Selecting the best people to compliment your sales team is always challenging. If you knew the criteria that would set a candidate on the path to potential success, could you make better selections? And if you made better selections, would you save your company time and money, while at the same time increasing your sales?
The problem is that it can’t be boiled down to a set of criteria. There technically isn’t any criteria to know. HR professionals and psychologists have been feeding us the ever-evolving criteria for hiring salespeople for decades. How has that worked out? Those personality assessments might have some merit for retail or B2B sales, but for straight commission, one-call close, direct salespeople – don’t waste your time with that. You see, it’s not about criteria or personality characteristics, it’s about attitudes. And probably not the attitudes that you think.
In the following paragraphs, I am going to tell you how to hire commissioned, direct salespeople. Some of whom will become incredibly successful, if you can integrate the type of selling system that I have been discussing on these pages. If you haven’t read my article Average Is Not Acceptable please read it before continuing to read this article. If you have read it, but don’t remember exactly what I was talking about, click here to re-read it now. In Average Is Not Acceptable I detail the elements of a selling system that is marked by excellence. Without a selling system that produces excellence your efforts to hire salespeople have about the same odds as playing the slots in Las Vegas. That’s how important the selling system is. The selling system is the foundation, the first requirement, and then you can hire salespeople that stand better odds of success.
And that brings us to the attitudes that I mentioned earlier. If you have understood the concept of a selling system that is marked by excellence then the following will make perfect sense. If you gave the concept only a cursory review, or don’t consider it an achievable dynamic, then you probably won’t consider the following information realistic either.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.Henry Ford
The secret is that you don’t need to convince anyone of anything if they believe in what they are doing. In almost all cases, the most important attitude to look for in a candidate is their desire and determination to succeed. A close second is the attitude toward the opportunity that you are offering. The opportunity, of course, must be presented skillfully by the interviewer, and then the interviewer must observe the candidate’s body language and listen to the candidate’s words carefully (yes, the interviewer is a part of the selling system too). Finally, the candidate’s attitude toward working as part of a team is critical. The degree to which the candidate has the determination to succeed, views the opportunity that you are offering as a genuine opportunity, and can play as a member of a team is the degree to which the candidate believes he or she can do the job. And the candidate’s belief is the only attribute that determines whether they can do the job or not – if the selling system is a bona fide selling system that is marked by excellence.
Belief is your number one enemy… or your closest friend. A selling system marked by excellence is not words on pieces of paper, training manuals, cool-looking samples, or the right kind of leads. It is a powerful, workable system combined with the beliefs and attitudes of everyone involved.Brad Barton
The Key To Hiring Successful Salespeople
The Process Of Sorting
Assume for a moment that you have the best selling system on the planet. I am not saying that everyone involved in the selling system is carrying their weight 100%, I am saying that you and a majority of the people involved have empirical evidence that the selling system produces the desired results when a majority execute their jobs through the spirit of excellence. That is the best selling system on the planet. The mechanics of every job function must be trainable, leaving only the elements of attitudes and the basic skills required for the job description to be determined through the interview.
Within that framework, the best salesperson candidates will have little or no previous sales experience. Someone that wants to be in sales, has a burning desire to succeed, believes that the opportunity that you are offering is genuine, and can work well in a team environment will learn how to sell according to the selling system. As he or she applies what they have learned, sounding a bit scripted at first, they will find that they can close sales by doing nothing other than what they were taught during their training. As this process builds, their confidence is elevated and they develop a personal style that complements the selling system.
Conversely, you will find that many of those bringing a resume full of prior sales experience will usually have some difficulty adapting to your selling system. This is especially true if their experience is within the same industry as yours. Old habits are sometimes hard to break. As with anything, this observation is not a hard and fast rule, but more of a warning to the interviewer of the need to be more vigilant in determining the attitudes of the prospective salesperson.
While training sales management on interviewing procedures and technique, I have commented for decades that the best you will ever see someone is during their interview. Not everyone will succeed. Our job is to sort, the best we can, the people that appear to score highest in the attitudes required for excellence, provide the opportunity to them, provide the training that they need to achieve excellence, and then work with them to help them to achieve it.
While this article presented a cursory look at hiring the ideal salesperson, it is just that, cursory. The interviewing, hiring, and training of salespeople is as integral to the selling system as the foundation is for a house. Build it well and the house will stand the test of time.
This article specifically deals with direct selling and direct selling systems (direct selling sales funnels). If you found your way here while looking for web-based sales funnels please click here for the hands-down, definitive web-based sales funnel solution.