First Business

August 06, 2010

Let Top Performers Know They Are

What salespeople don’t know can hurt them. Having a solid grasp on personal performance is necessary to gauge improvement.

There was a study published in 1999 by Justin Kruger and David Dunning on how people’s perceived knowledge related to actual performance. Their research showed that individuals who fell within the bottom 25 percent of knowledge in a given topic still tended to place themselves in the "above average knowledge†category.

Simply put, the people who performed poorly in their humor, grammar, and logic tests felt that they would be above the 50th percentile.

Top performers whose scores were ranked as high as 85 percent to 90 percent of all participant scores, predicted they would only get as high as 72 percent to 74 percent of the participant scores. Top performers were overly modest.

So what does this have to do with sales? I have done some informal polling with groups of salespeople and this same trend appears.

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