This is a great post on HBR Blog Network from Philip Delves Broughton. Since (as you know so well from reading this) YOU’RE IN SALES! (and, GET OVER IT)… I thought the main message here was very, very interesting. Broughton is the author of THE ART OF THE SALE and writes for Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and others.
In this nugget, he writes that what most companies in sales training programs think really matters (in sales) is wrong(!) He says that when training sales people, they tend to propose one of two things: A sales process with methods and tricks which can move you from prospecting to closing or a set of behaviors and character traits supposedly typical of great sales people and worth mimicking.
He and I both agree that these two things are important; but Broughton says neither approach gets to the most important predictor of sales success:
“If sales people think of what they do as at odds with who they are or what they want to achieve in life, they will fail.”
“If they are comfortable with it, they will thrive.”
“Nothing matters more in sales than how each sales person perceives his or her role, and how the act of selling protects, inflates or undermines his or her sense of self.”
Here’s his bottom line:
“What enables a sales person to succeed is that they have found a MATCH between who they are and what they are being required to do.”
This is why ‘SELLING’ is so satisfying and so much fun in the FOR IMPACT WORLD!