Thursday, February 12, 2009

Interview with Ryan Vener from Written Inc.

Will Fultz: Ryan, thanks for being here. Could you please tell my readers what your company does and what types of clients you serve?

Ryan Vener: Sure, thanks for having me. Written Inc. is a personality reporting company based in Southern California. Our newest product, Salesperson Insight, was created to help individual salespeople as well as sales teams close more business. Our reports reveal to the salesperson the personality traits that are having the greatest impact to their selling success. They learn which traits may be holding them back, preventing them from building rapport or costing them sales. They also learn what they’re communicating to their prospect through their body language and what they can do specifically to change and improve.

Will Fultz: Obviously, I run a sales blog that caters to salespeople and sales management folks. How does your personality report differ from other personality assessments currently available for salespeople?

Ryan Vener: Written Inc. spent 10 years developing a proprietary technique, known as Written Body Language Analysis™, which taps into the salesperson's subconscious mind to reveal their true personality traits. Other personality assessments currently on the market ask the salesperson to answer questions about themselves. This approach only reports the perception they have of themselves, which is often very different from reality. Plus questionnaire based assessments can only reveal broad personality types such as “dominant extrovert” which has limited benefits to the salesperson. Because we’re tapping into their subconscious mind, our reports reveal traits that can’t be found from any other method. And, salespeople often learn about personality traits they weren’t aware they possessed.

Will Fultz: What are some of the desirable and undesirable aspects of the salesperson's personality that your reports reveal?

Ryan Vener: We can identify undesirable traits such as: defensive, arrogant, argumentative, critical, sarcastic, abrupt and self-doubt. A few of the desirable personality traits include: enthusiastic, flexible, tenacious, intuitive, creative, independent and logical.

Will Fultz: You mentioned arrogance as an undesirable trait. I believe some of the best salespeople have a little bit of arrogance. Can a trait that is usually perceived by most people as a negative actually be a positive for certain positions?

Ryan Vener: That’s a great question. Well I think self confidence is one of the most important attributes for sales success. Confident salespeople appear to be knowledgeable and put prospects at ease. But arrogance is different. Although confidence is the main component of arrogance, it’s the behaviors associated with the trait that most people see as negatives. Arrogant people brag about their accomplishments, act like they are above everyone else and take all of the credit for their success. It’s not the confidence that people dislike, it’s the lack of humility and the behaviors associated with the arrogant trait. Now, if the arrogant salesperson can avoid these behaviors around their prospects, they will likely be seen as confident and not conceited. The problem is most arrogant salespeople don’t think they are arrogant. They see themselves as confident. Salesperson Insight helps them see the difference between the two traits. The report shows them how they appear to others, the impact of being arrogant has on sales, how the trait is communicated through their body language and what they can do to change their behavior and thinking.

Will Fultz: Once the salesperson learns they have an undesirable trait, what can they do to change?

Ryan Vener:
The reports provide them with suggestions for changing their thinking and behavior. The easiest way to explain it is through an example. A fairly common trait we see in salespeople is idealistic. The idealistic salesperson tends to see and believe only the positive things a client or prospect tells them. Being optimistic and expecting to win in sales is an important trait for a successful salesperson to possess. But the idealistic salesperson runs into problems when they incorrectly forecast their opportunities, assume they are farther along in the sales cycle and waste time perusing dead-end deals. One of the suggestions we give to the idealistic salesperson is to run their deals by their sales managers, sales trainers or even colleagues. Doing this will provide them an objective view of their deals and help them become more realistic.

Will Fultz: If a company or individual is interested in using your services, how can you be contacted?

Ryan Vener: They can call our toll free number (888) 670-6702 or send us an e-mail at We also have a contact form on our website:

Will Fultz: Thanks for your time, Ryan. I would like to encourage my readers to check out your company's website when they get an opportunity.

Ryan Vener: My pleasure, thanks again.


Wes Schaeffer said...

This is good stuff, Ryan. I always tell business owners to "hire slow and fire fast" because "you can't train your way out of a bad hire!"

Last year I took three separate personality tests and sent them to my former VP of Sales and asked him which test provided the most accurate assessment of me and he chose yours "without a doubt!"

And your assessment is faster and less expensive. What a no-brainer in this economy when businesses will fail with the wrong people on board.

From the Author: Will Fultz said...


Thanks for your comment. I was glad to have the opportunity to interview - Ryan.

Will Fultz

Adam said...

Personality assessments are a critical component in the hiring process. However, they should not be solely relied upon for making a decision. No test is 100%.

Thanks for taking the time to write this. I really enjoyed it.


From the Author: Will Fultz said...


Thanks for your comment!

Will Fultz