the ambivert, i.e., one whose flexible, personal conduct can simultaneously accommodate the need for extraversion and/or introversion behavior. Based on sales performance alone, Grant’s study showed that ambiverts outproduced extraverts by nearly 30%. The key ingredient of ambiverts is their ability to adapt to changing conditions. They tend to be more emotionally secure and less likely to be rattled when things don’t go their way. Ambiverts intuitively know when to speak and when to listen. The good news is that more than 65% of people tested fall into the ambivert category range.
• Learning to be uncommon.
No matter the indus- try, only sales reps who are committed to and practice per- sonal continuous improvement are secure. Knowledge is a key factor, but it cannot be counted on alone. Without razor-sharp selling skills, the next appointment, the next order, or the next promotion may well be in jeopardy. The essential ingredients for salespeople are contained within their personal, observable individuality. What’s uncommon about such sales characteristics isn’t necessarily their exclusivity or their personal uniqueness,
but the apparent lack of appreciation from the selling crowd in today’s sales representative community. Practic- ing and refining highly desirable, interpersonal, and flexi- ble styles can set levels of differentiation that the competi- tion is incapable of or unwilling to meet, which is a highly desirable position to own.
• Uncommon practice in a common game.
A popular theory with social scientists is that who we are (i.e., our personalities) comes to us unconsciously. In a sense, we do what comes naturally. Yet we also react to what we’ve learned through our peer associations and life’s experiences, and when our psyche recognizes certain expe- riential patterns, we act accordingly. It’s unlikely, there- fore, that one’s “personality” can be dramatically altered (e.g., from introvert to extrovert), but it is possible that one can learn acceptable and effective skills through instruc- tion and experience that lead to a more successful selling profession. Knowing which selling styles are most effective with buyers and under what conditions, and then adapting and perfecting them to one’s personal skill set, is a challenging but doable ambition. Writing about selling skills, authors,
also his or her readiness to help resolve issues, finalize details, or gain greater insight. For Attardi, there is another component of “commun- ications” that shouldn’t be overlooked: What mode should communications take? Some customers prefer face-to- face conversations, while others demand email, fax, text, or social media. Still others prefer a combination. Attardi’s point is that the concept of effective communications in- cludes efficient communications as determined by the customer. Those in sales must understand and appreciate their customers’ preferences. To communicate effectively, contends Attardi, one must do it in a way that is suitable to their client’s preferred operating style(s). Moreover, varying communications options are increasing as tech- nology changes and as younger, Millennial buyers enter the workplace. Adapting to these changes isn’t a choice; it’s a requirement.
Harvard Business Review
con- tributor Steve Martin states that an overwhelming percent- age of top sales performers show high levels of conscien- tiousness, i.e., “having a strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable.” Martin added that “top salespeo-
Feb. 17 • the
Ambiverts intuitively know when to speak and when
to listen. The good news is that more than 65% of people
tested fall into the ambivert category range.
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