It’s in their DNA. It can’t be taught with a book or through a weekend seminar. It’s just there, or it’s not. It’s what separates a good salesperson, from a great one. If you’re looking to hire the best of the best, you have to know what to look for, and you have to know how to separate the hunter from the farmer.
There are a few tell tale signs to look for in your candidates. Now don’t get me wrong, your company won’t suffer with good salespeople – in fact you may hit targets and do just fine. But, you’ll start seeing the difference and hit levels you may have not thought possible if you hire GREAT salespeople.
When interviewing a salesperson, the most important thing to keep your eye out for is does this person genuinely like people; are they a people person? Do they smile honestly, do they ask questions, make eye contact, have open body language. Do they enjoy making friends from strangers – and are they likeable in return?
You can generally get a sense for that and if they have it, it’s a good sign. If they’re the quiet introverted type, they may be smart and capable – but they’ll be doing themselves and their customers a disservice by not covering this major base of a personality trait.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper. This is where home run champs get separated from the bunters. Beyond the initial questions they ask to spark a conversation with a prospect like “What do you do, how’s business, how old is the company, etc…?”
A GREAT salesperson will know how to foray these questions into finding out what the prospect is passionate about, what drives them. Do they find out what prospects do on weekends, are they married, kids, what books do they read, favorite sports teams, etc…
When a salesperson gets that info, that’s something very powerful, it makes the prospect vulnerable. They prospective customer will have the impression that this person cares about me. If they’ve done a good job with that, (especially if it’s genuine on behalf of the salesperson) – then the sale is already done. If they can explain the product/service well, it’s just a bonus at that point.
So in a nutshell, this is what makes someone great vs. just good – now it’s up to you to ask them the right questions, get a good read on their personality and find out if they demonstrate these traits. What questions do they ask you during the interview? Do you feel like they really like YOU? Know YOU? Then you might just have a great sales candidate in front of you.