In Recruiting Salespeople, the Chicken Does Not Come Before the Egg

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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.

During a recent conversation with a sales manager while discussing a personality profile of a sales candidate, he was confused by the results of the assessment. The assessment showed that this person had low scores on the Social Drive scale and on the Social Confidence scale. I advised this sales manager that our studies indicate that the best performers in high-rejection selling have high scores on both of these personality traits. He rebutted by saying that he really believed this person demonstrated high social drive and was highly confident throughout the interview. And, he thought that the candidate’s negative experience in college when he joined a fraternity impacted his low scores on the personality assessment.

The manager told me the story about how this candidate’s father was president of a popular fraternity and how he pressured his son to join and climb up the ranks in leadership. The son joined and it was a big negative experience. The candidate described the fraternity as too big and impersonal, full of shallow socialites who were interested in fame and attention, and how they pushed him aside. He explained how his rejection really hurt his confidence. He quit the fraternity and said that he wanted to focus more on getting his degree. The sales manager said that he thinks this negative college experience caused this candidate’s Social Drive and Social Confidence scores to be low on the personality assessment.

This conversation brings up a very important point related to hard-wired personality traits.

Our personality traits determine how we react to our circumstances. Circumstances do not shape our personality. Circumstances, training, and mentoring by parents shape our character, but not our personality.

When it comes to personality traits, the chicken does not come before the egg. The negative experience this candidate had with the fraternity did not shape his social drive or social confidence. It’s quite the opposite. His personality traits are the reason he had a negative experience.

People with low desire to be social and low social confidence do not like being around large groups of highly social and highly confident people. They see them as loud and shallow. The reverse is also true. Highly social and confident people have a tendency to see people like our candidate as quiet and introverted, and in a fraternity environment, they’re most likely to not respect them. If our candidate’s father had not pressured him to join the fraternity, there is a strong likelihood that he would have never had an interest in the fraternity at all.

Another point related to this topic. Many people can come across as socially confident if they are in a comfortable and familiar environment. Put this same person in an uncomfortable environment, like in front of a stranger in the sales process, and their true level of social confidence will come out. That’s why it’s important during the interview process to not rescue candidates who are struggling to answer our questions.  That way, we can get the true measure of their level of social confidence and resiliency to rejection.

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 improve your interviewing skills.


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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