Last month, I shared with you about the personality traits we all have in some proportion – it focused on openness. This month, I’d like to share about conscientiousness.
Successful sales leaders are conscientious when they coach their salespeople to improve their skills and selling results, and it’s a trait and discipline all professionals need.
First, let’s define conscientiousness. It’s having high levels of thoughtfulness, being organized and aware of the details, and being goal directed. It’s the opposite of being impulsive which is a fault many sales professionals should work to overcome.
Today customers have access to the internet where they can learn a lot of information about you, your products and services – really most anything they want to learn. So as a sales professional, you need to do the same research on the prospect or client so you can have an informed conversation about key issues that are important to them.
More than ever, today’s clients do not want their time wasted while you ask basic questions which should have been answered by your research about them, the business, and their industry.
Conscientiousness is a necessary trait and competency for both the leaders and the team members.
As you evaluate your salespeople, here are some competencies to look for:
- Do your salespeople spend quality time preparing for their sales calls?
- What research do they do?
- How well do they prioritize their work?
- Are they paying attention to important details?
- Are organized and disciplined about their schedule?
Answers to these questions may reveal some warning signs like, frequently late on tasks, proposals missing key details, or a pattern of procrastination.
This depth of knowledge of your people, including their tendencies, will help you prioritize your own time, better knowing who needs what kind of help. To maximize your schedule, you’ll want to focus on areas where the most impact and improvement lies.
Part of that depth of knowledge is understanding their personality style.
Out of the Four People Personality Styles, there are two styles that are naturally good at conscientiousness and two that need to focus on it, as it’s not their natural tendency. The left-brain styles, Green and Gold, are focused on process, procedure, organization, and research. Their tendency is to start with the details first and build up to the big picture.
The right-brain styles, Blue and Orange, tend to start projects or proposals where they are most comfortable, as these styles are more relationship than process focused. They tend to be less focused on conscientiousness and more focused on openness and being more creative They also prefer to start with the big picture, and if they need details, they will ask for it.
When you are coaching your salespeople, it’s helpful to be conscious of who is strongly conscientious and who needs more coaching. Remember that salespeople often focus on what comes easiest or most natural to them based on their personality style. This approach will also ease any frustration and allow you to be more understanding.
When your team is more conscientious it reduces the need to micro-manage which is unhealthy for everyone. It creates doubt in the mind of the sales professional and can lead to a lack of trust. As a sales leader and coach, the most important assets you have are your people and your time.
If you spend your time coaching the right people in the right areas, the result will be an increase in sales performance.
It will improve autonomy of your team; productivity and I believe most of all, lower your turnover.
When your customers have the same salesperson for a long period of time, it leads to stronger relationships and makes it difficult for your competition to get their foot in the door. Relationship selling is all about trust, longevity of the relationship and having the customer’s best interest in mind.
The profession of sales is such an exciting career. When sales coaching is done right and you understand the perspective of your salespeople, it leads to a high-performing sales team. There is nothing more exciting than winning business, being successful and, of course, having fun in what you’re doing.
Coaching your sales team to improve their conscientiousness can make a significant difference and help you spend more quality time with your people. That will lead to a long- term relationship with your salespeople which is just what they’re looking for.
©2022 Stu Schlackman