You have a salesperson who has a great, positive attitude. The clients love this salesperson, and he or she does a great job at getting that first appointment and building a relationship with clients. BUT when clients or coworkers come to this person with an issue, it ruins his or her day — it gets them completely off track and the salesperson just can’t seem to find the way back. What’s the problem?! Is the individual's positivity not as high as it should be? Is discipline the issue? Actually, what you are seeing may all come back to their problem solving ability.
Identifying Problems and Finding Ways Around Them
Problem Solver is the talent that describes the ability to anticipate problems and find a way around them. It's being able to brainstorm, think outside the box, and come up with solutions. When salespeople are high in the Problem Solver talent, they take a big picture view of the sales process. They look long range, see problems that might arise, and figure out ways around them before they can become an issue. It's also a strong indicator of success in sales. Salespeople with a strong Problem Solver trait are able to find creative ways to fix their clients' issues.
On the other hand, ranking low in the Problem Solver talent can get in salespeople's way on a regular basis. Since they struggle to find creative solutions to their clients' issues, they may rely on “tried and true” solutions that may or may not fit the clients' problem, or they may try to avoid the issue entirely. Their default may be to run to their manager or coworkers and try to get them to solve it. And because they know that they're weak in Problem Solving, they may get frustrated or irritated when problems arise. Problems can distract them or put them in a bad mood. Even the smallest problems can literally ruin their day.
So when you are looking to hire that next great salesperson, make sure to pay attention to their strength in problem solving. If your candidate is low in this trait, you'll need to find ways to shape the job to fit the talents he or she does have.