Your sales are only as good as the people you hire, but it can be challenging to find and hire great salespeople. Here are a few rules for making sure you get the best of the best to join your team:
1. Hire “we” people, not “I” people.
Think about what makes great salespeople. They consider the interests of both their companies and their customers. A company won’t be strong financially if only the customers benefit and the company doesn’t. And you don’t create long-term customer relationships if the company benefits and the customer doesn’t.
So what type of person is best suited for balancing customer interests and company interests? This person is what I call a “we” person, not an “I” person.
“I” people tend to think the world revolves around them and they’re the reason the world revolves. “We” people, on the other hand, understand that they succeed with the help of others. They respect those relationships and the people contributing to their success. Doesn’t that sound like a great way to build long-term customer relationships?
2. Make sure they are good listeners.
There’s a myth about what skill is most needed to become a successful salesperson. Some people think the gift of gab is what it takes. It doesn’t. Quiet, thoughtful people who ask great questions actually make the best salespeople. The skill great salespeople have is they are good listeners—they hear what people mean.
When you’re interviewing a candidate, evaluate how much talking they do during the interview. You can also think of it like a sales call where the candidate is the product. If your candidate is doing 80 percent of the talking, then that’s what you would expect him or her to do during a sales call. That’s too much talking and not enough listening. It’s a recipe for a failed sales call.
Candidate who demonstrate good listening skills will ask thoughtful questions. They will not only answer your questions, but will also ask for clarification. They will also confirm that they have answered your questions. The skill of listening should never be underestimated for its importance to sales success
3. Trust your gut.
Sometimes people just “rub you the wrong way.” That’s your gut telling you something. But you also need to be sure you have some understanding of why. It shouldn’t be that the person looks like someone you dislike. That’s a situation beyond the control of the other person.
Take a step back when something tells you the person is wrong for your organization. Try to figure out what it is that’s bothering you. I recommend not moving forward, even if you can’t determine what the reason is. Your gut is telling you much more information than you realize. It’s wise to heed it in business.
You success as a manager depends on the success of your salespeople. Follow these rules so you hire successful salespeople.