Research: Top sales reps more like Ashton Eaton than Usain Bolt

“I wonder why I deserved the gold because all these other guys worked so hard as well,” – Ashton Eaton – Gold medal winner in the decathlon

 

Ashton Eaton won what was once considered the greatest prize in the Olympics, the decathlon. In 2012 however, Eaton’s accomplishment has been overshadowed by sprinter Usain Bolt.

When asked about his Olympic victory Eaton expressed doubt that he was any more worthy of the victory than his competitors saying “I wonder why I deserved the gold because all these other guys worked so hard as well.”

That’s a very different response than the one given by Usain Bolt who after his gold medal victories said “I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to ever live.”

Top sales people more like Ashton Eaton that Usain Bolt

Top sales people more like Ashton Eaton that Usain Bolt

This brings me to some fascinating research by Steve Martin of “Heavy Hitter Selling” which shows that 91% of top producing sales people actually score moderate to high in the personal qualities of modesty and humility.

This certainly runs counter to the popular stereotype of the pushy arrogant sales rep. But I think it makes perfect sense that the most successful sales professionals would have a healthy dose of humility.

Here’s why.

We all know that prospects buy from people that they like and it can be a challenge to really like someone who is too enamored with who they are. When you deliver a sales presentation or interact with a prospect your humility, or lack of humility, comes through to the audience loud and clear.

In sales presentation training I notice that the speakers who develop the best rapport with the audience are the speakers who the prospect perceives as “down to earth,” speakers who poke fun at themselves and who don’t work too hard to prove that they know more than everyone else.

This research supports the idea that top sales producers are more like Ashton Eaton than Usain Bolt and that prospects prefer working with sales professionals that reflect a sense of humility.

 

Speak Your Mind

*