As usual, I had several thoughts about this so, in no particular order...
- Note that it isn't "The" 13 traits; it's simply 13 traits, implying that there are others;
- It's also not "The Top 13" traits;
- These are not in any way, shape or form, expert opinions;
- Charisma? Really? If the salesperson will be presenting to audiences, sure it would be a nice plus for them to be charismatic but if you read the actual explanation, the contributor is simply talking about someone who is likable. Likable is good, but hear this: All of the mediocre and horrible salespeople - almost the entire 74% - are likable!
- Laziness? Seriously? A great example of how an executive confuses a behavior with a result. Great salespeople aren't lazy, they simply know which opportunities to pursue and don't waste their valuable time chasing low percentage, low profit opportunities!
- Hunter's Mentality? That's the correct phrase but if you read the contributor's explanation, he got the mentality part wrong. He's more focused on whether the salesperson is excited enough about a huge opportunity to pursue it. A true sales Hunter's mentality is to actually find as many sweet spot opportunities as possible and not waste time pursuing those with low odds of closing.
- Intelligent Fighter? This contributor mixes motivation with what he calls politely persistent, or assertiveness. Motivation and assertiveness are not the same things. There are plenty of highly motivated salespeople that are not nearly assertive enough, and plenty of assertive salespeople who are not very motivated.
- The Trifecta? This contributor says it's a combination of Drive, Personality and Intelligence but he describes someone who has the ability to get in front of a buyer and close the deal. Not so again. The real requirements for that are Strong Commitment, No Need for Approval, Rejection Proof, and Supportive Beliefs around Prospecting!
- Existing Relationships and Product Knowledge? All that will accomplish is assure that there are plenty of prospects who value a good presentation and product knowledge. We don't need more friends and presenters, we need hunters, consultative salespeople, and closers!
- People Skills? This contributor is really describing someone with great listening skills - that's the ticket.
I think Inc. published these because they were the most interesting of all the submissions. However, because Inc. is a respected business publication, readers are likely to take this crap to heart and actually go out and look for salespeople who exhibit these traits. Most of these young business people either don't know what they don't know, or know they know it all. Most importantly, if you are going to be hiring salespeople, it's more important than ever to not make costly mistakes. Even if their 13 traits were predictive of sales success - and they're not - how would you really know if a candidate had them? That's why it's so important to use Objective Management Group's Sales Candidate Assessments - legendary for their accuracy and ability to predict sales performance.
Earlier this week, I hosted a 45-minute interactive Webinar and shared the magic behind our assessment. If you are interested in seeing it, you can click here.