How do strengths and/or weaknesses impact the effectiveness of sales professionals?
Organizations strive to hire, train, and retain individuals most likely to succeed. Numerous tools are used to screen and assess potential employees. Sales representatives are evaluated against profiles that reflect the culture of the company and its clients. Benchmarks are established.
Often, words and phrases are over-used in job ads and descriptions: Must be self-directed, great team player, high energy, flexible, excellent multi-tasker, willing to do all tasks outlined plus other duties as assigned… etc.
Consider the flipsides to those “highly sought after” traits:
|Extrovert||Too talkative, poor listener|
|Self-directed||Does not follow instructions well|
|Team player||Relies on others to do the work|
|Embraces change||Has difficulty with routines and processes|
|Multi-tasker||Scattered, never finishes anything|
Imagine a salesperson who is out-going enough to make cold calls but talks far too much on a sales call? Or a driven sales rep who will be successful regardless of rules or the feelings of others? Then there is the person juggling multiple prospects simultaneously who doesn’t achieve sales targets.
Attitude Is Key
So, what else should be considered when evaluating, hiring, or promoting someone? One key factor impacts job performance more than any other: attitude.
Psychologists define four basic types of attitudes: Positive, Negative, Neutral (indifferent) and Sikken (negative and destructive). Actions are impacted by every type of attitude. A positive attitude impacts job performance in a good way. It is a state of mind, not a skill. Attitude is not trainable. Yet, individuals motivated to change their attitude can do so.
I came across this wonderful passage by Charles R. Swindoll:
“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude.
It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame, or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.”
How important are strengths and weaknesses for successful sales performance? In a word, essential! But one factor can influence the greatest collection of strengths more than anything else: Attitude!