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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 salespeople.
When I was a sales manager, a rep walks into my office and says, “I’m through the S’s in the phone book and need some more people to call. So, where do I find more leads? And, where do I find more warm leads?” This sales rep was struggling with the number one problem with most salespeople – having enough warm prospects to call for the purpose of setting enough first appointments. Today, I’ll talk about:
- the reason it’s a problem
- the traits necessary to master this skill
- how to look for these traits during the interview process
During my first several years of selling, after I quickly ran out of friends and acquaintances to call, I resorted to cold calling. This was my approach because my company didn’t offer any training or encouragement on how to find more warm leads. I soon discovered that very few people really understand the art and science of finding prospects and customers.
My research led me to great books by Dr. Ivan Misner and other training resources. Before long, I was finding more business and had plenty of warm leads to call. I also had the opportunity to begin to train other individuals on how to find more prospects. However, I soon learned that many salespeople who go through the same training never master the skill. For some, it had to do with a simple lack of work ethic, but for others, they lacked the natural hard-wired personality traits necessary to master this skill.
Without these traits, many individuals will not meet their sales goals and will always struggle with having enough warm leads to call.
The hard fact is training is not always the answer to solving a problem. For example, I could seek out the best basketball coach in the world, but I would never be able to play with the pros because I’m too short and too uncoordinated. It’s the same thing with mastering sales skills. There are many salespeople who desire the skills, but they simply do not possess the natural abilities to master the skills. When salespeople don’t have the natural abilities to master the skill of prospecting, they resort to cold calling and very seldom reach their sales targets.
So, when you’re recruiting salespeople, what are these natural traits that cause salespeople to master the skill of finding warm leads and referrals?
Our studies show that there are three natural traits that contribute to mastering the skill of networking and building relationships to find new business.
1. High Desire to Socialize
The first trait is a high desire to socialize. Salespeople with this trait have a high desire to build many relationships for the purpose of doing business. They enjoy and look forward to joining networking groups, getting involved in volunteer organizations, Chamber of Commerce events, trade shows, association meetings, and many other functions that put them in front of prospective buyers. Salespeople with this trait also respond well to plaques and awards and public recognition that are part of most sales organizations’ motivational structure.
2. Social Assertiveness
The second natural trait is social assertiveness. These salespeople have a high level of desire to confidently assert themselves in a way that is pleasantly persistent when they’re in social situations. When you combine the trait of social desire with the trait of social assertiveness, you have the salesperson who gladly attends networking and social events and has no problem meeting a large number of people while at the event. These salespeople do not stand in the corner and talk to a small number of friends, but they enjoy meeting new people and building new relationships. They don’t find excuses as to why networking groups don’t work for them and falsely claim they prefer cold calling.
3. High Belief and Trust in Others
The third trait is a high belief and trust in others. This high trust causes them to be optimistic about potential relationships. We’ve found that individuals who are highly skeptical and have a hard time trusting others believe that other people are skeptical and do not trust them. In other words, trusting people trust others, skeptical people believe everyone else is skeptical.
If I’m highly skeptical of the intentions of other people, I’m less likely to believe that other people will trust me with referring me to their friends and acquaintances; therefore, I hesitate to ask for referrals and network for new prospects. Most highly skeptical people resort to cold calling rather than building a network of people who send them referrals. So,
It’s important to hire salespeople who have a healthy belief and trust in other people.
We measure these three traits primarily by using a validated personality assessment which accurately measures these traits. We can also measure salespeople’s level of training and desires with interview questions.
Ask these questions:
“What training have you had in the area of networking to find prospects?”
“How do you go about in finding enough leads to call in order to have enough first appointments?”
Another good question is,
“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 don’t know anyone else in the room. Your mission is to spend the next two hours getting to know as many people as possible. At the end of the two hours, you and I meet to discuss your success.”
- “How many people are going to remember meeting you?”
- “How did you go about meeting the most people?”
- “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?”
- “After a week in this new environment, what percent of the new people knew who you were?“
These questions will give you a sense of your candidate’s desire to be social and their level of confident assertiveness while in social situations.
When interviewing salespeople and trying to determine whether or not they will master the skill of finding enough prospects in order to have enough first appointments, measure for the natural traits of:
- desire to be social
- social assertiveness and confidence when with people
- trust and belief in others
If your business requires that your salespeople are responsible for finding their own prospects, make sure your salespeople won’t have to resort to the dreaded method of cold calling.
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 forward this video to anyone who will benefit. Now go enjoy recruiting the best, and use these interview techniques to help you hire salespeople who will master the skill of finding prospects.
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
- Sales test, sales assessment, CPQ, Craft Personality Questionnaire (now the CTS Sales Profile personality questionnaire)
- Sales interview tips
- Sales job description – page 79, Can They Sell book
- Tips for screening resumes – Chapter 13, Can They Sell book
To YOUR Success,