When recruiting sales people, it’s all too easy to go off your “gut instinct” or on the interview performance alone It’s estimated by top execs that they will make a good hiring decision only about 50% of the time – so where does that leave you when it comes to choosing the most difficult of all people to hire – the salesman? But what if there was a way to spot the winners and weed out the losers before you ever employ them?
This article explains what the most important characteristics of top performing sales people are — use this information wisely during selection and you can cut hiring mistakes in half. This paper gives you the benefit of a deep analytical study into what makes top sales people tick – so that you can pick the winners by selecting them on these traits. This article gives an overview of these traits. Further articles explain why they are so important to help you choose the 6 Million Dollar men & women of selling.
Because there are 15 psychological traits to be considered, it’s easiest for day to day use to group these together into five trait clusters.
Sense Of Self
Your sense of identity and roots are at the heart of this element. Your levels of self esteem and worth will dictate the way you behave in challenging situations The hard shell of the mentally tough protects them from the knock-backs and hits that are taken on the trail of big bonus payments. For your recruitment, we need to filter out the mild and meek people who belong in the back office. A great sales team is a tough place to live for the average person — don’t make the mistake of thinking you can “make do” or “build up” your staff – hire strong people to begin with and you’ll build a team of gladiators to do battle for you. While poor performers are often lovely people to have around, you’re not running a charity, and a strong sales team makes for a wonderful sense of success for everybody in your business
Successful salespeople are naturally good with other people, building effective relationships quickly and happily introducing themselves to new people. Going into a crowded room and standing quietly in a corner is not a recipe for winning big orders or building a customer database. You need to be willing to work the room and capture every possible lead that’s going from the people you meet. There is another side to relationships though – you want your sales department to have a high level of competitiveness – the sort that drives them on to great things continually and encourages the cream to float to the top. Have you ever noticed that some people are never satisfied — I’ll bet you might be like that if you’re an entrepreneur or a sales director — it’s a trait you want to find in your hires, too.
Motivation & Attitudes To Work
The ideal candidates for your team of sales top guns will be obviously ambitious The perfect salesperson is going to have a fire in their belly that drives them to achieve, be organised and a planner so that they’re always in control of their goals. They’re also likely to be pretty thorough and to stick with their strategy long enough to make sure it’s a winner. A real sense of urgency drives our perfect bionic woman to get the next sale, to make the next appointment, to close the deals. She will find it impossible to rest until she’s top of the pile, smashing targets, and she’ll be this way every week. Fiendishly busy people make fiendishly good sellers!
Need For Control
Look for people who enjoy commanding and leading a situation, not those who are content to be passengers along for the ride. In your sales team, the top 20% will also be your lieutenants, the people who demand excellence from those around them and set goals and targets to encourage all to achieve. They’ll hate bureaucracy and will seek the easiest way to achieve their goals, including cutting corners and leaving paperwork undone if they feel it’s not worthwhile to them. They’ll be arrogant and demanding SOB’s, but worth all the hassle in the extra sales they produce. They can be obtuse and obstinate, never giving an inch in a debate.
A crucial trait that’s often missed or ignored as unimportant is the power of making a strong first impression. In the first few moments of meeting somebody, you set the tone for the next 15-20 times you’ll see that person Building strong relationships starts with making a good impression initially. If you can find somebody with a strong first impression and who has the other traits we’ve reviewed, they are likely to be a great asset to your firm.
By Nathan Dean