Hiring the Salesperson, Part Two

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Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

In Part One, we discussed how prepared the salesperson was for the interview with you.

In this part, we’re going to take a different look at our salesperson’s qualifications.

There are many components to a sale: qualifying the prospect, creating interest in the product, handling objections, closing the sale. And, if you’ve read any sales books lately, you’ll see that quite a few other parts of a sale have been identified. Some of these parts overlap, some apply to only specific types of products being sold. And frankly, some are a bit of a stretch.

But I digress.

In this tip, I want to cover a very basic element to sales.

To set the table, let’s ask our sales prospect the following:

“Frank, tell me about the different products and services you’ve sold over the years.”

Frank tells you he’s sold cars and software.

“Great, Frank. When you were selling cars or software, was your purpose stronger to get your prospect the product he needed and wanted or was it stronger to earn your commission?”

Now, that is not a question a salesperson is often asked in a hiring interview. But the answer should be somewhat revealing. Also, see if the question and its answer make Frank at all uncomfortable. We’re not trying to make Frank uncomfortable, but some questions are so unexpected that only the fully honest answer will be delivered without any discomfort.

Frank may even answer the question with, “Well, I’d say my purpose was equally strong to get the person the car he needed and to earn my commission.”

Fair enough.

And Frank may say, “Oh, my purpose is always 100% to help the customer get what he needs. I have no attention whatsoever on the commission.”

Now that’s one seriously altruistic person. And it may be true, but again, keep a close eye on how calmly he delivers his answer.

There are some amazing salespeople out there. These tips will help you find them.



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.


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