How to Discover What Truly Drives Salespeople

How to Discover What Truly Drives Salespeople

Finding and keeping quality salespeople is not the easiest task for any company. Before you hire any new staff you need to first discover what motivates sales people to succeed within your organisation so that you can ensure their intentions are aligned to your company’s.
Doing this will also ensure salespeople have the right reasons for committing to the job offer, and remain grounded in both good and bad times.


To do this, simply go ahead and ask the salesperson to write down 35 reasons why they want to be a car salesperson, consultant, telemarketer, etc within your organisation.

Why 35? Because the first 15 reasons are usually surface level, external reasons, which are relatively easy to communicate. Having done this exercise with thousands of sales consultants in the past couple of years, a common theme that has always popped up is that by the time they reach around the 15threason they usually get stuck. The final 20 reasons are the core, deep motivating drives for why they want to have this position.

By including this exercise in your interview process, several things will happen:
1) No Completion: The sales person fails to come up with the 35 reasons. Any time this happens alarm bells should start ringing. I have never hired someone who has not completed his or her 35 reasons.
It’s real simple: If they can’t come up with enough reasons for why they want to have this certain role then don’t want it badly enough.
2) Repeats: You will also get a lot of people who repeat their answers; they are simply trying to cheat their way through so that they can show you they really want the job. You know what they say: Once a cheater always a cheater.

3) Bad Motivation: This is found in around 20% of cases, so not many, but something to watch out for. You get some salespeople who have the wrong motivation drive for wanting the job. They say things like:
• I want the job so I can get out of debt
• So that I can pay the bills
• So that I can get some experience in the work place
Stay away from salespeople like these, as they tend to crumble under pressure, and leave if the going gets tough.

4) Completion: When you get the form back and look at their reasons and see that this person has written 35 or more excluding the above pit falls, you should know that you’re onto a winner. Do everything you can to ensure that this salesperson is hired and managed properly to stay long term.

Following and applying this one strategy will enable you to maximise your success rate of only hiring staff that have showcased the highest amount of enthusiasm, drive and dedication for the role.

By John Hester

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