As Salespeople, we are charged with influencing the decisions of others. Doesn’t matter what you sell – your success is defined by changing the mind of customer.
I recently read a very interesting blog about “Competitiveness in Sales People” by S Anthony Iannarino. http://thesalesblog.com/2010/01/competitiveness-in-salespeople/ In it, he states that Competitiveness is one of the top 3 attributes of a top saleperson. He also points out that competitiveness has come to be seen as a negative attribute, but that it’s not.
His blog got me thinking – why is it that some folks shy away from wanting to beat the competitors? Why is it that some people try to soften and redefine their role? I am surprised sometimes by reps who shy away from that responsibility. It’s almost as if sometimes people go out of their way to avoid defining their primary objective as “sales”. I’ve heard their responsibilities defined as to “service” customers, or “add value”. Really?
I had an interesting discussion last week with a couple of sales team members. One of them insisted the competitors needed to lose in order for us to win, but the other rep was more focused on outperforming her past performance. Both took their success personally, and were focused on achieving new highs. Listening to them reminded me that different people have different styles – some can be fiercely focused on dominating the competitor while others are more focused on outperforming their own goals.
To me, the key is to have a specific goal – be it kicking your competitor’s “tookus” out of the game, or outperforming your own established stretch goal. Bottom line – those that fail to establish a specific goal will be unable to strive to overachieve – and therefore will never be the best.