Sales Assessment Findings and Cultural Differences

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 @ 08:10 AM

cultural differencesI was in Istanbul this week, speaking to nearly 250 sales and business leaders.  I learned that Turkey didn't participate in the global economic crisis as they're simply growing all the time.  My audience wondered how cultural differences affect our assessment findings and seemed quite satisfied with the explanation.  I'll repeat it here.

If we can agree that selling is simply helping people to buy from you, regardless of industry, product, service or geography, then what exactly is different from one culture to another?

There are many cultures where you must be from "there" in order for people from "there" to buy from you.  Don't believe me?  Some examples of "there" exist right here in the USA!  Maine, Alabama, NYC and the Midwest.

There are other cultures where you must determine which meal is most appropriate for business to be conducted - breakfast, lunch or dinner?  Do you bow, kiss, shake hands or nod?  How should you dress?  What should you order?  Is dining together a requirement?  Should you accept an invitation to their home?  How long should you discuss your families before it's appropriate to begin discussions about business?

Beyond the the obvious cultural differences which can be found on many websites, when it comes time to actually sell, the selling doesn't change much.  That said, do the findings on our assessments change according to culture?  The only thing which changes is whether a weakness has the same power to intefere with performance.  For example, Need for Approval (the need to be liked) has tremendous power to hold back salespeople  in North America, where 63% of all salespeople are burdoned with it.  It prevents salespeople from asking a lot of questions, tough questions, pushing back and challenging their prospects.  Salespeople with Need for Approval are affected throughout the sales process.  By comparison, the same finding in Asia, where cultures are based on respect, have little impact on salespeople's effectiveness, even though the finding is still accurate.

The biggest issue with assessment findings and culture is with our two most important findings: Desire for Sales Success and Commitment to Sales Success (one more here).  In some cultures, a much higher percentage of salespeople lack Desire and Commitment.  When companies learn that their salespeople lack Desire or Commitment, they immediately want to blame culture; but that's the easy way out.  It certainly might be consistent with the culture of their company, but not something the company must endure, even on the other side of the globe.  Leadership must simply decide that if it wants to build a better sales culture, they better begin with Desire and Commitment becoming mandatory requirements.

Speaking of requirements, findings, sales assessments, candidates and culture, I have updated my hugely popular White Paper, The Science of Salesperson Selection.  If you would like an updated copy, click here

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, sales management, Sales Coaching, white paper, istanbul

Why Young, Male Salespeople are at a Huge Disadvantage

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:01 PM

TrustImageIf you have been reading this Blog for a while, then you may remember my requests during the last half of 2011 to complete a survey for my Trust Project.  My goal was to understand to what degree people did not like and/or trust salespeople and integrate that information into our future work.  I thought it could signify the importance of additional findings in Objective Management Group's Sales Candidate Assessments, and it could influence how we train salespeople in the future.

The research has been completed, a white paper has been penned, and I have a sneak preview for you below after which you can download the entire white paper if you want to dig in to the findings and determine whether they affect your business.

Did you know that salespeople distrust other salespeople nearly as much as non salespeople do?

Did you know that women and salespeople were 25% more likely to be victims of a sales scam than men and non salespeople?

Every woman that completed the survey has been the victim of a sales scam!

Did you know that men and women, as well as salespeople and non salespeople, don't agree on who are the second and third least trusted of all salespeople?

Young, male, insurance salespeople have almost no chance of getting women to trust them.

Automobile salespeople are the least trusted salespeople of all.  They are not trusted by anywhere from 80 to nearly 100% of the population.

There are three industries from which salespeople are generally trusted quite well.  Read the White Paper to learn what they sell.

The big surprise in the study is WHY people don't trust salespeople.  It's not at all what you think it is and if you take a guess I'm sure you'll be wrong.  After you read the white paper, please return to this article and answer these questions:

What does this mean for your company?  For your industry?  For your salespeople?  For the salespeople that you will hire in the future?  What will change about how you train them?

Click here to download my newest White Paper, The Trust Project: In Salespeople We Don't Trust; Where, When and Why Salespeople Aren't Trusted


Topics: Dave Kurlan, white paper, auto salespeople, insurance salespeople, distrust of salespeople

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,800 Articles

About Dave

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.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee


Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs


Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader