Want To Sell More? This CEO Says Think Like a CAT

By Jennifer Lahey  |  

3.5 min read


magine a world where you could choose your own adventure. Where would you go? It is likely that your personality and natural instincts will guide you toward your answer. Some might think of a safari in Africa or a diving adventure off the coast of the Mediterranean. The sky’s the limit.

Now assume you can’t go with any loved ones. Who would you take? The decision gets tougher, doesn’t it? Things to consider now are matching certain factors among yourself and whoever you choose to travel with such as budget, physical fitness, dietary differences, and interests just to name a few. This analogy comes from David Jacoby, Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group who references a program he previously worked on where the CEO used this adventure travel analogy to explain how he selects candidates for his sales team. 

Similar to an adventure trip, selling is full of twists and turns, ups and downs. How your sales reps react to inevitable obstacles and ups and downs is critical. You can predict this kind of behaviour and what makes a good sales rep with The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment delivered by Predictive Success. This CEO used the acronym CAT to describe how he categorizes candidates:

1. Cynic

Jacoby describes this type as distrustful of their bosses, negative, and think poorly of their companies’ products or services. A study by Longwood University showed that the harm caused by cynical employees is greater than the good created by positive employees. Often time, the root cause of the person’s cynicism is the behaviours of the company itself and other times it is the person’s past experiences. Yet, cynicism is an expression of uncertainty that comes from working in an environment where employees don’t feel valued. If your sales department has too much cynicism, it could signal a lack of employee trust. Get a finger on the pulse of what’s happening inside your organization and in your employees’ worlds with the Predictive Index Employee Experience Survey. Our consultants work with you to ensure effective use of the information provided by the Predictive Index System® and The PI Employee Experience Survey™ to improve your engagement metrics.

Our expert facilitators also conduct team sessions, aimed at resolving conflict and establishing effective communication and behavioural understanding among team members.

2. Adventurer

This person is a risk-taker, enjoys exciting experiences, and has resilience and optimism – a person who will drive change and can see the big picture and chases it. Jacoby quotes a French psychologist who notes that “successful salespeople don’t develop low self-esteem or lose hope when they lose a deal, they dust themselves off and bounce back.” This CEO marked adventurers as passionate, persevering, gritty people. The people who will work through it all to make the sale. Do you have these kinds of people on your sales team? The Predictive Index software delivered by Predictive Success is your first step to making sure you are matching the right people to the right roles. Ready to get started?

3. Tourist

An in-depth study by The Harvard Business School on what separates high achieving salespeople from mediocre salespeople showed that the top sellers had the following traits: 

  • Above-average ambition and desire to succeed
  • Intensely goal-oriented
  • 100% acceptance of responsibility for results
  • Above-average willpower and determination

The best sales reps are highly individually motivated. Jacoby notes that tourists, on the other hand, are just there to go along for the ride. Jacoby also notes that this problem is difficult to catch in an interview, motivation isn’t something you can see in that setting. Low-motivated sales reps are often excellent interviewers who can smooth-talk their way into a job. This can be avoided by saving you a mis-hire by predicting the behaviours of your candidates with the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment.

Learn more about how The Predictive Index software delivered by Predictive Success can allow you to make the right hiring decisions and get the right people in the right roles, not based on gut feeling but on data.


Jacoby, D. (n.d.) Hiring the Best Salesperson: Think CAT. Sales Readiness Group. Retrieved from https://www.salesreadinessgroup.com/blog/hiring-the-best-salesperson-think-cat

Related Blogs

  • Employee Retention Programs

Employee Retention Programs: Keeping Your Best Talent Happy

Employee retention is a cornerstone of business success. High turnover rates can be detrimental, leading to increased recruitment costs, loss of organizational knowledge, and decreased morale. At Predictive Success, we understand that retaining top talent

Are You Equipped with the Right Salesperson?

Introduction: In today's competitive market, many variables are beyond your control. However, one crucial factor you can manage is assembling the right sales team to drive your business forward. Having the optimal sales team is

  • Pre-Employment Testing

Mastering Pre-Employment Testing to Find the Perfect Fit

Hiring the right talent is critical to the success of any organization. A single mis-hire can result in significant costs, including wasted time, lost productivity, and the expense of rehiring and retraining. Pre-employment testing has