Sales is a competitive profession.
Your success is defined by your ability to consistently understand what’s most important to your buyers and then helping them achieve their desired outcomes.
You win as a result of the behaviors and habits that comprise who you are. And the sum of those habits represent your character; the intellectual and moral attributes that uniquely define who you are as a person.
Character. Now that’s a loaded word. In fact, it’s a word that doesn’t get much attention in the sales world. However, it should.
If we acknowledge that sales fundamentally is still a people business, in which purchase decisions are heavily influenced by the human connection between sellers and buyers, then character should be at the top of the list of the qualities we screen for in hiring sales people.
Yet, I’ve only witnessed a handful of companies purposefully make hiring decisions on the basis of character. Oh sure, you get the obligatory “he seems like a solid person” comments. But that’s about it. *(See below for interview questions on character.)
So, why is character so important?
To explain this I’m going to defer to one of my boyhood heroes, Vince Lombardi. Lombardi was the iconic coach and master motivator of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s when they dominated the NFL (and were victorious in the first two Super Bowls.)
Growing up in Wisconsin during that time I collected inspirational Lombardi quotes. One of my favorites, which I frequently cite is…
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”
That’s all about character.
Learn and improve.
Be patient and persistent.
Fight to achieve your goals.
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on Character in Sales.
Next week I’ll be covering Why Winning is a Habit.
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