29/09/2016 - 12:57

Conform and perform the model ‘type’

29/09/2016 - 12:57


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The ‘type’ of salesperson you are will go a long way to determining how well received you are by your boss, your co-workers, and your clients.  

Conform and perform the model ‘type’
PILING UP: Blaming others for your lack of performance isn’t going to lift sales. Photo: Stockphoto.com

The ‘type’ of salesperson you are will go a long way to determining how well received you are by your boss, your co-workers, and your clients.  

Everyone talks about ‘types’ of people, in order to try and figure them out.

Salespeople are all taught to mirror, model, and type their prospective customers.

To me, that’s a big mistake, a waste of time. The key word is harmonise. Not mirror or model. Harmonise is sincere. Mirror or model is manipulative. Get to know them as a person, not a personality type.

But that’s not what I am writing about. Instead of ‘typing’ customers and prospects, let’s talk about types of salespeople. What’s your type? Here’s my list.

Non-conformist and high performer

You know the type – makes all the sales, breaks all the records, breaks all the rules, ruffles management, does it his/her way, the boss doesn’t know how to handle him or her, loved by the sales team, and loathed by the other half.

Conformist, compliant, high performer

The model salesperson – gets the job done, makes big sales, exceeds their sales plan, and follows the rules. You wish you had 100 people like this.

Conformist, compliant, non-producer

For whatever reason, cannot make the goal. Nice person, well liked by colleagues and loved by customers. Only problem is, he/she can’t close a sale.

Non-compliant, non-performer

Whines about everything. Blames everybody else. Is an accident waiting to happen. Always the victim. The word responsibility is usually as painful as the word accountability to this type.

Those are the big four, and obviously there are people who fall between each of these sales types. And their personality plays a role with respect to each person’s aggressiveness, assertiveness, self-starting ability, enthusiasm, and attitude. But all of these elements are part and parcel of their result – they ‘type’ the person and their character – as well as their level of performance.

You would think a positive attitude would be part of every salesperson’s make-up. But you would be thinking incorrectly. Many salespeople, especially seasoned salespeople, can be highly productive, yet somewhat cynical.

The reason I’m putting these descriptions in front of you for these types of salespeople, is for you to see yourself.

Your manager, your co-workers, your fellow salespeople, and your customers already see you – and ‘type’ you. They see the way you dress. They see the way you act. They see your character. They see your personality, and your style.

They see how you perform. But rarely do you get to see or evaluate yourself.

So, I am asking you to do that now. I’m asking how close to compliant, competent, high performer can you rate yourself?

Here are some other words to consider – friendly, helpful, sincere, value-driven, truthful, ethical, and grateful. These are areas of your personality and character that will lead you closer to sales success.

It’s not just a matter of making more sales, it’s a matter of building more relationships so that one sale, turns into many. It’s a matter of building your reputation, so that when people talk about you behind your back, they say things that you would like to hear to your face (or that your children would be proud to hear, if they overheard the conversation).

Sales success is not about your performance as of this moment. It’s about the strength of your character that will earn you any success that you desire – over time.

In my sales career, I’ve had many sales prima donnas who made big sales and broke all the rules. I fired every one of them – and every time I did, the rest of the team picked up the slack and sales always increased.

If you’re the leader (the boss, the owner, the entrepreneur), people are looking at your actions, and will often judge your character as permission to evolve their own: ‘The boss did it. I don’t see anything wrong with me doing it’. Self-judgment is difficult, and if you ask someone else to judge you, they probably won’t be truthful for fear of hurting your feelings, or their relationship with you.

So, what’s your type? What’s your character? What are you known as? What are you known for? If you can answer all those questions, and are willing to expose yourself to the opportunities that your shortcomings reveal, then you are ready to take the quantum leap – to the type of salesperson that would make your mother, your customers, your boss, and your banker, proud.


Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development. © 2016 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


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