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What Makes a Sales 'Hall of Famer'?

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Nov 15, 2018

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Assuming for a second that when you think about hiring for a position in your organization, you are thinking about hiring the best, especially in the early rounds of looking for talent. No one reasonably goes about writing a job description like this:

“ABLE Sales Company is looking for the most unbelievably average salespeople we can find. We already have enough top producers and those that are failing. What we really need are some people to bump up the middle of our bell curve. If interested, show up and you’ll get a job.”

No, you are not looking for average- you are looking for people who can get your organization to the next level. You’re looking for the best of the best.

Which leads me to today’s story: I was listening to ESPN radio and tuned into The Golic and Wingo Show. They were sharing stories about the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees that a reporter had heard from each during his time as a sports reporter.

I would like to share 3 of those stories with you today and how they are great analogies for recruiting the best of the best.

Vladimir Guerrero: Vladimir is a Dominican born in 1975. He arrived to his first professional baseball try-out on a bicycle. He was wearing baseball shoes that didn’t match and one was so big he had to stuff it with socks so that it wouldn’t slip off. He was on the field for 5 minutes hitting, throwing and catching when the scouts told him he was finished. They signed him to a contract and now he’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame. So, how does this relate to recruiting talent?

  • When you got it, you got it
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover

Trevor Hoffman: Trevor was born in Bellflower, California in 1967. When he tried out to play professional baseball, he did so as a shortstop. However, after a few minutes of taking the infield, somebody told him he was terrible as a fielding shortstop and he was a weak hitter. They said if he was going to make it in the pros he might want to try pitching. He did and now he’s a Hall of Famer. What’s the hiring lesson here?

  • When interviewing people don’t be afraid to push a button that might upset them. It’s going to happen in their sales career anyway so you might as well find out how they are going to react. Will they absorb the challenge or get emotional?
  • Every candidate you interview and eventually hire is going to come with some warts. What you want to know is – are they coachable?

Chipper Jones: Chipper was born in 1972 in Deland, Florida and played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. Chipper was the #1 MLB draft pick in 1990. As the story goes, the Braves were ready to make him an offer but his dad was encouraging Chipper to hold off because he could probably get more money from another team. Chipper told his dad that he wanted to be the #1 draft pick and that the money didn’t matter. He knew that he was going to be successful and that he would earn his ‘big’ money based on his performance rather than what another club thought he was worth today. Again, why is this important when hiring salespeople?

  • You have to be patient. Just because it’s hard to find the right person, doesn’t mean you should hire one that is close. Close enough isn’t good enough (you already have some of those on your team and you don’t need more).
  • Hire people that are willing to bet on themselves. Often recruiting managers, HR, and recruiters shy away from those that don’t exactly fit the pedigree. When interviewing and working the compensation into the hiring contract, be bold enough to challenge the candidate to put some money at risk. If they are as good as they think they are they will make up for it in spades in the long run.

There is nothing easy about hiring. If you listen to the stories of these recent inductees you will find that there was nothing easy about getting into the Hall of Fame.

Need more help hiring the best of the best? Download our free Recruiting Success Formula document and Interview Questions guide to improve your recruiting process today!

 

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Topics: solving sales issues, sales growth and inspiration, things to do for sales success, sales stories, building sales team

The Power of Sales Stories

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Aug 25, 2017

Guest Post by Mark Trinkle, President & CSO

Now that my daughter has reached her teens, our daughter-dad relationship has changed quite dramatically.  Yes, I knew it was coming.  Yes, I wish I could go back and get back some of that time again when she thought I was more of a superhero than today when at times she thinks I can be a super dork.  And yes, I was not prepared for the drama that surrounds teenage girls.

But I digress. One of my fondest memories of her toddler years was her request at bedtime that I tell her a story.  Some of them I read to her; but the ones that she loved the most were the ones that I made up.  Those stories captivated her attention…and, on occasion, actually made her fall off to sleep.

The same thing happens with salespeople…and with prospects…when sales stories are told.  One of the most powerful advantages to storytelling is that stories provide what Peter Guber described as emotional transportation.  Stories captivate attention.  Stories, when properly told, are capable of moving prospects from their current state to a preferred state down the road.  Perhaps you have heard it said that if you are telling, then you ain’t selling.  But, of course, we know at Anthony Cole Training Group that telling is the default mode for most salespeople.

I still remember the immortal words of Walt Gerano, one of our sales coaches in our organization.  Walt once said, “Weak salespeople prefer to tell what strong salespeople prefer to ask.”  He was speaking of the supreme importance of asking questions. Not just any question, but fierce questions – questions that are courageous and direct…questions that help the salesperson paint a story instead of data dumping a bunch of facts.

So, think about that next time you go on a sales call.  What kind of sales story could you tell?

Remember, if you huff and you puff, you can blow the house down.

Thanks for listening…now go sell like a champion today.  And let us know if we can help your team with an upcoming workshop.  We will go deep on the subject of how important sales stories are in selling.

Find Out More about our Fall Sales Workshops

Topics: sales stories

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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