By Tobin Lehman
You might not be able to cast a spell on your latest deal, but these salesmen are magical. One, a newcomer with energy but a trail of doubt, the other a seasoned professional sage, stuck in his ways. Which one do you have?
The “Harry Potter” Salesman Type
“Harry” is new to the field, but shows lots of promise. He has a history of sales or confidence in his upbringing or lineage that has put this role in his DNA. “Harry” has always liked being with people, and stumbles through transitioning to the real world of business in a few ways.
Here are some other ways to identify “Harry”.
- He has a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
- Has great interpersonal skills and seems natural in a business context.
- May almost come off as smug, being comfortable fast in this new role.
- Lack of experience is obvious, but humility is his secret weapon, and it works.
- Has a few “tricks” up his sleeve, and uses them all the time.
- May take on a few opportunities that are over his head, just to prove himself.
The great thing about “Harry” is that he’s the guy we want to root for. We want him to succeed because he’s the classic underdog with something to prove. He’s meek, but he’s got a few hot buttons that get him moving and show his fight.
The challenge with “Harry” is that his inexperience comes at a cost to you. He’ll take things on that are over his head, and then you have come in to clean up the mess. You’re a little excited to see him take on the “big magicians,” but too often, he comes back without a deal and transformed into a dog with his tail between his legs.
The Gandalf – Salesman Type
Oh, how we revere the “Gandalf.” He’s the sage salesman who’s been in this industry for longer than “Harry” has been alive. He can whiteboard out the entire evolution of your industry and knows more than half of the big players. He is wise, firm, and unrelenting.
Here are some other ways to identify “Gandalf”:
- If you offer him The Ring, he will not take it.
- His confidence is not cocky, but reverent.
- You can bring him a problem and his answer seems like magic. And he always has one.
- His connections make him a social gold mine. Any company that possesses him possesses great power.
- He’s really clear on his role. He’s not a sales manager, he’s sales, and he’s amazing at it.
The great thing about “Gandalf” is that he is a trump card. There is not a deal on the planet that this guy could not land. As a company, you feel invincible with him on your side. He knows how to get results because he’s been doing it for decades.
The challenge with “Gandalf” is that he’s stuck a bit in his ways. His “magic” is the same magic he’s been using for ages, and as the battlefield changes, his magic is not as effective. He does a good job at deflecting comments …read more
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