I am.”
Too bad. This won’t hurt – it will help you see yourself the way others do.
At the top of my list is the “non-conformist and high performer.” You know the type. Makes all the sales. Breaks all the records. Breaks all the rules. Ruffles management. Does it “his way.” The boss doesn’t know how to handle him. Half the sales team loves him. Half the sales team hates him.
Then you have “conformist, compliant, high performer.” The model salesperson. People who get the job done, make big sales, exceed their sales-plan, and follow the rules. You wish you had a hundred people like this. In my experience, they’re predominantly women. Not to say that men are not conformist/compliant — but men tend to step outside the lines a lot more than women in the selling process.
Then you have conformist compliant non-producer. For whatever reason, cannot make the goal. Darn nice guy. Everybody likes him. Customers love him. Only problem is, he can’t close a sale. Often referred to as “the visitor.”
Finally you have the non-compliant non-performer. He whines about everything. Blames everybody else. Is an accident waiting to happen. Always the victim. The word responsibility is usually as painful as the word accountability to him.
Well, those are the big four. And obviously there are people who fall between each of these sales types. And their personality plays a role with respect to each persons aggressiveness, assertiveness, self-starting ability, enthusiasm, and attitude. But all of these elements are part and parcel of their result – they “type” the person and their character – as well as their level of performance.
You would think a positive attitude would be part of every salesperson’s makeup. But you would be thinking incorrectly. Many salespeople, especially seasoned salespeople, can be highly productive, yet somewhat cynical.
The reason I’m putting these descriptions in front of you for these types of salespeople, is for you to see yourself.
Your manager, your coworkers, your fellow salespeople, and your customers already see you. And “type” you. They see the way you dress. They see the way you act. They see your character. They see your personality, and your style. They see how you perform. But rarely do you get to see or evaluate yourself.
So, I am asking you to do that now. I’m asking how close to “compliant, competent, high performer” can you rate yourself?
I’m gonna throw some other words at you: friendly, helpful, sincere, value-driven, truthful, ethical, and grateful. These are areas of your personality and character that will lead you closer to sales success.
It’s not just a matter of making more sales. It’s a matter of building more relationships — so that one sale, turns into many. It’s a matter of building your reputation, so that when people talk about you behind your back, they say things that you would like to hear to your face (or that your children would be proud to hear, if they overheard the conversation).
Sales success is not about your performance as of this moment. It’s about the strength of your character that will earn you any success that you desire – over time.
In my sales career, I’ve had many sales prima-donnas that made big sales, and broke all the rules. I fired every one of them – and every time I did, the rest of the team picked up the slack, and sales always increased.
You see, if you’re the leader (the boss, the owner, the entrepreneur), people are looking at your actions, and will often judge your character as permission to evolve their own, “The boss did it. I don’t see anything wrong with me doing it.” self-judgment is difficult. And if you ask someone else to judge you, they probably won’t be truthful for fear of hurting your feelings, or their relationship with you.
So, what’s your type? What’s your character? What are you known as? What are you known for? If you can answer all those questions, and are willing to expose yourself to the opportunities that your shortcomings reveal, then you are ready to take the quantum leap – to the type of salesperson that would make your mother, your customers, your boss, and your banker, proud.
EDITORS NOTE: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical — This column originally appeared in the MBJ on Sept. 1, 2016
» Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible”, “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless” “Customer Loyalty is Priceless”, “The Little Red Book of Selling”, “The Little Red Book of Sales Answers”, “The Little Black Book of Connections”, “The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude”, “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way”, “The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching”, “The Little Teal Book of Trust”, “The Little Book of Leadership”, and “Social BOOM!” His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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