Let’s look at the trait of independent spirit in a salesperson. Think of those people in your life who always seem to want to control what groups of people do, or they want to do, and figure out things, on their own. This genetic tendency is measured by the CTS Sales Profile assessment tool and is defined as the salesperson’s entrepreneurial spirit to work without supervision.
High scorers prefer independence, working alone, and enjoy situations where they are in control of the outcome of their efforts. Low scorers are team players who enjoy working with others and like to do their part within assigned projects.
Sales People With High Independent Spirit
The resulting natural behaviors of someone with a high independent spirit can be significant on sales performance. According to the CTS Sales Profile assessment, salespeople with high scores on the independent spirit scale tend to be more assertive and urgent in their actions.
This can be beneficial in sales, as it allows them to pursue their own objectives and take control of the sales process. As the research study by Robbins and Judge explains, “Independent spirits feel an urgency to act quickly and be assertive in their sales activities. They also have a high need for control and a strong sense of responsibility for their outcomes.” (Robbins & Judge, 2013)
Working Without Direct Supervision
Salespeople with a high independent spirit are often able to work without someone supervising them. This is because they prefer to work alone, and they enjoy situations where they are in control of the outcome of their efforts.
High independent spirit can be an asset in sales, as it allows them to take the initiative and pursue leads without being micromanaged. It can also be important if the rep works at home or in a remote location away from the home office.
It’s important to note that salespeople who score high on the independent spirit scale may struggle with teamwork and collaboration—with installers or with other reps and the office staff.
Closing the Sale
Some salespeople with high scores on the independent spirit scale may struggle with building rapport and developing relationships with customers. This is because they may be more focused on pursuing their own objectives and taking control of the sales process and less with compassion for a person’s needs.
However, salespeople with high independent spirit scores may be more effective in closing the sale because they may tend to be assertive and proactive in their approach. The trait of independent spirit can also impact the salesperson’s ability to maneuver the conversation with a prospect into a sale. This means that having a high independent spirit affects the pursuit of one’s own objectives—or said in another way, the achievement of one’s own goals.
It’s probably obvious now to you that salespeople with a high independent spirit may have a more natural bent toward attaining what they want as an output of their work. This is because they have a strong sense of responsibility for their outcomes and a high need for control.
According to the research of Robbins and Judge, “Independent spirits have a strong sense of self-efficacy and are willing to take risks to achieve their goals. They are proactive in their approach to sales and are willing to go above and beyond to achieve success” (Robbins & Judge, 2013).
Compassion Towards Clients
Salespeople with a high independent spirit may have a lower level of compassion towards others. This could be because they are more focused on pursuing their own objectives and taking control of the sales process.
This doesn’t mean that they are unable to build relationships with customers or be successful in sales. It simply means that they may be more focused on achieving their own goals than on the needs and feelings of others, and some may have to be taught to ask, listen to, and paraphrase the needs and problems a customer wants filled and solved.
Industries for Both High and Low Independent Spirit
A high independent spirit can be a valuable trait in industries that require entrepreneurial thinking and a strong drive for success. Sales and business development roles are two examples where a high independent spirit can be a significant advantage.
Salespeople who possess this trait are often assertive, self-motivated, and comfortable taking risks. They are also comfortable working without direct supervision and can thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. Other industries where a high independent spirit can be beneficial include consulting, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, a low independent spirit can be a valuable trait in industries that require collaboration and teamwork. Such industries include education, healthcare, and social work, among others. In these industries, individuals who prefer to work in a team and are compliant and conformist in their behavior tend to excel. They thrive in an environment where there is clear structure and defined roles, and they enjoy working collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
Summing It All Up
The impact of independent spirit on performance depends on the specific demands of the role and industry. In some cases, individuals with a low independent spirit may struggle to take the initiative or be assertive in their approach, which can hold them back in sales or other industries that require a more independent mindset.
Similarly, those with a high independent spirit may struggle in industries that require close collaboration and teamwork. Therefore, it is essential for us to assess the specific requirements of each role and industry to determine the best fit for individuals with varying levels of independent spirit.