Salespeople With This Weakness Score 47% Worse at Reaching Decision Makers

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 19:10 PM

friends

A lot of the salespeople I coach have a weakness in their Sales DNA - their need to be liked.  Approximately 58% of all salespeople have this weakness and on average, salespeople score 76% in that competency.  Elite salespeople have an average score of 87% and weak salespeople have an average score of 69%.

What would it look like if we were to pivot this data and look only at the group who have it as a weakness?  When we filter the results by the need to be liked, there are some very interesting scores.  Could it be that the need to be liked - by itself - is a predictor of sales success?  Maybe.  We know that if the salesperson is in an account management role, the need to be liked is an asset.  However, in any kind of producer role, especially in a consultative process or methodology, it will get in the way.  Take a look at this data!

Approval-Impact-2

The most striking takeaway here is that salespeople who don't need to be liked, score 47% higher on their ability to reach decision makers!  This video discusses the inability to reach decision makers.

 

Salespeople who don't need to be liked are also 51% more likely to close the opportunities in their pipeline and score 42% higher in the Consultative Seller competency.

Would we see the same kinds of differences if we filtered by another Sales DNA weakness?  Maybe.  What we do know that most salespeople enter sales because of their need to be liked.  It might help them to make friends - over time - but the need to be liked can be death when it comes to:

  • having the difficult conversation to differentiate this salesperson from everyone else
  • identifying the prospect's compelling reasons to buy
  • causing prospects to believe they must do business with this salesperson.

Salespeople who need to be liked aren't able to do those things.  It's too uncomfortable for them because they are afraid that their questions will cause their prospects to dislike them.

Finally, salespeople who don't need to be liked score 24% better in the hunting competency, partly because they score 25% better in being rejection proof.  That translates to a much bigger pipeline, from which many more opportunities move through the sales process to a close.

So then, what does a salesperson do if they are burdened with the need to be liked and want to improve?

If you're a sales manager, you must attend my Sales Leadership Intensive to learn the only coaching approach that will help you coach those salespeople up.  The next one is in two weeks and there are still some seats left. 

If you're a salesperson, you'll need to be coached to overcome this weakness because training and reading alone won't make it go away.  It usually takes between 8-12 months to overcome the need to be liked so good luck! 

Join the discussion on this article on Linkedin.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: sales competenices, Dave Kurlan, need to be liked, difference between top salespeople and the rest, difference between good and bad salespeople

Basketball and the Difference Between Sales Studs and Sales Duds

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, May 14, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

Baseketball is like salesI heard former NBA all-star and current ESPN basketball analyst, Bruce Bowen, talking about Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics.  He characterized Garnett as one of the toughest competitors on the court, unlike some younger, very talented players who aren't as competitive and don't know how to close out games.  He said the difference is that Garnett is trying to win while the less competitive players are trying to make friends.

I've been talking about Need for Approval being one difference between the elite 6% of salespeople and the bottom 74% of salespeople for years, but this is the first time I have heard of the affliction as a differentiator in sports.  In one of my books - it was probably Baseline Selling - I discussed how it would play out if the pitcher had need for approval from the batter and vice versa.

Why is Need for Approval such a differentiator?

In the discussion about Kevin Garnett, Bowen said that Garnett doesn't care what other players think about him. Given his reputation as a shut-down defender, we can interpret that as he doesn't care if other players have a problem with him being tough, unrelenting, unfriendly, angry and passionate on the court. He isn't going to smile at an opponent, ask how he's doing or praise him for a nice play. He doesn't care if his opponent has a problem with that.

In sales, the elite 6% don't care what prospects and customers think about them, as long as they are thinking about them. They don't need to be best friends or have a relationship outside of work. That allows them to ask tough questions, challenge strategies and comments, and push-back when appropriate. These are behaviors that the bottom 74% of salespeople aren't able to do because they care so much about what their prospects and customers think about them. They worry that, if they ask too many questions or push-back, their prospects and customers won't like them anymore.

Who says that those prospects and customers like them now?

Because they don't ask tough questions and don't ever push back or challenge anything, we can be certain that they aren't having the type of conversations that add value.  And if they aren't adding value, their prospects and customers probably don't respect them.   

Do you know which of your salespeople have need for approval and how to deal with it?

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, Sales Coaching, sales motivation, difference between top salespeople and the rest, sales competition

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

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