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Hello, I am Steve Suggs, sales recruiting expert and author of the book, Can They Sell. Welcome to my sales recruitment video blog where you learn to hire the best sales people. This video today is part two in a series of three interviewing tips.
“Listen 80%, Talk 20%”
I was at a dinner club with my wife at a table with a couple we’d never met before. My wife doesn’t like to talk much, and doesn’t like it when I talk too much, so I decided to try an experiment.
I asked open-ended questions, encouraging this couple to talk about themselves. I began with “Where are you from?” and followed it up with “What brought you to this area?” This was enough to keep them going and talking throughout the entire evening. By the end of the evening, they commented on how much they liked us, and felt sure they had met us before. They warmly talked about how close they felt to us and enjoyed getting to know us.
I was confused as to why they thought they knew us, when in fact they didn’t know anything about us. They didn’t ask us anything. With my prompting, they’d talked about themselves all evening long.
After reflecting on this story, I realized there’s an important lesson here for sales managers.
The unfortunate reality about human behavior is that the more we talk about ourselves, the more we like the people to whom we’re talking.
We don’t have to sell the candidates on our company as much as we might think.
- The more we let them talk, the more they like our company and want to work for us.
- Conversely, the more we talk about our company and ourselves to the candidates, the more we like the candidates and want them to work for us, whether they really should or not.
Dating and relationship experts have taught this principal for decades. If you want your date to fall in love with you, ask them questions about them and let them talk. The person who talks the most falls in love.
As much as we all love to talk about our company, and as desperately as we may feel we need salespeople, we should guard against doing most of the talking in a job interview, and focus on the candidates.
Follow this simple rule – listen 80% and talk 20%.
If we know what to look for, and which questions to ask, the candidates will eventually tell us everything we need to know.
Thank you for joining me. See you next time on the Can They Sell video blog for more sales job recruitment training. As always, please leave your comments below and forward this video to anyone who will benefit. Now go enjoy recruiting the best, and use these interview techniques to help you like the right candidates for the right reasons.
Learn more about the following:
• Where to find sales people, where to find sale reps
• What to look for while recruiting salespeople – 5 Dimensions of the Best Salesperson Profile Hiring sales, hire salespeople, hire sales people, hiring sales people, hiring sales reps, IT sales recruitment, recruiting sales people, sales job recruitment
• How to look for the 5 Dimensions – get questionnaires – interview questions for sales, interview questions for salespeople, sales interview, interview questions for sales people
- Sales test, sales assessment, CPQ, Craft Personality Questionnaire (now the CTS Sales Profile personality questionnaire)
- Sales interview tips
- Sales job description – page 79, Can They Sell book
- Tips for screening resumes – Chapter 13, Can They Sell book
To YOUR Success,