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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Mindy Murphy

Mindy Murphy

Mindy has a true passion for identifying talent and helping people maximize their strengths to achieve greater success and increased performance. In her role as a Certified Talent Analyst, she conducts in-depth analysis and provides managers with detailed feedback on the innate abilities and potential of candidates and direct reports.

Recent Posts by Mindy Murphy:

How To Target Sales Superstars On LinkedIn

finding-people-on-linkedinYou are not alone if you think it is difficult to find talented job candidates. 75% of managers struggle to attract and recruit the top people they need.

Topics: hiring salespeople

Is It Possible To Have Too Much Work Intensity?

Is_It_Possible_To_Have_Too_Much_Talent_IntensityDo you have salespeople on your team who are too hard working? Sounds like a great problem to have, doesn’t it? I’m sure you know someone who has boundless energy. They never slow down, they’re constantly on the go, and even though you consider yourself energetic, it’s tough to keep up with them.

Does it feel productive or does it sometimes just feel hectic?

I have a friend like that and even though she is a lot of fun, sometimes she moves too quickly for people and lets things slip through the cracks. She has a natural tendency to take on too much. Busy feels really good, but sometimes her life is more hectic than productive.

It’s great when you have energy and the ability to work at a fast pace, but it is not good if you are running full steam ahead without a plan.

So is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

6 More Sales Talents to Spot Without Asking Questions

6_More_Sales_Talents_to_Spot_Without_Asking_QuestionsIn a recent post, I observed how easy it can be for parents to see talents that are obvious (or conspicuous by their absence) in their kids. The article was inspired by a conversation with the proud father of three grown sons, two of whom were natural arguers as kids and became successful lawyers and the other of whom was the reserved, studious, analytical kid who became—you guessed it—an engineer.

Lawyers aren’t the only people who need to convince others and bring them around to their point of view. And engineers aren’t the only ones who need to find problems, pick them apart, and develop solutions. B2B salespeople need both those talents to perform at a high level. And they need half a dozen more talents as well (as we know from our research and our continuing success with our Sales Talent Interview assessment system). Let’s talk about these other six.

1. Work Intensity

One measures how hard someone likes to work, and the pace at which they work. That is the talent we call Work Intensity. To spot this talent, watch for people who are always busy, who have a lot going on, and who fill every waking hour with activity. They often walk fast, check their watch a lot, tap their pen, or seem impatient. They want things to happen now, and they have very clear short-term and long-term goals.

How to Spot Sales Talent Without Asking Questions

How_to_Spot_Sales_Talent_Without_Asking_QuestionsRecently, my husband and I went to a birthday party for a friend who we had not seen in years. His whole family was there, and we spent a good part of the evening catching up on old times with our friend’s father. He talked a lot about his three sons and their careers, and he mentioned that looking back now, he remembers noticing behaviors in them when they were young that led them to the career paths they choose.

As a Talent Analyst, I know how to spot sales talent, and as a parent I thought, “Wow, if sales managers could spot talent like parents can they would hire more superstars and better coach their sellers.”

We all have a certain set of innate talents, the strengths that define who we are. As parents it’s often easy to recognize those talents in our children. They may have a talent for singing, sports, dancing… even arguing!

Talent is Seen at an Early Age

Our friend’s father said two of his sons were big-time arguers from an early age. They would push back on everything and got a kick out of taking the opposite stance just to start an argument. But the third son was wired differently. He was nothing like his brothers and he did not find it fun to argue with everyone. In fact, he didn’t like arguing at all. Instead, he was analytical, curious and extremely observant, noticing things that no one else saw.

Accentuate the Positives When Coaching Salespeople

positivityIt happened in sixth grade, and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. Another student said something mean to me about the way I looked, and it stuck. I will never forget it. I can remember times at work when I felt hurt by something someone said as well—such as the time when a manager at a previous job told me my idea was stupid, but didn’t explain why or suggest a different approach, so I had no idea which direction to go. But I have a hard time remembering as vividly the times when people have praised me. I think I’m pretty normal in this respect.

Have you ever received criticism you just couldn’t shake? It probably won’t take you long to remember a time when you got negative feedback that really hurt. That’s because we’re actually hardwired to remember the negatives.

The Negativity Bias

It is scientifically proven that bad news makes a much bigger impact on our brains than does good news. Scientists call it the brain’s “negativity bias.” It’s an important survival skill that helps us stay away from dangerous situations, but it also causes us to easily recall criticism and the unpleasant things people have said to us.

I often coach sales managers to provide salespeople with regular feedback on performance, and I encourage them to make it a top priority to give both positive feedback and constructive criticism. Both forms of feedback are extremely important because managers who give only negative feedback are likely to have more disengaged and demotivated salespeople.

The Happy Hour Rule Conquers Negativity When Coaching Salespeople

Make a Choice to Grow by 10x Instead of Just 10%

finding_flowI love my job. I have a manager who knows, understands, and develops my talents, and I get to spend the majority of my time doing things I’m naturally wired to do.

When you use your natural strengths, you are happier, more engaged, and you feel strong. However, some people are not the right fit for their jobs. Their talents don’t match up with what’s expected of them. They make up a considerable portion of the people who dread going to work each day.

Think about the one thing in your job you do best, maybe even better than everyone else. Now think about the one thing in your job you do most.

Do the two match up?

What if you spent most of your time doing what you do best?

When people use their talents, they can experience exponential growth—yes, they can get 10 times better, 10 times more productive.  But when people are called on to use their non-talents, they experience very limited growth, they struggle to get even 10% better..

I wish I could sing, but I’m a terrible singer. I just can’t carry a tune. If I took voice lessons and practiced every day, I may get a little better, but I will never be a famous vocalist—or even an adequate chorus member—because I don’t have the talent. On the other hand, I love cooking and I’m pretty good at coming up with my own recipes. I love to plan the meal, shop for the ingredients, and prepare interesting dishes for people to enjoy. Now, if I took cooking lessons, I would likely experience tremendous growth, because I already have a knack for it.

You shouldn’t waste time trying to fix one of your weaknesses, but instead come up with a plan to manage the weakness so it doesn’t get in your way. Then spend the majority of your time developing your precious talents.

How do you know if you have a talent?

How to Set the Right Expectations When Coaching Salespeople

How_to_Set_the_Right_Expectations_When_Coaching_SalespeopleI knew it was going to be a bad day when my alarm clock didn’t go off (I’d set it for p.m. instead of a.m. the night before). Then I forgot my toast in the toaster oven, and it caught fire. I put out the flame right away, and no damage was done, but the house smelled terrible.

I should have just stayed in bed because we all know that when you go into a situation knowing it’s going to go south, it usually does.

Luckily, the reverse holds true as well. Just yesterday, I woke up early, got the kids dressed and off to school on time, and made it to the gym before work. I knew it was it was going to be a good day, and it was. We each prove the whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing every day, don’t we?