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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. 5 minutes of learning to hire the best salespeople.
In a recent conversation with a sales manager about sales recruitment, he said, “I’m excited about hiring a top producer away from a competitor. She’ll be one of the best hires I’ve ever made.” He said, “I’ve invested several hours screening and interviewing her, and I think she’s the one.”
I didn’t want to throw cold water on his fire of excitement, but I did have my concerns, so I asked him this question. “What did she say when you asked her if she was ready to drop the products that she currently owns and purchase her product from your company?” She said that it all depends upon whether or not the benefits and features of the product were better than those she currently owns.
This response caused me to be concerned that he was more excited about her sales abilities then he was about her attitude toward the products she was selling. It’s understandable that she would want to own the best product, but what doesn’t make sense is that the candidate was seriously thinking about changing companies, selling a new product, while she simultaneously owned the product of another company. I helped my client understand that
honest salespeople will not be a top producer at your company unless they believe that your product is the best product for the client. And, the best measure of their belief is whether or not they own your product.
This may sound surprising, but I talk to people all the time who skip the step of measuring a candidate’s attitude and belief in the product they will be selling.
I had a similar situation during the sales interview when I asked a candidate to describe the process he used the last time he bought a product similar to what we sell. He proceeded to describe buying online and totally bypassed any contact whatsoever with a salesperson. After a couple more questions, it became evident that this candidate actually did not like salespeople. He was looking for a sales job, and he didn’t value the expertise of a professional salesperson when making an important buying decision.
These stories illustrate 2 important attitudes of top performing salespeople when recruiting the best.
One, they must have a passion for solving the problems of customers using your company’s products. Secondly, they must have a positive image of themselves as a salesperson and value the expertise of professional salespeople.
During the sales job recruitment process, use these sales interview questions to measure these 2 important attitudes.
- What do you like about what we do and how we serve our customers?
- What do you think this position requires for success?
- Of these requirements, what would you be good at?
- Of these requirements, what would you not be good at or not want to do?
- What did you like most about your last sales job?
- What did you like least about your last sales job?
- Who has influenced your thinking the most about our products/services?
- What did you learn from them?
- What products, similar to what we sell, do you currently own or have owned in the past?
- How did you go about making the decision to purchase these products?
- Are you ready to move all of your products to our company?
- When you think the salesperson, what words come to mind?
- How do you see yourself in comparison to these words?
- Why do you think I’m asking you these questions?
By using these sales interview tips, you’ll learn whether or not the candidate has researched your company prior to the sales interview, and measure what they know about the sales position. You’ll get the information needed to measure candidates’ attitude toward using your product to solve the problems of your customer. You’ll also gain an understanding of candidates’ positive or negative image of themselves as a salesperson. Also remember, ask the questions, and then don’t talk. Don’t rescue the candidate. Allow the candidate to sink or swim based upon the quality of their answers.
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 have fun in the sales interview.
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
o Sales job description – page 79, Can They Sell book
o Tips for screening resumes – Chapter 13, Can They Sell book