When you think of the prototype sales person, you think of someone who is friendly, outgoing and has a big personality. The type of person who can effortlessly work a room and return to the office with pockets stuffed with hot leads. If you’re looking to hire a sales rep, you probably wouldn’t hire someone who seems quiet and introverted.
But, in the new sales landscape, you may want to rethink the types of reps you hire. For my four person sales team here at PGi, we did a personality test called the DISC assessment. As expected, three of the sales reps were placed in the “I” quadrant, which means they are extremely outgoing and people oriented. But, one rep was placed in the “C” quadrant, meaning he’s more reserved and task oriented.
Guess who was the top performing rep? The rep in the “C” quadrant.
Why? Because he is the best listener. Listening to your customers is key. When I attended the AA-ISP conference, everyone was talking about “listening skills training”. People who are in the “I” quadrant are often not the best listeners. They’re outgoing and they love to talk. When you’re talking, they’re thinking about what they’re going to say next and can’t wait to cut you off. They really need the listening skills training.
But, the people in the “I” quadrant are naturally great listeners. That’s how they are wired. And in this new sales landscape where customers are highly informed, being a great listener could be the most valuable skill a sales person could have.
So, the next time you’re interviewing candidates for a sales position, maybe consider the prospects who seem more reserved. They could become your next best sellers.