While recruiting salespeople, it is important to measure the personality trait, Social Drive.

In a recent sales meeting with high-activity/outside salespeople and their sales engineers, I was conducting training on finding new customers. The proposed method of finding prospects was networking in the community. One of the sales engineers abruptly spoke up and said he was glad this was not part of his job description.  Some of the salespeople in the room did not speak up. However, their lack of new prospects on the sales board was evidence of their low desire to be socially connected.

There are two reasons why high social drive is important for high-activity/proactive/hunter/outside salespeople who are required to build new accounts.

1. Finding prospects through referrals, networking in the community, and building long-term relationships with many people is more productive than cold calling and is necessary for long-term success.

2. Most sales team cultures are tied to contests, awards, and public recognition.

Salespeople with high social drive prefer to be around people and find it easy to accumulate a large number of casual relationships for the purpose of doing business.  They readily join the chamber, attend business networking groups, and get heavily involved in service organizations.  These activities lead to long-term business relationships.

Monthly and annual contests motivate them to choose prospecting over paper work.  They visualize themselves walking on stage to receive sales awards. They work effectively making each day count in order to lead the sales board.  Team recognition may fuel their work ethic and discipline to stay focused.

Highly social driven people get energized by business networking events.

Social Drive is best measured using the Craft Personality Questionnaire. I also ask these questions during the interview to measure Social Drive.

Put yourself in this picture.  We go to a chamber of commerce networking event where 100 people have gathered to network with each other. You see one of your best friends across the room. You do not know anyone else in the room. Your mission is to spend the next two hours in the room getting to know as many people as possible. At the end of the two hours, you and I meet to discuss your success.

(It is important that you simply read this paragraph. Additional details are not necessary. The candidate’s facial expressions will tell you a lot about their social drive. Do they wince at the thought of having to do this task, or do they get excited about it?)

  1. How many people are going to remember meeting you?
  2. How did you go about meeting the most people?
  3. What are some examples in your life where you have been put into a new situation where you had to develop a lot of new relationships?
  4. After a week in this new environment, what percent of the new people knew who you were?

In my upcoming blogs, we will look at the personality trait, Social Confidence, and the impact this trait has on executing the sales process.

Blessings upon your recruiting efforts.

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Steve Suggs is a partner at Sales Manage Solutions, a sales consulting firm focused on training sales managers to recruit salespeople and coach them to greatness. You can also read Steve’s sales productivity blog.

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