Posted by September 27, 2021.on
I have been a sales leader for over 30 years with the goal of hiring the best, most talented sales people. It has become apparent to me that a key must-have skill that determines high performance is self-awareness. A quote from a 2014 Harvard Business Review article by Muriel Wilkens really captures the essence of this “the data showing that emotional intelligence is a key differentiator between star performers and the rest of the pack is irrefutable.” Self-Awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence. So, let’s define self-awareness:
- Do you understand your style, specifically what it is and are able to speak to the various components of your style?
- Do you observe your client’s reactions to your style by paying attention to their facial expressions and body language?
- When you notice meaningful style differences between you and your client are you able to make subtle style changes to more closely align your style with that of your clients.
Most sales people are comfortable selling to certain types of people, usually people whose style parallels their own. However, they are less likely to establish rapport with someone wired far differently than themselves. Since they are not sure exactly how to behave, they act in a way buyers consider too pushy or they over compensate by being overly friendly. 81% of buyers indicated they would rather talk with someone who shares the same mannerisms (data from a Harvard Business Review article, 7 Reasons Salespeople Don’t Close the Deal, by Steve Martin August, 2017)
In this same article, buyers indicated that their sales people generally had a very self-centered, internally focused perspective. 44% of the sales people were serving their own agenda and 25% only cared about making the sale. Another key component of self-awareness is an external focus. In other words, you need to focus on helping your buyers accomplish their objectives which creates a positive experience for the buyer.
Rarely do I see hiring sales leaders interview specifically to determine a person’s level of self-awareness. Profiles, Inc. can help you dig into the key aspects of self-awareness with the PXT Select Talent Management System. Contact us and let us help you understand how to access the key sales skill of self-awareness.