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Hello, I am Steve Suggs, salesperson recruiting expert and author of the book, Can They Sell. Welcome to my sales recruitment video blog. 5 minutes of learning to recruit the best sales people.

Wouldn’t it be silly to wear this blindfold and noise cancellation headphones to the interview?  Obviously, we can’t see the candidate, nor hear what they say. It’s easy to make the decision to not wear things like this.

What’s challenging is to make sure that in our efforts to fill the sales position, that we’re not blinded by obvious faults in the candidate.

Here are 5 sales interview tips to help us see and hear more clearly when recruiting the best.

  • Master human behavior knowledge and interviewing skills. Just as we master sales skills, we must master interviewing skills. Learn what to look for and how to look for it. When we don’t know what we don’t know, we’re blind.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to start recruiting salespeople. Rushed decisions are almost always bad decisions. Always be in recruiting mode, because we never know when we might need to fill a position. When we rush to fill a position, we make the mistake of interviewing too few candidates. Having a small pool to choose from causes us to be blind. We pick the best of the few, not the best of the best.
  • Use a list of prepared questions designed to measure specific personality and character traits and sales skills. Prepared questions keep the interview focused and allow us to measure the candidate’s true potential.
  • During the sales interview, talk 20% of the time, and listen 80% of the time. Most all of our talking should be asking the interview questions.

In a recent coaching session with a manager, after the candidate would answer the question, the manager would try to match the candidate’s story with one of her own. Throughout the interview, I noticed that the candidate stopped telling good stories because they were afraid that they would have to sit through another one of the manager’s stories. At the end of the interview, I asked the manager to rate the candidate. She struggled to provide the ratings because her focus on telling her own stories, caused her to be blind and deaf to the traits of the candidate.

Remember this: when we let qualified sales candidates tell us about themselves, they develop a strong liking for us and our company. The best salespeople have a lot of great things to tell us about themselves. When we ask questions and listen without responding, strong candidates can actually talk themselves into coming to work for us. Then, when it comes time to selling them on the career, our job is much easier.

Finally, number 5…

Pay attention to the information you’re getting throughout the process.

Candidates who are late to the interview, who are not dressed appropriately, who avoid your questions with vague responses, who aren’t confident during the interview, and who can’t give specific examples of their work, will not change just because they come to work for you.

Since we wouldn’t wear noise cancellation headphones and a blindfold to the interview, we must open our eyes and pay attention to important information. We must come to the interview prepared and work to sharpen our interviewing skills and knowledge.

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. If you haven’t already, please register for this recruiting sales blog. Now go enjoy recruiting the best, and have fun in the sales interview.


Learn more about the following:

  • 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

o   Sales test, sales assessment, sales profile CPQCraft Personality Questionnaire

o   Sales interview tips

o   Sales job description – page 79, Can They Sell book

o   Tips for screening resumes – Chapter 13, Can They Sell book

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