Take Your Salespeople from “Wimpy” to Winning, Part 1
While most people who turn to sales as a career are highly talented, intelligent, and capable individuals, the reality is that 80 percent of those who enter the sales realm ultimately fail.
But why is that? Working under the assumption that no one gets into the sales realm to be an average producer, why is it that most salespeople cannot execute on what they’re taught? And, as a sales leader, how can you make sure that the sales people you hire are not only successful, but don’t leave your organization after you’ve spent time, money, and resources to train them on your business model?
When it comes to why most salespeople fail, the reality is that it has little to do with their actual competencies, and more about the fear-driven mentality that plagues them. Whether it’s the fear of rejection or failure, most people are prematurely fearful of losing something they don’t even have (in this case, a client’s business).
When you take all of these fears and put them together, even the most capable person is likely to fail. In order for salespeople to find success, it’s not enough to simply know the products and how to talk to people—they have to get past the mental blocks.
Attributes of a “Wimpy” Salesperson
Dwelling on fear doesn’t just contribute to an unsuccessful salesperson—it leads to a wimpy one. But what are the tell-tale signs of a wimpy salesperson? Evaluate your own team to see if any of your salespeople possess the following problematic qualities:
1. Wimpy salespeople want to be popular.
While charisma is important in sales, wimpy salespeople tend to have a high need for approval. They’re the salesperson that makes all of the promises they think clients want to hear (e.g. guaranteeing the fastest delivery, lowest prices, etc.), does whatever the client says, and works under the assumption that clients work with people they like. However, not only are their promises relatively empty, but the majority of top sellers actually fall in the “challenger” category. In fact, nearly 67 percent of successful salespeople are chosen because they don’t just agree with whatever the client thinks.
2. Wimpy salespeople are easily challenged.
Somewhat in-line with the need to be popular, wimpy salespeople don’t put up much of a fight. In addition to accepting whatever treatment a client gives them (e.g. no callbacks/email responses, words over up-front contracts, excuses, etc.), they believe that salespeople have no rights and should never rock the boat. Wimpy salespeople want the path of least resistance, and often lose a sale because they lack conviction.
3. Wimpy salespeople are too emotionally invested.
The phrase “it’s not personal, it’s business,” does not bode well with wimpy salespeople. Often tying their own self-worth to their sales role, wimpy salespeople have a hard time separating professional failures from personal value. Not only does this inability to detach emotion from their work make them less likely to take risks, it also hinders their ability to carry out the basic functions of a sales job, including discussing money, next steps, etc.
4. Wimpy salespeople operate from a position of scarcity.
Lastly, wimpy salespeople treat every deal like it’s the last one out there. Often working with a weak or non-existent pipeline, these salespeople often come off as desperate with their pleading and begging for business. This poor-planning and mismanagement of their workload hinders them from being able to challenge a prospect when needed, because they have nowhere else to turn if the client refuses their business.
Check back next week for “Take Your Salespeople from ‘Wimpy’ to Winning, Part 2” to learn what steps you and your salespeople can take to strengthen their sales game and guarantee success!
Source: Ideas presented by Tim Alderman (president and CEO of Alderman Hockaday & Assoc.) at SIA’s Healthcare Staffing Summit 2018, via his “Diary of a Wimpy Salesperson” workshop.