- August 29, 2012
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Ann Romney gave a great speech at the Republican National Convention. She wrote it specifically for her intended audience of women, connecting herself and her husband, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, with that audience, and it worked. They loved her.
She was a tough act to follow, but Chris Christie successfully followed with a terrific speech of his own.
Speaking of love, one talking point which I heard loud and clear from Christie was that the people of this country need to choose respect over love.
I have been delivering that message for more than 20 years, not to citizens who must vote for a candidate, but to sales leadership, sales management and salespeople who let their need for approval – their need to be liked – interfere with every facet of what they do.
Salespeople who have need for approval have a difficult time asking questions, pushing back and challenging their prospects. This affects them at every stage of the sales process, from overcoming early resistance, to scheduling meetings, to selling consultatively, to qualifying and to overcoming put-offs at closing time.
Sales Managers, who have need for approval, find it difficult to be consistently firm – think lack of accountability – and it’s even more challenging to coach salespeople to ask better questions via role-play.
Sales Leaders, who have need for approval, often have organizations where everybody likes them, but not quite enough to perform for them. They have an especially difficult time replacing non-performers and holding Sales Managers accountable.
Chris Christie said that “we the people” need to choose respect over love and the love will come. The key word is choose. We have free will, which means that we can choose. When we choose respect, by nicely asking tough questions, pushing back with permission and challenging the status quo when appropriate, we usually earn the respect of others. They will be your friend if they like you. They will buy from you if they respect you. Which would you prefer?
You probably know which salespeople, working for you today, have need for approval, but it’s not so easy to identify candidates who have that major weakness. That’s where OMG’s legendary, accurate, predictive Sales Candidate Assessments enter the picture.