Finding the Essence of Good Sales People
Have you ever hired someone who looks and sounds like a good salesperson but turns out to be a disappointing performer? To avoid such an outcome, consider the unconventional advice of Marc Miller, CEO of ChangeMaster Corp., a sales consulting firm in Twinsburg, Ohio. The next time you're evaluating a potential sales employee, forget skills and experience, he says. "Hire behavior."
Whatever their background, successful salespeople have certain characteristics in common, says Miller. You can use personality testing or interview questions that will identify these characteristics:
- The need to achieve
Top salespeople are scorekeepers who are highly motivated and look for opportunities to prove themselves. Be careful to differentiate this from the need for power or control or to be liked by others, all of which get in the way of good sales performance, Miller says.
- A high intensity level
Good salespeople are typically very focused.
- An unwillingness to quit
A high level of persistence characterizes a good salesperson.
The best salespeople, says Miller, dislike relying on others, love a challenge, hate being micromanaged, and approach thenwork with a sense of urgency.
It can be a mistake, he has found, to hire someone who has a smooth and polished appearance or an engaging manner with people but who lacks drive. Also, companies limit their options by not talking with enough candidates.
Hiring under pressure contributes to the problem, he notes. "Managers hire when they have to, which is the worst time," says Miller. To avoid hiring out of desperation, he says, "always he on the lookout for good salespeople. Keep a list ofgOOd candidates, and. most important, wait until you find the right person.''
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