Social Confidence is trait #3 of four personality traits that affect the achievement drive of great salespeople. People endowed with this trait can naturally and without stress interact with people. This helps them gain power throughout the sales cycle.
In simplistic terms, salespeople need to …
1. Find prospects
2. Set appointments, and
3. Close sales
And, in sales cycles of ninety days or less, they need to do these activities over and over again.
Prospecting requires a great salesperson to network, ask about others, and to leave a memorable impression on the phone and at events. Sometimes they must answer questions with tact, poise, and a frank demeanor. So … great salespeople not only ask questions well themselves, but they also respond well to the questions of others. People with low levels of social confidence appear weaker and less memorable in face-to-face encounters.
And, then the real fun begins – setting appointments. For many salespeople, this is a most difficult task. And, it is made all the more difficult if someone would rather not assert themselves. Great salespeople make appointment sales every month. They sell someone on the need to meet. While stressful to many people, it is greatly stressful to someone with low social confidence.
That brings us to the sales process – developing rapport, asking questions, listening, presenting, negotiating, and getting agreements completed. Many people with low social confidence have trouble gaining rapport with dynamos – people with abrupt and demanding personalities. They do better in less pushy sales situations with less pushy people. While a person whom is not socially confident may ask questions very well, they sometimes do not probe well into sensitive areas and into the financial or emotional impact of a person’s needs.
When it is time to present, this same lack of confidence may produce weakness in obtaining commitments, responding to objections, and handling rejection.
Salespeople, by the nature of their profession, need to tell people to do things from time to time. While it is very important to ask questions and uncover needs, it is also important for a salesperson to tell a person what to do next – what’s important and what’s not important. And, they need to do this with confidence.
Social confidence in a salesperson’s personality combined with goal-orientation, social drive, and a need to control naturally creates better genetics for finding prospects, setting appointments, and closing sales. High-activity salespeople whom lead their teams have healthy doses of these traits. Personality profiles created to help managers in the recruitment process must contain social confidence as one of their targeted traits. (see craftprofiles) (Other important traits include goal-orientation, social drive, and a need-to-control. (By the way, some people interview well, and have great social confidence, but are process-oriented – not goal-oriented. They do not focus on achieving end results, the sales and the money, within a given time frame. But, they sure interview well.)
I’m thinking of someone right now whom I hired with all of these traits. He had never worked as a professional salesperson. His learning curve was sharp and his sales went above anything previously accomplished in his company. It takes awhile to find people with these traits, but it’s always worth the effort. In your screening, profiling, and interviews look for social confidence. It’s a key performance trait in high-performing salespeople. Now, be GREAT. Lance.