Monday, February 7, 2011

Recruit Timid Employees for Sales, Ignorance is Bliss

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss and profitable.

It would be nice to get more of your people into the sales effort, but the problem is that a lot of them are timid.

Why are they timid? The fear of rejection? The fear of failure? We all have these fears. If you’re in sales, you’ve learned how to deal with them in your own way. The others need more practice. But you don’t have years to train them. You need help now.

So do two things to minimize the amount of fear they have to face. One is optional.
  • Liquid courage (optional)
  • Lower the cost of failure - Do not burden your newly minted salesmen with the knowledge that Bob Young is a prospect you’ve been chasing for years. Simply tell them Bob Young is a prospect. 
That’s right. Withhold information. This is one case where a level of ignorance will help your cause. If your new salesmen know how important Bob Young is, they’re going to get nervous when they meet him. So don’t make Bob scary.

Later, when they tell you about their conversation with Bob, tell them how you’ve been chasing him for years. That is a wonderful, empowering moment.


Eric said...

Having been in the position of the timid sales employee, this idea makes a lot of sense. Good stuff.

Patrick O'Brien said...


This also goes for salesmen who have been in the game for a while. I was about to call a guy today, but when I checked out his Linkedin, I got totally intimidated. Honestly, the times I've had my best luck have been when I have a list of names and phone numbers, and nothing else. I just fly down the list without stopping. And analyze afterward. Sometimes I think I'm just a timid salesman in disguise. :)