Event Recaps, Motivational Episodes

Leverage Strengths with Brent O’Bannon

Episode Summary

In this podcast episode, Gallup-certified strengths coach Brent O'Bannon shares his advice for harnessing your natural talents and strengths to transform your sales effectiveness.

Brent begins by having the audience self-assess their orientation toward sales. Some naturally love it, some find it challenging, some dislike it, and some question having to sell at all. But Brent assures that you can learn to love selling by leveraging your innate strengths.

He then shares a video about the CliftonStrengths assessment, which reveals your top 5 talent themes out of 34 possible strengths. With only a 1 in 33 million chance that someone shares your exact top 5 strengths, the results uncover your unique talents. Brent recommends using this language to "name" your natural strengths, then intentionally "aim" them into your sales process.

Research shows that salespeople who know their strengths have 11% higher sales volume per customer and 6% higher closing percentages. Beyond sales results, you become more engaged at work and thrive in well-being when applying strengths.

Brent suggests shifting mindsets from "weakness fixing" to "strength training." Do "strength spotting" - analyze your most successful sales to identify what strengths were leveraged. Then keep applying those talents.

He shares an example of acquiring a top financial advisor as a client by listening to her speak, hearing her value handwritten notes, and sending her an authentic personalized note. His Individualization strength helped him stand out.

Harness Your Strengths Like Sled Dogs

Brent uses sled dogs as a metaphor for harnessing strengths in sales roles:

- Lead dogs listen well and get you to the destination. They have executing strengths like Achiever, Discipline, and Responsibility.

- Point dogs have vision and strategic thinking strengths like Analytical, Context, Futuristic, and Learner.

- Swing dogs balance youthful enthusiasm and wise experience. They have influencing strengths like Communication, Maximizer, and Positivity.

- Wheel dogs have huge hearts and relationship strengths like Adaptability, Developer, include.

He recommends combining complementary strengths, like pairing younger and older sales reps. Help your team thrive by assigning roles based on natural talents.

Adopt the New ABCs of Selling

Brent suggests adopting the new ABCs:

- Attunement - Focusing on the customer using emotional intelligence, not just your perspective.

- Buoyancy - Bouncing back from rejections and objections with resilience and self-motivation.

- Clarity - Simplifying complex information for customers using strengths like strategy and Focus.

Evaluate Yourself

Finally, Brent recommends asking yourself:
- What are your best sales skills and challenges?
- When do you bring your best/worst to sales?
- How can you lean on strengths to overcome challenges?

By recognizing your natural talents and intentionally applying them, you can transform your sales effectiveness. Listen to the full podcast to learn more of Brent's excellent strengths-based selling insights.


(0:00:05) - Brent O'Bannon shares advice on using your strengths to boost sales
(0:01:23) - Use Clifton strengths finder to identify your most dominant talents
(0:06:18) - Two-thirds of you have never taken the Clifton Strengths assessment
(0:07:51) - When salespeople know their strengths, they have a language for it
(0:09:57) - One of the things that I encourage people to do is strength spotting
(0:17:39) - Three ABCs of selling include clarity, priorities, and strategic thinking
(0:18:39) - Brent says harness your strengths and never let go of your dogs
(0:24:14) - Brent: Harness your strengths and never let go
(0:25:17) - I've taken the top 24 sales skills and put them into four domains
(0:26:29) - Use these three questions to help you identify your strengths and challenges in sales

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