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Reactions to my own sales assessment test.

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 11/22/13 8:36 AM

Can you handle a sales skill assessment test?

The single most important, critical, life blood of a business is in it's ability to sell. That is to say, it is the ability of that business to build the right relationships, that is the driving force behind growth. Buyers do not care about packaging and pricing. People buy from people, not companies. To build relationships that last, it has to be built on trust. Trust comes from honesty, and that starts with being honest with ourselves.

Honesty is painful. If it's not painful, it's probably not honest enough. Like there are degrees of pain, there are degrees of honesty.

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Don't we all like to think that we are honest with ourselves and know our own strengths and weaknesses pretty well? The smarter we are, the more we believe that. The more successful we are, the more it confirms our belief of ourselves. But have you ever asked yourself why is it that even the best writers need editors? It's because we are the worst judges of ourselves. Our brains naturally fill in the blanks. That is why is so much easier to see someone else's mistakes, and not our own. (this is why giving dating advice is so easy)

First understand that I have done a sales assessment test before. I also did some pretty intense coaching on my weaknesses and saw some life changing results. So why do it a second time? Curiosity. Had I really improved? Was there room left to improve more? Where? How?

How to take a sales assessment test.

Taking the same sales assessment test the second time, I really did need to be painfully honest with myself. Honest like naked-in-the-mirror kind of honest. It wasn't fun. It kinda ticked me off a little. It tickled my bad outlook and emotional involvement like a smoker who enters a smoke filled room for the first time after kicking the habit for the 6th time. I knew what the right response was in my head, but was that really how it happens lately? Ugh. Did I really still have this problem? Begrudgingly I clicked the right answer, not the appropriate one.

The first time I scanned my results, it was like watching the heroine make a fatal mistake. Damn it, don't you know better?

The second time I read it, I felt like an investigator observing the suspect. How does it manifest? What does this issue really look like in real life? This also being the second time I took the assessment test, I wanted to not just see where some things still lingered, but also where improvements were made and what the impact of both the good and the bad were.

The third time I felt like a football player watching video tape of his opponent. What weakness can be exploited? How would I tell them to change it in order to eliminate it?

How to use a sales assessment test.

Because we are the worst judges of ourselves, we are also our own worst coach. Like we can somehow talk ourselves out of our own head trash. This is why I have serious a serious skepticism of "self-improvement". So first, hire a coach who will do an appropriate assessment of your sales role. That coach should be able to explain what your assessment means to you as an individual, how it manifests, and what behaviors to look out for and get under control.

Next, write an action plan. I printed out the last page of my report and with pen and paper, wrote out the list of weaknesses I had, how it manifested and impacted me, and what I was planning to do about it. Then I shared it with my coach and peers. Why? Accountability. 

The reason why writing down your action plan is a good idea also the same reason why sales people should blog. Blogging is just another way to have a conversation with peers and prospects. 

If you are an entrepreneur with your start-up, you are a sales person too. You are also the marketing person and the delivery person. While there are some things you can outsource (and should- like bookkeeping), there are other things that you will still have to own the responsibility for. But you don't have to do it alone.

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Topics: sales assessment test