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What Is A Modern Day Sales Chameleon

Our Sales team always adapt to any situation because they are all natural sales people. You watch how they respond post lockdown and get straight back on with it. We’ll recover the numbers we’ve lost they’re like Chameleons and they can adapt to any situations. – CEO of No Hope For The Future

For a long time, it was thought that chameleons change colour by dispersion of pigment-containing organelles within their skin. However, research conducted in 2014 on panther chameleons has shown that pigment movement only represents part of the mechanism.

Part of the mechanism
I’ve observed over 1000 physical sales calls as a sales trainer and sales coach and I have some encouragement for our CEO of No Hope For The Future, and that is, in part the statement is correct.

There is no doubt that certain attributes that salespeople have are part of their DNA, part personality and part natural. PART.

The “natural” part of a seller was seen as more important when I started my sales career some 30 plus years ago. Recruitment was actually centred on personality and the gregarious nature of the individual often saw them get through the interview with flying colours. Being able to flex the extrovert helped and the larger than life character is drawn in your mind.

We’ve got a good one here, really extrovert and could sell snow to the eskimos! – Sales Manager of No Hope For The Future

The nineties saw an explosion of personality profiling that still persists today. Here we learnt that a mix of types would create the best results. Do you remember comparing your ENTJ to your ENTP, your Lion to your Owl and you Red hew to your Blue hew…I could go on.

Sales meeting were always punctuated by some team building that demonstrated the value of recognising the different quality of teammates. In no way am I saying this is wrong as actually this period ensured that my most successful teams were constructed with this in mind.

It positively led to the emergence of a more thoughtful and collaborative team member. The team member that displayed a calmness and brought a modicum of strategy to the previous reckless approaches adopted by our extroverts.

The smart Sales Managers latched on to this calm, intelligent and considered individual. Often making them a focal point for the pieces of work that required attention to detail and the activities that created onsight that guided future sales activity.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where you are today. A sales team with a good mix of “types” and a nice environment to work in. Your sales team have strong existing relationships, you’ve got an ok-ish sales process and overall the sales numbers are ok.


Like the Chameleon its time to change again
If we got back to those 1000 plus sales calls I’ve observed. As time has passed I’ve seen the star performer display a differing set of qualities that sets them up for success.

Yes, they have the “natural” part, they have the calmness and strategy part, but here’s what also they have found how to balance and leverage for sales success IQ and EQ.

The best salespeople and most successful salespeople that I have ever worked with, coached or observed have two standout qualities, they have both high IQ and high EQ.

IQ = An intelligence quotient is a total score derived from a set of standardized tests or subtests designed to assess human intelligence.

EQ = Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

You’ll see below in an exert from a LinkedIn post I made on this subject that the predominant view is that EQ is by far now the most important attribute to succeed in a modern sales environment.

Does EQ come into the mix in your thinking as you develop your sales teams capability and performance?

Steve Knapp

How does EQ help us sell more effectively
We have to recognise that in a modern selling world that relationships can begin and be nurtured online as well as offline.

We recognise that a buying decision starts earlier than it used to because of the amount of information that’s available and we recognise that your buyer researches and self teaches before talking to your salespeople.

Read more about a modern selling world in The B2B Migration to Modern Sales.

The inherent danger to a more traditional approach is you’re are attempting to nurture these relationships with information. Information that is the same as your competitors and information that could have been (and most likely was) already researched by a potential buyer.

Did you know 70% of the content you share doesn’t even get seen?

Therefore the ability to flex EQ and put your buyer and their problems or needs first, helps you teach them something they didn’t already know. Put another way it’s using insights and not information to teach and to build relationships.

EQ = Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

The video below is a snippet from our FREE Webinar – The 5 Anchors Of Modern Selling use the link to register and join the next automation.

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