On the surface, the people we hire don’t always pan out the way we expected. They seem to present themselves well; they are well spoken, easy to get along with and seem to have enough product and service experience. We hire people who we believe can sell what we are asking them to sell. However, hidden weaknesses can neutralize all of an individual’s strengths and skills.
There is one major weaknesses that I tend to see in salespeople and it’s called compulsion for approval. The definition of compulsion for approval is when a salesperson needs approval from prospects, their need to be liked, and in extreme cases, loved, is greater than their need to close business. Think of it this way-- if your salesperson’s need to make friends is more than their need to conduct business, it’s probably going to hurt them in the several different areas of the sales process.
One way compulsion for approval will impact your salespeople is prospecting. Prospecting is nearly 85% rejection and if their need is to be liked or accepted, they are not going to have a high rate of success. Another way compulsion for approval will impact your salespeople is on the sales call. They might shy away from asking the consultative questions that need to be asked.
Compulsion for approval inevitably causes deal cycles to get longer, longer, and longer. Whenever the prospect gets around to deciding to buy, your people are closing the deal by osmosis, not because they facilitated it. Identifying these sales weaknesses in your existing salespeople could drastically improve your results and help you fix the right selling problems.