By Bob Williams
The hunt is on! How do we bring in more business FAST? How do we show strong increases in all sectors of sales productivity? Since we seem to accept that some folks are born with the natural instincts to track, locate and bring home specific big game, shouldn't we just get a bunch of these "hunter" types? They would certainly make our numbers look good. A ruthless hunt for "hunters" can also make sales management look good, even if only until the next promotion or job change! So, why do such measures NOT work so much of the time?
Behavioral profiling has come a long way in terms of accuracy, pragmatics and effectiveness. IF managed properly, then usage can absolutely reduce hiring errors, turnover and search costs. At the same time, wise use can increase job satisfaction, productivity and other performance standards.
There are hundreds of profiling tools available - some better than others. The bigger issues by far include who will use them (are they educated, debriefed?), and will they be used for team analysis, performance enhancement and career development? Some companies use them to screen for hiring, but then never share the information with their teams - hello? - wasting the value to the organization...
Anyone else weary of the ads crying for "hunters only", "have a book of business", "immediate impact", "closers", etc...? Based on limited understanding of service sales, and possibly no realization that relationships take TIME to develop, and no idea how to use behavioral profiles for coaching and focus, the hunt for hunters has hit an all time high!
No doubt that a "hunter" profile can be an essential element of a top performing team, but if your business has a critical dependence on relationships - like every aspect of shipping - then it might be wise to remember that hunters definitely find the big game, but what happens after they bag their quarry? They tend to mount them, eat them or leave them for the buzzards... There are other profiles that have been and can continue to be very successful in shipping with competent leadership.
In addition to the behavioral profiles, many smart companies are learning that knowing the key "motivators" through which all of us naturally process decisions can have serious impact on behavioral styles. A hunter whose "social" motivator is the last one they use for processing decisions is probably the one who leaves the customer for the buzzards. Having a complementary team members who can intercept the quarry and make it happy to have been snared becomes vital!
Many hiring managers still go about their business thinking their "guts" tell them whatever they need to know! Not to belittle intuitive skills at all, but why would anyone limit the potential of their corporate contributions by ignoring vastly vetted knowledge resources? You may be lucky enough to find hunters who run 70% of their decisions daily through their "social" motivator, which may be the jackpot for relationship sales and development. More often, good teams are a lot like air freight - the better the "mix", the better the profitability - for all parties!
Valuable information, that would otherwise cost plenty to learn by experience not only enhances team performance, but also supercharges all aspects of effective communications throughout any organization. The processes are available and easily executed for the serious benefits of our colleagues, our corporations and our cultures. The best business authors are writing about them now, and you can find them more easily than hunting hunters. The gains are more substantial and long term - education is a wonderful thing!
R Fain Williams (Bob)
Snap Shipping Services