3 Tips When Interviewing Salespeople That Will Help You Hire the Best Salesperson (3 of 3)

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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 three in a series of three interviewing tips.

“The Mental and Physical Side of Recruiting”

Golf is a game of tremendous skill. On the golf club, the sweet spot is about the size of your fingerprint. The goal is to hit this small ball on this incredibly small sweet spot square to the ball. If you tilt the club head ever so slightly too much forward or too much backwards, you will slice the ball into the woods or hook into the water.

The game of golf takes a tremendous amount of practice in two areas: physical and mental. There are many players who practice the physical side for years. They workout to get their bodies strong and flexible. They spend hours on the practice range and on the course practicing both their long game and short game. However, when it comes to the mental game, there are fewer players who spend time on strengthening and training their minds so that when they hit a bad shot, they can control their emotions, stay in the moment, and salvage a good score on a hole where they started off with a bad shot.

Practicing the mental side of golf actually involves spending time with a sport psychologist who works with players to understand how to control their mind when under stress. This same type of mental training is done with all great athletes.

Whether in sports or in your career as a sales manager, high performers work on the physical side, as well as the mental side, of performance.

My son has played golf since he was twelve. He played in college and is now studying to be a PGA Certified Golf Instructor. After watching him in tournament play, I was curious as to why he was so casual and social with his competitors while walking down the fairway.

He explained that there is a zone that he steps in and out of. While he is walking down the fairway, he is in the social zone of enjoying the people and surroundings. When it comes time to hit the ball, he steps into a serious, focused zone where he calculates his distance, chooses his club, visualizes his shot, steps over the ball, and executes the shot just as he visualized in his mind. After he hits the shot, he steps out of the serious zone and back into the social zone.

He worked with a sport psychologist who helped him create this type of play because it fit well with his personality and style of competing, and it helped him control his emotions whether the shot was good or bad.

When it comes to selecting salespeople, just like the game of golf, there is a physical side of selection as well as a mental side. There is a social zone and a serious zone.

Physical Side/Mental Side

The physical side of recruiting involves:

  • having a company sales culture that attracts the best salespeople
  • having a plan and strategy for finding enough candidates
  • knowing the traits and skills of top performing salespeople
  • using tools and processes for measuring these traits
  • sharpening your interviewing skills

The mental side of recruiting involves:

  • controlling your emotions so that you don’t get overly anxious or overly excited about a candidate for all the wrong reasons.

This eagerness and excitement, or our weak mental side of recruiting, causes us to:

  • skip steps in the selection process
  • talk too much during the interview
  • become blind to the candidates faults and failures

Social Zone/Serious Zone

Just like golf, recruiting has a social zone and a serious zone. The social zone occurs before interview questions and after interview questions. The serious zone occurs during the interview.

When you first meet a candidate, the social zone

  • Consists of the right balance of selling the career with your company and getting the candidate moved into the serious zone.
  • Make the transition into the serious zone by explaining to the candidate your selection steps.
  • Encourage them to see this time together as a mutual-fit process where you are looking at them and giving them the chance to research and learn about your company.

It’s important that the candidate understands and is aware of the point of transition into the serious zone, because once you step into this zone, you must dial back your socializing and dial up your selecting. Simply tell the candidate that you would like to get the interviewing started and begin the selection process.

While in the serious zone,

  • It’s your job to simply ask the interview questions.
  • It’s the candidate’s job to begin to sell you on their strengths.

After you finish your questions, step back into the social zone with the candidate. Make them feel welcomed and appreciated for spending their time with you.

This balance of social and serious will actually attract the strong candidates and repel the weak candidates.

It sets you apart from all of the other job interviews they’ve had where the sales managers spend most of the time talking about themselves.

Learn the physical side of recruiting by learning what to look for and how to use tools and processes to look for it.

Learn the mental side of recruiting by disciplining yourself to step into and out of the social and serious zones of the recruiting process.

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 build your physical and mental skills of recruiting.


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


To YOUR Success,

Steve Suggs




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