Creativity in Staffing Sales: Common Myths

179019172Misperceptions about creativity and innovation are common, especially when it comes to their place in staffing. But creativity not only belongs in the sales organizations of all staffing companies – it’s often the winning factor in competitive deals. Companies can’t compete without being creative when it comes to customer solutions.

Still, many “creativity doesn’t apply to my work” myths persist,and may lead the sales organization in the wrong direction. Often, it’s because when we hear “creativity,” we think of artistic creativity – like Andy Warhol and JK Rowling. But we’re not talking about that type of creativity. You’re not prancing around with finger paints to find your inner Picasso. You’re solving a sales challenge in a creative waythat will differentiate you from competitors.

Brian Stone, associate professor in the department of design at The Ohio State University and principal partner in the international consultancy Latitude 40 Design, says many of his students believe real creativity is elusive. “When people tell me things like ‘I’m not creative,’ that’s actually not true. They say ‘I’m not creative,’ because they think there’s this magic bullet or some kind of potion that they take to get creativity. In reality, you just have to change your approach and your mindset around solving a particular problem.”

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Here are a few misperceptions – and the realities – of creativity’s place in the real world.

  • Perception: You have to be born with creativity. Innovators are those few individuals blessed with naturally high creative intelligence.
  • Reality: Most creators and innovators have learned how to be creative. Creative processes and principles are easy to learnbut practice and tenacity are required before they produce results. This is particularly true in the sales environment, which tends to be reactive and defaults to pre-conceived answers.
  • Perception: Creative ideas come from eureka moments. Creative people have moments of epiphany that lead to innovation.
  • Reality: Creative moments are usually the culmination of a creative problem solving progression. In the majority of situations, brilliant results come amid numerous other ideas that never see the light of day.

Agree or disagree?

MORE: Where have all the salespeople gone?

Mark Donnolo
Mark Donnolo is managing partner of SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting and services firm, and the author of What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation and The Innovative Sale. You can reach him at mdonnolo (at) salesglobe (dot) com.

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