Two Ears One Mouth Selling

Published: Wednesday 8th May 2013

What kind of personality do you think would be ideal for New Business? Would they have the kind of characteristics that you would associate with our classic stereotype of top salespeople – someone who is ebullient, larger-than-life, gregarious and talkative – just like Jerry Lundegaard in the Coen brothers’ 1996 film classic, Fargo?

In fact, evidence compiled from interviewing thousands of top business-to-business salespeople would suggest that modesty, conscientiousness, achievement orientation, curiosity, lack of self-consciousness, lack of discouragement and most surprisingly lack of gregariousness were the most common personality traits for successful salespeople. (Harvard Business Review Blog, Steve W. Martin, 2011)

Indeed, newer models of sales and New Business would suggest that a more consultative approach to the client is best: using the power of listening and questioning to take the prospective client on a journey from just being aware of us as an agency, to believing in what we say and ultimately to a position of trusting us. By adding value and understanding our prospects better, we are ultimately moving away from the classic model of cold-calling and typical closed, transaction based selling techniques.

Susan Cain, in her recent book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” went even further, suggesting that society undervalues introverts and how much we potentially lose out by doing this. She cites many examples but one that stands out is that of a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions to succeed.

Of course, a proper New Business approach still requires a thorough qualification process of prospects before-hand, whatever “sales” approach you ultimately take. But this sea change does open up the possibility for a different kind of personality in New Business – it is enlightening to realise that you don’t have to be “pushy” to “sell”. In fact, quite the opposite.

Interested in discovering more about different techniques to create and manage a pipeline of New Business opportunities?  Have a look at our Prospecting & Marketing Skills Course.

The next one is being held on 11th July, so please get in touch if you want to know more.

We’re also interested in your any thoughts & comments from personal experience as we are currently creating a dedicated Agency Selling Skills course for later in the year.