Do Nice Guys Sell Less? (Jim Karrh on Marketing)

by Jim Karrh  on Monday, Mar. 19, 2012 12:00 am  

The authors say Challenger reps succeed because they can best handle today's more complex sales model, "one that places a huge burden on both reps and customers to think and behave differently." Customers are more careful and reluctant than ever before, rewriting selling playbooks in the process. Many traditional sales techniques no longer work as well.

Being likable isn't enough for becoming a sales star these days. There's no value in being a jerk, of course, but the clear lesson from "The Challenger Sale" is that an effective salesperson needs to be an innovator, a student of her customers' businesses and a bit of a provocateur.

Which of these five profiles best describes the bulk of your team? Where are you placing your bets, in terms of investments in recruiting and training?

In a future column I'll outline the ways you can develop and replicate more Challengers in your organization.

(Jim Karrh is the founder of Karrh & Associates and director of MarketSearch, both of Little Rock. Email him at



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