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If You Need Approval, Get a Dog!

Tips On Sales ApprovalAttributes of Revenue Rock Stars is a topic I am frequently asked to speak or write about.  When discussing the attributes of top revenue producers, it’s also important to understand the most common disablers of sales people who otherwise look good on paper. One of these disabling factors is Need for Approval.

Need for Approval is a natural need in every non-pathological human.  Overall it’s not a bad thing. The importance of approval was taught to us by our mothers who required good manners, teachers who rewarded us when we did things their way, popularity contests in high school, and adults who said things like “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” (I never quite got why catching flies would be a good thing—however, the West Texas girl in me can appreciate a folksy analogy when necessary!)  We all learned early that things generally go better when others like and approve of us and what we are doing.

Most sales people are used to being liked.  It’s one of the reasons we are in sales.  We get along well with others, are socially adept, build relationships easily and are generally charismatic. We thrive on positive recognition.  Therefore, it’s understandable that there can be a natural over-extension of these qualities. The sales people who are the most accommodating and patient are usually most susceptible to this over-extension.  Fondly, I call these sales people Approval Junkies!

Approval Junkies falter because the need to be liked or approved of by their prospects prevents them from holding prospects accountable or from asking tough questions.  Closing assertively and prospecting for new business also present real challenges for Approval Junkies.  They worry that cold calling a stranger might make the stranger irritated or result in being rejected. These types of sales professionals choose nice activities over productive activities by spending much of their time “servicing” existing customers or calling on their favorite, perpetual prospects instead of hunting aggressively for new business.  The only “flies” that are caught with this type of honey are appointments that do not result in new revenue!

Pay attention to this statistic: 47% of sales people suffer from the Need for Approval. This is half your sales team or could be you if you own your own business! What to do:

SELLect Sales Tip: If you need love and approval, get a dog– a warm, fuzzy, wiggly-tailed fan!  The sales arena is the wrong place to get your Need for Approval met.

SELLect Sales Tip: If you still have Need for Approval, get approval from your sales manager, your business owner, yourself and your checkbook by over-achieving your goals.

SELLect Sales Tip: If sales people report to you, don’t be stingy with well-deserved praise and recognition.  Orchestrate events and contests that recognize your people.

SELLect Sales Tip: If you have a high Need for Approval, learn a Compensating Strategy so that you can achieve the high-level revenue production you are capable of!  Top Sales Professionals have learned to manage their Need for Approval, and you can too.

If you would like to learn more about Attributes of Revenue Rock Stars, be sure to check out the September edition of Texas CEO Magazine.

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