Is Your Candidate an Overcomer or Do They Suffer from Chronic Bad Decision Syndrome?

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Video Script

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.

Is your candidate an overcomer or somebody who has a pattern of bad decisions?

A manager is excited about a candidate. While he’s describing this candidate, I’m looking at the personality profile and tying all the pieces of information together in order to get the real picture. So I ask him,

What is it about this person that makes you think that you’re looking at a top performer?

He said, “This person is a real overcomer.” He said, “Although this candidate has had several challenging relationships, and the last two bosses were challenging, they bounced back and stuck with the job.” He was impressed with the last six months of sales performance at a new job and was convinced this was a good predictor of future performance.

I encouraged him to look at this picture through a different set of glasses. I asked him,

What is the longest period of time of sustained productivity in this person’s life?”

As he thought back through the history, he struggled to find the evidence of sustained success, and finally saw a track record of high peaks and low valleys. While looking at all the pieces of this picture it became evident that the candidate was too trusting and overconfident in the ability to make bad situations better with only a small amount of effort.

Finally I said, “I’d like to encourage you to see the pattern in this candidate’s life. This person is not a true overcomer. This candidate chooses to not use lessons learned from past mistakes when making decisions about the future. And, they choose to use their time trying to change overly challenging situations.

People with this pattern usually spontaneously jump into situations, not because the other person or job brings a win-win scenario for both parties, but because they think the situation could use their help and perceived expertise.

At the beginning of the situation, they’re productive, but when the situation gets too big for them to handle, it takes so much time and energy for them to overcome that their productivity suffers. The productivity of the team also suffers because too much time is spent focused on fixing personal challenges.

He then said, “But what about these good references?” I encouraged him to get three more. The candidate left off the references from two recent jobs. I was afraid the references to whom he spoke were holding back and only telling him the good points.

Good examples of overcoming are things like:

  • working hard to get a good education
  • taking classes and certifications that advanced one’s career
  • overcoming an unexpected illness
  • advancing in athletics, music, academics

Other good examples include:

  • reading books
  • attending seminars
  • paying for coaching
  • finding a mentor
  • other examples of seeking wisdom

Sustained years of success after being knocked down show that candidates have learned from their mistakes.

Remember to look at all the pieces of the puzzle.

Don’t choose one area of success to predict future performance in sales.

I once hired a guy who was a marathon runner and thought he would bring that level of discipline to the sales position. Wow, was I wrong.

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 recruit the best.


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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