Low Self-Esteem: 100% Fatal for Salespeople

Low Self-Esteem- 100% Fatal for Salespeople

Q: What’s the one thing a salesperson must avoid if they are to be successful?

A: I study salespeople for a living. The majority of them don’t lose because of product inferiority, pricing excesses or poor sales technique. They lose because of low self-esteem! We all start out with perfect self-esteem. Ever met any three-year-olds with self-esteem problems? Didn’t think so.

We do, however, meet a lot of salespeople with a crippling success disease caused by “low self-esteem.” This disease is 100% fatal in destroying a salesperson’s potential and performance.

Signs salespeople exhibit when they suffer from low self-esteem are:

  • Lots of excuses
  • Quick to become defensive
  • Enjoys seeing others struggle
  • Nervous and bails out quickly in tough negotiations
  • Call reluctance (phone handset weighs 60 pounds)
  • Avoids taking risks for fear of failure

Solutions for low self-esteem:

  • Get the proper training
  • Give unconditional strokes
  • Eliminate critical coaching
  • Facilitate stretch goals
  • Don’t just manage results, manage behavior and technique
  • Spend 50% of the coaching on self-esteem, the other 50% on technique and product knowledge

When all else fails, avoid hiring these people. An organization whose salespeople have strong self-esteem consistently outperforms others by 40-50%.

Illustration by Rob Green