Transcript: Hi! I’m Anna Talerico with Married2Growth. And I am going to share some thoughts on curiosity—how to hire for it, and how to build it into your sales culture. Because curiosity is one of the most important characteristics a sales person can have.
The best salespeople are naturally curious. They instinctively ask the right questions, at the right moment, in the right tone. This trait helps them gather key information, bond with their prospect, sell consultatively and win more deals.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “Curiosity can be described as a person’s hunger for knowledge and information. Eighty-two percent of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels. Top salespeople are naturally more curious than their lesser performing counterparts.”
While it’s hard to teach someone to be curious, if they don’t already have that characteristic, sales managers can, and should, hire, and train for curiosity on an ongoing basis. Here are a few ideas.
First, screen new recruits for natural curiosity. A sales candidate that doesn’t ask me a ton of questions during the interview process is a red flag. Look for candidates who display genuine curiosity about your team/company/culture, your buyer, sales cycle, average contract value, common objections, competitive landscape, win/loss reasons and more. Ideally, you want to see not only that they display innate curiosity, but that they do it in a natural, conversational, pleasant way.
Second, make curiosity a sales team value. Foster curiosity in your time by ensuring it’s part of your culture. Reward reps when they display curiosity in a unique or effective way during their deals. Have your most naturally curious reps conduct a peer workshop to help educate the team. Share articles about curiosity. Make it a frequent topic to help keep it to of mind for everyone. And, make sure you are displaying curiosity as well. When it comes to managing and coaching your team, ask rather than tell.
And finally, continuously coach for curiosity. I recommend doing workshops, role plays and written exercises to help develop curiosity in your team.
Curiosity is one of the most important traits in sales. It’s what sets the top performers apart from the rest. It’s up to us, as sales leaders, to seek that quality our in our sales candidates and foster it on an ongoing basis in our teams. So, that’s it. Good luck, and I’d love to hear from you about how you coach for curiosity in your team! Thanks for watching.