I’ve been involved in sales in one way or another for most of my adult life. I’ve started several companies, and in all cases but one, I got those companies off the ground by wearing the sales hat.
I was able to hire salespeople along the way and my hat moved over to supervising their sales activities.
As any business owner knows, the lifeline of a company depends on people who can competently, successfully and ethically sell products and/or services.
Therefore it makes tremendously good sense to hire the right people for the sales position.
So let’s get down to it.
The first thing you could do is find out how prepared your candidate is for his interview with you. Ask him the following:
What can you tell me about my company’s product line?
This next statement is particularly true if your market is other companies but it’s also true if you providing a product or service to a general consumer:
The exceptional sales person will do as much research as possible on his prospective clients. The more he knows about the company or individual, the more effectively and efficiently he will be able to accomplish the sale.
So, what kind of research did this candidate do on your company? Did he do a quick perusal of your web site or did he really dig in for details on your product line? Did he happen to call one of your existing salespeople to find out how your product is marketed and sold?
If your candidate only did a superficial examination of your product line, that’s not a good sign. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but research is a key element of the sales tool kit. If he only does a cursory job of it now when he’s trying to get hired, how diligent will he be when he’s selling your product line?
On the flip side, if your candidate did some serious research and can have an in-depth conversation with you about your product line, doesn’t that make you feel considerably more warm and fuzzy about his prospects.
There’s more to cover, surely, about hiring the salesperson, but this is a good start.
To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.
If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.