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Jason Dufner, Not the Stereotypical Professional Athlete, Not the Stereotypical Salesperson

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @10:10 AM

Salespeople Losing Emotional Control

I wrote in my last article (Sales Managers:  Are Your Salespeople Losing Emotional Control and Therefore Losing Sales?) about how similar the effects of emotional involvement are in sales to the effects in professional golf, and how not maintaining emotional discipline tends to predict bad outcomes.   Then we got to witness Mr. Cool in Jason Dufner, as he won the 2013 PGA Championship last weekend.  He was the epitome of calm, but many fans were probably less excited about watching him play as they would be watching Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods.  They are more to our liking.  They get themselves in difficult situations on the golf course, and then they make amazing recovery shots and finish the experience with dramatic fist pumps and demonstrations becoming a professional athlete.  We want our athletes to be showy. 

Well, frequently we want our salespeople to be showy as well.  Or, we think the stereotypical salesperson should be showy.  Unfortunately that excitement and enthusiasm can get them in trouble emotionally.  Those salespeople that would be the equivalent of Jason Dufner, calm, cool, strategic, maybe even boring, are not our view of an effective salesperson.  However, they frequently are the most effective.  They follow a plan.  They stay emotionally disciplined in conversations so they are able to continue to ask good questions, be in tune to the prospect and genuinely demonstrate appropriate empathy toward the prospect.  They don’t get too high or too low, so they don’t fall victim to the voices carrying on conversations in their own head. They are laser focused on the task at hand with the prospect.

If you have a stereotypical view of what a salesperson should be, you may want to reconsider and focus more on the cool cucumber who can deliver, not just the guy who is the showy center of attention.   If you want precision in evaluating whether or not a salesperson will deliver through the ups and the downs, contact me.  We use precise tools that take the subjectivity out of salesperson selection.

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