Hire Sales Representative: Hiring Practices and Procedures

What motivates employees? What traits should you look for when you hire your sales staff? Read about it here.

Study after study suggests that great salespeople love going to seminars, workshops, and training programs – far more than any other business professionals.

Why? They’re people-oriented – they enjoy the chance to meet new folks and get to know them. They thrive on excitement, and going new places and hearing new ideas turn them on. And they’re practical – they’re always looking for new ways to make a few more sales.

When you interview potential salespeople, probe for their level of interest in seminars and workshops – the best performers are likely to be excited by them. Others might feign interest. You can weed them out by asking for a list of three or four programs that would be worth attending over the coming year. Real pro’s will have a mental list and share it with enthusiasm. “I’ll have to think that over” is a give-away response.

Other traits to look for in top sales people:

  • Excellent people skills. Check your own reactions: does this person make you feel comfortable as you are talking with him or her? Is his or her interest in your conversation genuine, or does it feel a little strained? Salespeople should show lots more poise in interviews than other candidates – this is the kind of thing they do for a living.
  • Total honesty – especially about things they don’t know. See how many job-related questions you have to ask before you get a “Gee, I don’t know that one” response. Is the candidate anxious about not having the answer, or at ease? You’re looking for someone who feels all right telling you that he or she doesn’t know something, and appreciates the chance to learn something new.
  • Grace under pressure. A little good cop/bad cop is an excellent idea when interviewing a salesperson. The real world is full or gruff, unfriendly people ready to spend money on your products or services. Have a colleague spend a few minutes with your candidate, ending the session by saying, “Frankly, I don’t think you can contribute much around here.” How does the candidate respond? A good reply: “I’m sorry that you think so. I thought things were going well. What did I miss?”

Content copyright Enterprise Interactive

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