Waiting too long to pass the torch

Hiring a new sales person can be a tasking job. Many small business owners wait too long before passing the sales torch over and end up hiring out of panic instead of making a calculated business decision. The result of that panic is that the first three or four sales/marketing people that they hire blow up and end up costing the company multiple lost prospects and hours of irrecoverable training time. Ouch!

We are firm believers that there is no perfect salesperson. There is no calculated list of prerequisites that determine what makes a great salesperson. “Perfect” or ideal salespeople come in all shapes and sizes (meaning they have different educational backgrounds, experiences, and personalities). There is one trait, however, that is essential when hiring a super star sales person: they must be coach-able.

Watch out for time suckers and culture killers

What does it mean to be coach-able? Your new sales person must be willing to receive feedback on sales techniques and training, they need to share ideas with the team, and they need to be an active contributor to the overall vision of the company. There is nothing worse then the “know-it-all”, the “I’m on commission or contract so I can do what I want”, or the “I’m the best at everything and none of you will benefit from that”. Hiring one of those people will kill your sales team’s culture and become a management nightmare.

Slow down for success

The second tip we have for hiring a salesperson is to take your time. Even the most junior sales person can walk into an interview and “sell” you on their skills for 30 minutes. Don’t get suckered into hiring someone just because you are in a rush to fill the position. You should plan to conduct 2 to 4 interviews with the person before you commit to hiring them. By the end of your interview process, you should be able to confidently say what skills the candidate has, where you will need to train them, are they coach-able and willing to follow your sales systems, and identify any variances in their character (i.e.: does the book match it’s cover?).

Business owners and sales managers: Invest in your business by taking the time to hire the right person the first time. Your future-self will thank you!

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