Sales Moves

What’s your ‘type’? Mine is ‘sales successful’

August 4, 2017
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Everybody talks about “types” of people to figure them out.

Salespeople are all taught to mirror, model and typecast their prospective customers. Big mistake. It’s a joke and a 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.

However, instead of “typing” customers and prospects, let’s talk about types of salespeople. What’s your type?

“Wait a second, Jeffrey,” you say. “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 and does it “his way.” The boss doesn’t know how to handle him. Half the sales team loves him, and 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 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, this person 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 and blames everybody else. He’s an accident waiting to happen, and he’s always the victim. The words responsibility and accountability generally are missing from his repertoire.

Those are the big four, and obviously, there are people who fall between each of these sales types. Their personality plays a role with respect to each person’s aggressiveness, assertiveness, self-starting ability, enthusiasm and attitude. But all of these elements are part 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 telling you about the different 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 and the way you act. They see your character, 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 and competent” 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.

Sales success is not about your performance as of this moment. It’s about the strength of your character that will earn you the success you desire.

Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 6, 2016, Business Journal.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. For public event dates and information about training and seminars, visit www.gitomer.com or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

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