HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and Sales?

WSJ in their Personal Journal section recently published an article on the HSP aka the Highly Sensitive Person. The HSP responds more intensely to experience than the average Joe. They process both positive and negative information more thoroughly.

In general the articles says the HSP’s are more empathic, pay closer attention to their environment and are more attentive to social cues than their peers or partners.

“People who are highly sensitive have a deeper depth of cognitive processing, are easily overwhelmed, have bigger emotional responses and notice subtleties more”, says Dr. Elane Aron.

So far so good. The articles further goes on to say that the trait has its downsides. HSP’s get worn out by too much stimuli. They can become easily hurt or offended. And they have been known to overreact to a situation.

“They are processing information more thoroughly” says Dr. Arthur Ann, research professor at Stony Brook University in New York and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

Which begs the question. How good will HSP’s do at sales? Considering the fact that 20% of the population is HSP, there must be a good number of sales folks carrying the HSP genetic trait.

The front end – lead generation and qualification must be hard as they get constantly knocked down and drained out emotionally with rejections. The back end (developing and closing the lead) would be more suitable as they empathize more with the lead’s needs and woes. The fact that they notice or processes subtleties more may actually help them better understand where the buyer is w.r.t. their purchase decision.

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