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