If classic movies like Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Tin Men (1987), Used Cars (1980)—or more recent hits like Wolf of Wall Street (2013)—have taught us anything, it’s that sales is not for those of a weak disposition.
And whether the character portrayal is ruthless and intimidating like Alec Baldwin’s Blake, broadly comedic like Danny DeVito’s Ernest Tilley, or charmingly sneaky like Kurt Russell’s Rudy Russo, movies have also suggested that salespeople need to be either pushy or conniving to achieve success.
While such representations do elevate dramatic tension or provide an impetus for farcical scenarios to play out on screen, they’re pretty far from reality, especially in today’s world of sales. Now more than ever, customers are informed and have a wide array of choices. Online reviews, comparison websites, specs, even satellite and street views of real estate are at the fingertips of potential buyers. So if salespeople have lost their leverage with information, what can they do to win the account?
Some attributes typically associated with sales remain important and probably will be for some time. Building relationships, for example, is something even the most advanced predictive algorithm cannot do. Persuasiveness, coupled with social engagement (which we might describe as “personal impact”), is also a major component of selling. As implied in the opening paragraph above, resilience is perhaps most critical of all to sticking it out in competitive sales. The best salesperson loses at least 75% of the time.
Alas, personal impact and resilience are not teachable qualities. There are compensatory techniques that can be conveyed through training and coaching, but both psychometric research and practical experience show that such techniques are rarely sustainable in sales. If you work against your intrinsic motivations, like cold-calling when you are socially reserved and lack self-assurance for example, you are likely to burn out sooner rather than later.
So let us assume we’re addressing salespeople who already display personal impact, are adept at relationship building, and can rebound from rejection. How can they adapt in a sales environment where information technology has empowered customers as never before? By demonstrating the fourth common success factor revealed by psychometric research: curiosity.
In measuring the personality drivers of successful sales people across multiple industries, we have found that “information seeking” is a quality shared among many top performers. We’re not talking about following a sales script or asking basic qualifying questions. Information seekers are naturally curious about people and things. Information seekers are not dismissive of new ideas and input, either, and they are open to others’ perspectives and experiences. Your grumpy uncle who reflexively thinks anything that does not interest him is a stupid waste of time? Not an information seeker. Maybe he did great in insurance sales thirty or forty years ago, but he’d find a very different environment today.
How does information-seeking lead to sales success? Now that’s a question for curious people! The folks who bailed on this piece after reading the previous paragraph—because they reflexively dismissed the concept—were not information seekers either. Let’s explore the answer without them.
Information seeking supports sales success because it redirects the conversation. The customer did the research and already has the specs on hand and prices in mind. They think they are in control. When you start asking questions—meaningful, probing questions they weren’t expecting—the information you elicit gets them thinking and rethinking, perhaps about potentialities they overlooked. You’re showing them that you have a whole level of understanding they hadn’t imagined, giving you instant credibility. Now they’re more receptive to the message you intended to convey all along.
Information seeking doesn’t always manifest in the form of overt questions. It could be quiet observation, or it could be collecting seemingly irrelevant data that you process in the back of your mind. It could be simple environmental scanning. Salespeople who are open to such inputs are the ones who, once the clues coalesce in their minds, find the right button to push or notice hidden opportunities that turn a minor sale into a major one.
Contrast that with the “old-school” sales approach, in which the sales representative already has his mind made up about what clients want and need and shuts down any chance of engagement. He might be friendly, persuasive, and resilient to setbacks, but his close-minded, inflexible approach leaves money on the table.
Curiosity in sales isn’t a new thing, of course, but simply an attribute that hasn’t always been considered in the applicant-selection process. Recent performance data says it should be. So consider stirring in a little Sherlock Homes with your Glengarry Glen Ross. Or should we call it, perhaps, The Case of the Missing Leads?
To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit.
This blog post is one in a series by Women In Trucking member uShip that celebrates women in the logistics industry. Inspired by International Women’s Day (March 8, 2019) and Women’s History Month (March 2019), uShip is sharing inspiring stories of women in trucking, whether they’re behind the wheel, booking shipments on a laptop, or making decisions in the boardroom.
Behind the wheel, we have Jacinda Duran of Peoria, Ariz., a driver for Plycar Automotive Logistics. You might also know her as ‘Jacinda Lady Truck’n’ on Facebook.
Jacinda’s love for trucking is ingrained through her family. She is a third generation lady trucker, following in the footsteps of her mother, who drove for 23 years, and her grandmother, who drove for over 50 years. On top of that, her second cousin is Marc Springer, who starred in A&E reality series Shipping Wars (100 episodes from 2012-2015).
Starting off as a local FedEx driver over four years ago, Jacinda moved to a longer, consistent, dedicated route, delivering oxygen tanks. Today, she’s behind the wheel of a 53′ enclosed high-end car hauler, driving for Plycar Automotive Logistics. On any given day, her 42,000 Instagram followers will see her at a frozen truckstop in Wisconsin, performing in-cab karaoke, or dealing with a blown tire outside of Salt Lake City.
To Jacinda, trucking represents freedom. She loves that it’s just her and the open road, and she has the opportunity to make every day an adventure.
With trucking, she has found more than a dream job, she has found her passion.
“It’s amazing that it’s inspiring people just by sharing my passion,” Jacinda says.
In a predominantly male industry, when Jacinda sees other women out on the road, she has the utmost respect for their boldness. Inspiring other women to get into trucking is Jacinda’s favorite way to celebrate women in trucking, and many of the women of trucking already know Jacinda.
She’s honored that other women in the trucking industry come to her regularly to seek advice on trucking when they want to know how to get into the business, and how they can benefit the most from it. She’s a wealth of knowledge about the industry, and the actual job of transporting anything from small packages to high-end vehicles.
As uShip sought fitting stories of women in the trucking industry, we were inspired by Jacinda’s strength and tenacity. TO us, she represents a powerful woman in trucking. We invite you to join us in celebrating Jacinda, the women of trucking, and all women as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 this year.
Watch Jacinda’s story here
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Ask Angela: How do I get started in trucking?
This question has many different answers. First, where do you live? Do you want to be a long hauler or do you need to stay local? If you are just starting out, the first thing is to get your CDL. Search your area truck driving schools or enroll in a truck driving program. Are there trucking schools near where you live?
The first option to obtain your CDL is truck driving school. Usually, you need to pay for truck driving schools ahead of time. Many community colleges and tech schools offer training for a Class A commercial driver’s license. Call or visit your local school to see if they offer a program. If paying for the opportunity ahead of time is an issue, there are scholarships available. Women In Trucking offers several scholarships through their foundation. To find out more visit their scholarships information page - https://www.womenintruckingfoundation.org/scholarships.
Another option is to enroll in a truck driving program. There are many options out there. These programs are typically a lower cost than truck driving schools because the companies who host them are training you to potentially work for them. Make sure that you do your research to make sure that the training has received positive reviews and that the company has too.
No matter which choice you make, the trucking industry needs you. I wish everyone joining our industry the best of luck.
About Angela - Angela Eliacostas, President and Founder of AGT Global Logistics. Angela is the current Freightliner and WIT Influential Woman of the Year. She has more than 25 years of experience in the transportation industry. Angela is a leader in expediting shipments and serves as a liaison between carriers and companies. Her company AGT Global Logistics specializes in the energy and utilities sector.
The annual "Influential Woman in Trucking" Award provides recognition to a woman who provides leadership, creates change, and inspires others in the transportation industry. Because these industry trailblazers have years of experience and wisdom, WIT created the column, “Ask the Influential Woman in Trucking.” Therefore, the 2018 recipient, Angela Eliacostas, President and Founder of AGT Global Logistics, will be providing answers and advice to popular questions often asked by WIT members.
Eliacostas Named 2018 Influential Woman in Trucking
Everyone has seen the statistics about employee happiness and how it’ll change the way your workplace operates. Companies with happy employees outperform their competitors by 20%. Some companies have even gone as far as hiring an employee experience officer. One of the most notable companies to hire someone dedicated to employee experience was Airbnb back in 2015 when they transitioned their Chief Human Resources Officer to the Head of Employee Experience. The duties of the new role include shared HR functions as well as responsibilities that focus on their new “workplace as an experience” vision. To achieve this vision, most offices included a group of employees called “ground control” that focus on bringing AirBnb’s culture to life.
So why are companies focusing so much on employee happiness and their experience at work? Beyond looking good in Forbes’ Best Places to Work List there are a number of benefits that outweigh the cost when investing in employee happiness. But, most offices can’t afford to hire a Head of Employee Experience. Often, departments delegate responsibilities to one person or a team of individuals to ensure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks. At the end of the day, you want your employees to be both happy and productive. So, what are you doing to promote their happiness?
Productivity, happiness and your bottom line.
According to a new report titled The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience, the companies that scored the highest reported nearly three times to return on assets and doubled their return on sales. Your employee experience isn’t just tied to happiness but also productivity throughout the workplace. The better the experience your employees have, the happier they become. This can lead to a drastic improvement in your company’s bottom line. If you notice that productivity is low and it seems you’ve done all you can do to promote employee happiness in the workplace, take a look at your hiring practices and see if there needs to be more precision when hiring. Sit down and take the time to assess options to improve gaps in your hiring process. Moving forward, this can tremendously impact your employees’ future happiness and productivity.
Offering a work-life balance isn’t easily maintainable. Adding simple changes can help employees feel like their entire life isn’t about their job. Being able to separate work and personal life often gives people freedom, allowing them to unplug and recharge. When employees aren’t having to constantly worry about work after work, it increases their drive. Allowing employees to recharge gives them the opportunity to come in with a fresh attitude instead of being bogged down. Having a clear break between life and work is an easy way to promote happiness.
Engagement, happiness and a retained workforce.
The average cost-per-hire for companies is $4,129 per new employee according to the Society of Human Resource Management’s recent Human Capital Trend Report. In terms of employee retention, the average employee tenure according to this same study is eight years with an annual turnover rate of 19% and an involuntary turnover rate of 8%. Take this cost-savings approach when it comes to factoring in your budget for employee happiness. To maintain a level of employee happiness it’s important to keep employees engaged. Your employees are responsible for sparking energy and creating ideas throughout your company. One way that companies are able to decrease retention and increase happiness is by having better engagement between co-workers. Developing and enforcing friendships can have a great impact on your organization. Work friendships help employees to become more engaged and more innovative. Employee happiness is 23.3% more correlated to connections with coworkers than direct supervisors according to a recent survey. At the end of the day, real success comes from how engaged your employees are.
Be creative and ask your employees for suggestions.
Who knows what they want more than your actual employees? While there isn’t much science behind the idea of a suggestion box, there is behind your employee’s knowing what they want out of a successful workplace. Add a suggestion box and pick out something each month to improve your workplace, whether big or small. Not only will your employees feel heard and appreciated, but it’s a simple and quick way to increase employee happiness.
Allowing your employees to ask or suggest tools and resources they may need to collaborate and improve in the workplace can serve as a big win for your company in the end. Tapping into their resources, technical savviness and creative expertise, your employees can show you things that you may have missed in your organization. By inviting employees’ best ideas, you are continuing to foster and promote a more collaborative culture that sparks creativity beyond your expectations.
Employee happiness benefits everyone because, at the end of the day, you’re increasing your bottom line by either saving or not having to spend a ton of money on new employees.
Think of happiness as something you can offer by tweaking different aspects in your workplace that benefit employees and improve your organization.
All in all, it is possible for employees to be happy and productive in their workplace.
To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit.
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Great leaders often have several traits in common. We tend to see characteristics like strong communication, a positive attitude and a sense of integrity on the short list. But, where does self-awareness come into play? This attribute is often overlooked in leaders, but here at Caliper, we argue that this characteristic can make or break a work environment.
By bringing awareness of one’s self into the workplace, leaders are able to better identify who they are as an employee and why they work the way they do. Using this information, leaders can then play to their strengths while understanding their areas of developmental opportunity. Leaders with awareness are also better at managing their emotions in high-stress situations, admitting when they are at fault and leaving their personal lives at the door. For these reasons, employees often note a healthier work environment under such superiors. Not only are their benefits to the leader and the employees, but there is also a significant positive correlation between self-aware leaders and company performance.
So, how can you become the self-aware leader you, your employees and your company are craving? Start with the following tips:
Put Your Personality to the Test
You may think that you have a good idea of who you are, and you likely do! Take a personality test or two to confirm your beliefs, while also discovering more about yourself. Many tests, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the Big Five, provide results specific to how you perform in a work type environment. Gathering personality and work specific insight can help you determine your own characteristics and in turn provide better self-awareness.
This information is not only valuable to yourself as a leader but also your employees. Encourage them to take personality assessments as well and create a dialog about how your qualities can better play off of each other.
Ask for Feedback
To take your self-awareness to the next level, create an open conversation with your employees, your equals and your superiors. Discuss with each of them the qualities you possess, which are of value to them and the company and what leadership skills you could work to improve. Your co-workers may point out you coming into work with a positive attitude and smile on your face brightens the office space, or your last minute preparation for the weekly meeting keeps other from completing their section of the agenda.
Great leaders are the ones not only asking for other’s input but taking the feedback they receive to heart. Think to yourself: Is there frustration with an action in which I can change? Is the way I’m leading what’s best for my employees and the company? Use questions similar to these as a jumping off point to thoroughly think about your leadership skills.
Self-awareness is all about reflection. Take time out of each day to think about how you handled different situations. Were you proud of your response towards an upset client or could you have handled it with a more level-head? Make specific mental notes of what you did well and what you could have improved upon. By looking back on your daily interactions, you will better prepare yourself for the next time a similar situation comes around. As you begin taking time to reflect, ask others who were in attendance to also evaluate your actions and responses. Their feedback and confirmation of your analysis will help grow your confidence in your personal reflections.
The value of self-awareness at the workplace is immeasurable. By taking these tips to improve your awareness, you’ll be able to develop your leadership skills, enjoy a positive work environment and increase the company’s performance.
To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to WIT members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit.
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With the number of jobs and applicants increasing, many professionals are turning to advanced tools such as personality assessments to aid them in the hiring process to determine if potential candidates are the right fit for their company. But what is a personality assessment?
When we talk about personality-based employment assessments, the message is often some variation of: Using a valid pre-employment assessment can help you dig deeper than resumes and interviews and discover which applicant has the intrinsic strengths and motivations to succeed in the role. According to Psychology Today, about 80% of Fortune 500 companies use personality tests to assess potential candidates during the hiring process. Many companies rely on personality tools to assist in making better hiring and developmental decisions.
That’s all true. But what happens when the results of the pre-employment assessment aren’t what you wanted to see? That is, what if your favorite candidate does not show the intrinsic motivations for the role?
Understand What You Need, Not What You Want
Finding the best candidate can be a very lengthy process, but taking the time to find the right candidate for the job is worthwhile and beneficial for your company in the long run.
Think of it like this. After screening dozens of applicants, you’re down to your final two. Before you select one, you present your candidates with a personality assessment to complete. First, there is Emily. During the interview stages of the hiring process, every time she was presented a question, she quickly replied with a well-crafted answer. You were impressed in her responses and the conversation continued to develop into a harmonious exchange. And then there is your second candidate, Sara. She looked great on paper, but during the interview, she stumbled around her words, trying to grasp and craft clear answers. You felt as if she wasn’t giving you anything. In the back of your mind, you thought she could do it, but she didn’t convince you.
You’ve received the results and suddenly noticed that Sara’s assessment results were much better suited to the job opening than Emily’s. Of course, there are roles that you may want to judge from the beginning of the hiring process, but at the end of the day, you want to find the most qualified candidate for the job.
Jessica Principale, Talent Management Consultant with Caliper, often finds herself advising clients on job applicants whose assessment results do not line up well with the position the client is trying to fill. “Those conversations can be challenging,” Jessica says. “I try to dig deeper into why they feel so strongly about the candidate. You have to relate to what they see in the results, but then use the instrument to uncover the behavioral tendencies that lie below the surface. Once I link the data to the day-to-day responsibilities of the job, most hiring managers will understand my perspective.”
To find your best candidates, it is important to understand that to get what you want, you have to know what you want. 75% of employers have hired the wrong person. From the beginning, setting clear expectations of the skills you need throughout the role can help better identify important behavioral traits and skills through an assessment.
But of course, job candidates are more than the results of a personality assessment. They are real people, and sometimes real people click with each other. Caliper would never say to a client, don’t hire this person. Even the best personality assessment is only part of the story. Still, it’s critical to take a long view.
Identifying Behavioral Competencies
There are many elements that are involved in making a job role attractive to a candidate. At the beginning and end of the process, hiring managers want to make sure that they are providing the best experience for their candidates through an engaging, impactful, personal connection. But is that truly enough?
According to Jessica, personally connecting with a job applicant and valuing their experiences can be important components of the hiring decision, but those elements do not necessarily indicate how the candidate would handle the unique responsibilities of the role over time. “At that point, I try to refocus the conversation on job tasks and relate them to the applicant’s intrinsic behavioral competencies,” Jessica adds.
Behavioral competencies emerge when personality attributes intersect with job responsibilities and on- the-key job performance, and they can be identified ahead of time through the use of a scientifically validated pre-employment assessment like the Caliper Profile. Whether or not an applicant’s assessment results show the key behavioral competencies associated with a certain job, Caliper wants its clients to get the most out of their new hires, even if hires don’t necessarily possess a high skill level at the beginning of their new role. You want to ensure that clients have an assessment that can support hiring and individual employee development.
“If the client decides to hire an applicant with results that do not line up well with the job, I try to ensure they are prepared for what they are getting,” Jessica says. “We talk in depth about the coaching areas, and I work with hiring managers to develop onboarding action plans. If issues do arise, they can always reach out to me, and we’ll brainstorm alternatives.”
It’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected, instead of struggling to find solutions to fix problems and gaps in the end.
What does Jessica say is most important in getting past the rough patches? “Communication and follow-up.” Good advice for anything in life, really.
Whether you need to fill a new position, find the right employees or improve talent gaps in your workforce, Caliper offers any organization, big or small, the right assessments to measure job performance. Contact us today to learn more about how you can transform your organization.
To learn more about Caliper and special discounts to the members, visit www.calipercorp.com/wit.
By Emilie Worsham, Omnitracs
After two days of excellent conversations the main take away for people trying to improve fleet operations is time efficiency. The general feeling is that most people are quick to blame ELD for fewer miles per month for drivers, but some feel like it goes back further than that.
For years companies housed their products/materials on property, however as companies went lean the pressure was shifted to trucking. Drivers were forced to deliver on a stricter timeline and the evidence shows that they are dwelling more.
It is my thought and I see to prove with data that this switch to lean processes is to blame for fewer driver miles per month. Then along with Omnitracs, it is my hope that we will be able to help drivers become more efficient. This way we may be able to solve the driver shortage with more efficient drivers rather than more drivers.
By Dr. Gina Anderson, an expert in the instructional design and learning field and the CEO of Luma
Dr. Gina Anderson, an expert in the instructional design and learning field and the CEO of Luma, spoke at the WIT conference on how a one-sized approach to orientation does not work for everyone. She also led two round-table discussions on the importance of orientation and training.
Dr. Anderson said, “It was not surprising to me that there was a lot of interest to discuss how to make the orientation process and training more efficient and effective. Participants expressed that they wanted to build something great and innovative for their drivers and employees to engage and to, ultimately, retain them.” Dr. Anderson summarized the overarching questions and answers from the sessions.
Q. How do you Engage drivers in orientation and training?
A. Examples were discussed of how different mediums of content engage different types of participants.
Key takeaway: Offer a variety of mediums of content (not all participants have the same learning preferences) and continually track what gets and keeps participants’ attention.
Q. What are ways to build Efficiencies in the orientation process?
A. Examples were discussed of how different formats of programs (online, face-to-face, a combination of both) can save time and money. Key takeaway: Create shorter sessions for learning, go paperless, and offer a variety of delivery formats.
Q. How do you create a program that drivers enjoy (Authenticity)?
A. Examples were discussed of how important it is to provide training that is meaningful to drivers. One participant described how a driver with 35 years of experience had to sit through the same training as a new driver! Key takeaway: With technology today, there is an opportunity to differentiate the learning experience to meet the needs of all learners.
Dr. Anderson shared Luma’s white paper on guidelines for implementing these strategies at your own company.
If you would like to make your orientation process and training more efficient and effective, contact Dr. Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jennifer Hintz, Dedicated Systems Inc/Dedicated Repair Inc.
We had our very first Girl Scout event with Women in Trucking this past Saturday. We purchased the Supply Chain activity books, and got together with two girl scout troops from Freedom, WI. We had our guest speaker Emily Wolford, one of our team husband and wife drivers in town for the weekend!
She explained the supply chain to the girls, along with the activity books. She also explained her job to the girls, and what it is like being a woman in the trucking world. She told them how empowering, and how much self confidence it has given her in her life. She told them so many people told her for being such a tiny person there was no way she was going to drive a big truck, and look at her now. She explained never give up your dreams and never let anyone tell you, "You Can't." You are in complete control and can do anything you put your mind to!
She then let them ask questions, and let them take a tour and look in her truck! Which is where her and her husband live full time. She was amazing with the girls, and we are so very proud of her. We then had the girls decorate Christmas Cookies to go along with the theme of the supply chain in the activity book. After that the girls and our staff decorated a float for the Freedom Christmas Parade that evening. We had purchased extra supply chain activity books for the girl scouts to be able to hand to kids watching the float! The girls thought that was so awesome.
The theme of the parade this year was "Freedom Bright." We decided to run with the theme, and did our float as.... "Star Light, Star Bright bring our heroes home safe tonight!" A few weeks back we had made a post on our Facebook page asking for all service men and women (military, police, fire, rescue, coast guard..etc) to email or send us in pictures to use and recognize them on our float. I am so excited to share.... that we WON, best overall Float of the whole parade!
We wanted to say THANK YOU so very much for the opportunity you have given us with the Women In Trucking, the Supply Chain activity books to get out in the community and share how great the trucking family truly is!
Interested in hosting a Girl Scout event? Contact Lana Nichols for more information.
By Laura Roan Hays, Branch Manager, Great Dane
I had the honor to be a facilitator at one of the round table discussions at the 2018 Accelerate! Conference. The topic was “the importance of mentoring in your career”. The discussion brought out many key points. One in particular is that in many cases, the younger generation simply don’t know how to ask someone to be their mentor. Typical communication methods have changed drastically. Mentors need to find ways to reach out even if they haven’t been asked. The mentee may be struggling and doesn’t know how to ask. Try sending a text or drop a quick e-mail because it’s possible the mentee may not open up if you ask them to come into your office for a discussion.
Always be willing to mentor and find yourself a mentor. Everyone needs encouragement – regardless of age and experience. Taking the time to mentor someone will change their life as well as enrich yours. Maybe the mentee is seeking assistance in how to get through a particular dilemma. The mentor is there to offer guidance or possibly validate that what the mentee is experiencing is not new or unique. Sometimes just being that “listening ear” is what the mentee needs. Saying it out loud to someone who is not going to tell you how wrong you are, but will instead allow you to openly discuss a situation is often all that is needed. Allow the mentee to talk and then provide real life situations that you’ve been through. Explain how you maneuvered through a similar situation and came out the other end.
When you share your message you become encouragement and inspiration to others.
Being a mentor is an opportunity to pass it on. How many of us would be where we are today without the guidance, understanding and encouragement from mentors?
This topic is near and dear to my heart. Being a female in a male-dominated industry for (30) years – I had the privilege of being mentored by several individuals that truly believed in me. Their guidance and encouragement helped boost my self-confidence to a point that I was ready for the challenges that were facing me. It’s now my time to give back. I hope I have the opportunity to make that same impact on someone’s life.