My pup, Rocky, loves to lay on top of pillows. ALL pillows. He doesn’t care if they are round, square, flat, cushy, or even sewn on and attached to the back of the couch- he will find a way to lay on them. And though it irritates me to no end to walk into a room to find all of my decorative pillows haphazardly thrown around, I must appreciate Rocky’s determination. He will do whatever he can to make sure he is on top. He fights, and sometimes literally claws, his way to the peak of that pillow mountain. He epitomizes the great sales candidates you should be looking for- except maybe the dog part.
Great sales candidateswill think the same way Rocky does- they have to be on top. They will do whatever it takes to make sure that they are successful. They will find ways to differentiate themselves amongst their peers. The hardest part, however, is being able to spot those great salespeople without wasting a lot of your, or their, time.
At Hire Better Salespeople, we believe that you should be able to learn everything you need to know within the first 5 minutes of any interview. If you are asking the right questions, you should know how well this person handles themselves on the phone, if they have the strong will and determination you need and if they are a fit for your opportunity. The point of the first interview is not to review a resume or sell them on the details of the position. Instead, it is to drill down on their capability of doing the job you need them to do. If your organization needs a hunter, you must say, “We need someone that is going to hunt and close new business. How do we know this is you?” A great sales candidate will give you a concise answer with facts to support their position. They won’t be flustered by the direct questioning and will have the ability to answer your questions with little hesitation or "word fluff”. You should only have to ask 3 or 4 questions to determine if individuals should move forward in the interviewing process.
Even more importantly, a great salesperson will attempt to close for the next step at the end of the call. Any candidate who asks robust follow-up questions, wants specific details pertaining to the next step or directly states why they are the right fit should immediately advance to the next stage. If a sales candidate doesn’t attempt to close you at the end of the interview, it is very unlikely they will do so with a prospect.
The number one question I ask myself after any interview is this: “Would I like to compete with them in the marketplace?” If the answer is no, strongly consider this individual for a position within your organization. What if they don’t have the specific experience you are looking for? Don’t worry! You can train someone on the technical parts of being a banker or insurance rep, but it’s a lot harder to train them to be a great salesperson.
So, next time you’re interviewing a sales candidate, remember Rocky and his quest for higher, softer ground and his grit to get there. If you are interested in learning more about how to Hire Better Salespeople, sign up for our free webinar—“Ruff” Realities About Recruiting. During this webinar, you will learn how to hire your next “top dog” using our proven process for searching, evaluating skills using a sales assessment, interviewing, hiring and onboarding new hires.
Thursday, July 27th, 12-1 pm EST