Assuming that the people you hire are and can become expert smart with training and a lot of self-study, the next set of factors that make the difference between average and outstanding performers are being emotionally and socially smart. I call this combination being relationally intelligent. The path is clear, train your sales personnel and make sure they “get” the product stuff, but be even more focused on hiring and developing your reps and managers to be RIB’s: Relationally Intelligent Beings.
Here are a few of key reasons why this is critical for performance and success. Realistic optimism, considered a core RIB competency was the focus of a study by Martin Seligman, who developed a construct called learned optimism. When he studied the effect optimism had on life insurance sales people he found that optimists sold 37% more insurance. Optimism even helped those that failed the normal screening process to sell 21% more insurance in their first year and 57% more in their second year of work above rep’s that were pessimistic.
The ability to manage feelings and handle stress, also RIB competencies, were found to have a significant positive effect on store managers for a retail chain in increasing their ability to generate net profits, sales per square foot and sales per employee.
In a study (Hunter, Schmidt & Judiesch, 1990) that looked at the most complex jobs e.g. account reps and sales managers; a top performer was 127% more productive than an average performer and 2/3 of the difference was attributed to emotional competence.
The research is clear, if your not hiring RIB’s and developing your current sales force and managers to be RIB’s you are NOT achieving at the levels you could be. You know the saying, “you’re leaving money on the table”, and your customers will leave also.
We can help; our Personal Side of Business program builds RIB’s.