Is it Good to Have Perfectionists on Your Sales Force?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 05:04 AM

perfectionistThe best thing about perfectionists on your sales force is that you don't usually have to worry about their administrative accuracy. Their emails, letters, proposals and quotes are well done and not prone to typos. The information they input into your CRM or SFA is accurate and done on a timely basis. Their call reports are meticulous and submitted on time. What's not to like about that?

The downside of course. And what's that?

Well, perfectionists won't do anything unless they believe they can do it perfectly. So when you're attempting to get them to do something different, they usually won't do it until they perfect it and they won't perfect until they start doing it. So rather than change, they'll develop a paralysis of sorts and you'll think you're getting resistance when in fact it is really fear! Some of the changes you'll be looking for where perfectionists will have trouble are when you are attempting to get them to:

  • hunt instead of manage existing accounts, 
  • sell in a more consultative way, 
  • ask more questions, 
  • push back and challenge prospects, 
  • sell your newest products or services when that is not their area of expertise or comfort
So, can you do anything to help them get started? Yes. Give them permission to screw it up. Provide a safe environment for them to practice. Be sure they understand that you support them and will protect them if something goes wrong. Understand how your perfectionists operate and you can help them develop the courage to try new things!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, Sales Advice

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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