Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to Develop Individualization?

"People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively." Definition from the Clifton Strengths Finder Report

In my experience in sales and marketing, I have observed that some of the best sales people have strong individualization. This helps them to listen very carefully to their clients, observe seemingly minor yet important details and adapt their messages to their clients deeper needs. 

One colleague and one of the best sales persons I have ever met once explained to me that sometimes he walks into a client's office and just perceives that the client is stressed about something. Although he would have carefully prepared this sales call, he would immediately "abort mission", talk about trivialities and ask the client whether he could return next week. 

I have seen similar talents with some people strong in Connectedness who seem to have developed this talent into a strength that seems similar to Individualization: they somehow figure out what makes each person tick and connect their message to what they have observed in the client. 

Dear Bloggers, have you observed this as well? What advise would you give someone who hast just discovered that he has Individualization and now wants to develop this talent into a real strength in sales?


Matthias said...

“Are particular themes more suitable for managers?

No -- and yes. In our [= Gallup’s] research, we have found thousands of great managers whose Signature Themes differ quite a bit. However, we've also found that many successful managers have similar Signature Themes. For example, many possess Developer in their top five, and this enables them to spot small increments of growth in their employees. Other Signature Themes common to managers include: Focus, the ability to distinguish between a short cut and a distraction; Individualization, the ability to identify and play to the uniqueness of each employee; Activator, an unrelenting drive to make a decision and act; Arranger, the ability to size up the elements of a situation and rearrange them in the most productive configuration; and Maximizer, the natural inclination to take people or endeavors from good to great.”

Source: http://gmj.gallup.com/content/568/particular-themes-more-suitable-managers.aspx

Matthias said...

“Despite Pat's reasoning, the client kept resisting, so Pat decided to leverage his greatest talents. Drawing on his Belief talents, Pat said to his client, "I really want you to do what is right for you" -- and he meant it; doing right by his clients is an essential part of Pat's sense of mission. Using his Individualization talents, Pat was motivated to probe what was troubling this particular client in this specific situation.

"I sense there is more to this than price," Pat said. "Please tell me what else is holding you back from making the change, because in the long run, I think it's in your best interest to switch to the new product."

The client finally admitted that it was a packaging issue. (…). Pat asked the client why he hadn't told him this before. The client, recalling the way Pat used to "lay on the charm," replied, "I didn't think you really cared before."”

By Brian Brim, a Principal of Global Client Education with Gallup, in his article “The Best Way to Influence Others - Rather than "laying on the charm," try using your innate talents”". Source: http://gmj.gallup.com/content/21325/The-Best-Way-to-Influence-Others.aspx