Having been in the sales and business development world for over 14 years now, we have seen sales people in all shapes and forms; many were successful, while many others were not so lucky. The good reps were friendly, personable, task-focused, and likeable among many other traits. But as the way buyers make purchases have changed, so has the way how sales reps sell; we’ve gone from the “always be selling” attitude to becoming a trusted advisor for our clients. With this new wave of sales approaches, what makes the best sales reps stand out from the good is their curiosity. Why?
1. Curiosity helps you keep focus. Studies show that curious people are better at making it through the boring, mundane tasks at hand. Curiosity enables people to retain even the smaller, incidental bits of information from a meeting simply because their curiosity drives them to be more engaged. For salespeople, the mundane tasks of writing follow-up emails and client research are some of the less-exciting parts of the role. But the reps that have a higher curiosity are more likely to retain even minor details that may be a factor in the decision-making process.
2. Curiosity triggers happiness. Curiosity stimulates the mind and thought as an activator. This leads to being more happy, and happier salespeople are better at converting leads as happiness can spread from one person to another. Think about when you receive a call from an unknown person: you would probably be more engaging and warm if the caller on the other end has a more positive attitude. When you as a sales rep can exude happiness over the phone to a prospect, they will likely remember the conversation as being a pleasant one, which will be in mind as they speak to the influencers and decision-makers.
3. Curiosity drives better conversations. When selling, sales reps have to initially ask qualifying questions and develop a relationship with the customer to see if there is a fit. Asking questions is a big part of this first phase, so who better to do this than a curious person? Curious people are naturally inclined to connect to people and gain a deeper understanding of them. Conversations with curious people tend to be more light, humorous, and engaging, which ultimately drives the development of good relationships.