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I think he is right:
Companies tend to hire salespeople who want to prove how good they are.
I think instead they should hire people who want to improve how good they are.
Founder of Amacus
The first time he said that, it took a minute to sink in.
Sales organizations look for people who are really good. They expect salespeople to overcome adversity. A "prove how good you are" attitude sounds good, at first.
They don't look for humble improvers. Perhaps that is why there is so little improvement in sales organizations (as a whole).
Of course, salespeople should try hard, use their intelligence, charm, or whatever else it takes to do their job well.
- Admit when you are wrong.
- Analyze the causes of your adversity.
- Accept coaching, and expect better behaviors from yourself.
- Help other people learn what you’ve discovered.
Those behaviors are humble. They are not the behaviors we expect of people who are out prove how good they are.
As Peter Drucker said:
[A] discipline’s basic assumptions about reality determine what it focuses on.
Peter Drucker, Management Challenges for the 12st Century, pg3
True to Drucker’s insight, assumptions determine what you focus on. In fact, they do even more. They determine what you see.
And this set of assumptions doesn’t just affect what salespeople see. It affects what managers see too. We’ll cover that in the next SPIF Tip.
What do you think this assumption prevents people from seeing?