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  • Duane Cashin

Top Salespeople Are 28 times Better At Disrupting The Flow

Updated: Feb 17



Several years ago on a trip to the beach, we rented kayaks. 

If you’re familiar with the Carolina coast, you know that our beach towns often have seaside and soundside options for recreation. Seaside is straightforward: on the sea. Soundside means you’re a bit inland --  on a body of water larger than a bay, an ocean inlet but without the rough surf of the sea. 

We put our kayaks in the sound to be safe.

Now, going out was beautiful: calm water, no wind, a warm and beautiful day. It was a delight to paddle out. 

Coming back was the opposite: the tide rolled in, the wind gusted, rain started to fall, and small whitecaps formed on the water. It was an absolute nightmare to paddle back.

For the record, I do not recommend going against the current in a kayak!

I do, however, recommend going against the current in sales.

Why? Because salespeople who go against the current are doing everything their colleagues who prefer to play it safe are not: asking tough questions, challenging the prospect, (nicely) pushing back on prospects’ objections -- all the behaviors that qualify sales opportunity and create credibility and equal business stature. 

They are moving the ball down the field where the average salespeople are confused, insecure and paralyzed.

Going against the current in sales, or disrupting the prospect’s idea of the sales process, makes all the difference. Here’s how the great reps make it work:

1. They don’t NEED to be liked.

A salesperson who has a strong need to be liked – and consistently seeks the approval of others -- will never reach their full potential as a sales professional. There are a number of reasons why, but, in this case, just know that they will not possess the confidence to disrupt the flow. Consider that 79% of the top 10% of all salespeople DO NOT need to be liked, while only 8% of the bottom 10% has this as a strength.  Needing to be liked is a significant barrier to success.

2. They stay in the moment.

Great salespeople stay in the moment -- focused, clear, unwavering in their objective. By contrast, not-great-salespeople worry, get emotional and constantly second-guess themselves. 66% of the top 10% of all salespeople are able to stay in the moment while only 10% of the bottom 10% has this as a strength.

3. In their personal life, they have a supportive buying process.

68% of the top 10% of all salespeople have a supportive buying process. In other words, when they make a sizable purchase in their personal life they are decisive, do not spend a disproportionate amount of time comparison shopping and know value when they see it. Therefore, they are able to challenge the prospect when the prospect says they need to think it over or they feel they can get a lower price. By contrast, only 2% of the bottom 10% of all salespeople have a supportive buying process as a strength.  

According to my partner organization, Objective Management Group, when we take the average of these three elements of Sales DNA, 71% of the top salespeople have these strengths and only 2.5% of the worst salespeople have these strengths. That’s a huge difference! 

Top salespeople are twenty-eight times more likely to disrupt the flow and get a good outcome.

Note that these elements of Sales DNA are just three out of a total of twenty-one Sales Competencies that can and should be measured as part of your hiring process. If you’re tired of wasting money and time on failed sales reps, scientific assessments like these will be hugely beneficial to you. ​ Paddling against the current is everything in sales. When you’re ready to get your reps moving boldly in that direction, give us a call.

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