What makes a great sales person is the wrong question? When I do hiring for Sales Managers looking to staff up their sales teams, the key attribute they want me to search for is problem solvers. Below are quotes from my intake meetings with various Sales Managers that I feel is valuable for anyone hiring a sales person!
“I have been asked by many people in my career on how I have led teams to sales, marketing, and operational records, awards and success. Here it is in a nutshell and today let’s focus on sales. It has nothing to do with me, I am just a dating service provider. I take two great parties who think alike and allow them to build a relationship. My team members and our customers. Want the big secret?
Here it is, I have had great sales results because I don’t look for great sales professionals…”
“I look for problem finders and problem solvers, I look for behaviors first, I look for people who listen before they speak, I look for people who should have worked at The National Inquirer (Inquiring minds want to know. Get it? Ok I am dating myself again). I look for people who are looking deeper and longer term than the sales results, and value that experience is just as critical as the end result. What does that get me? The industry’s best, with all the “sales” results you would expect.”
“While you are off looking for Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Ross, who will always be closing, I am off looking for Sherlock Homes with the Servant heart of Steve Jobs in solving the customer’s true why”
The successful sales people I have hired for my hiring managers have had the following three traits in common:
1) Inquiry vs. Advocacy
Be forewarned, if you apply to join our exclusive team of elite professionals, membership involves a role-play. I make each candidate that gets to a final interview with me role-play a sales experience with me as a client. I send them all the info on a real community, all the product and pricing , corporate info etc.
Most candidates comeback ready to wow me on what they know about the product and advocate why I should buy. They don’t get hired.
Some candidates ask me questions like do you want a 3 bedroom or 4 bedroom, hardwood or carpet, 1 car garages or two etc. They don’t get hired either.
Now some rare candidates come in and ask me about my life: Why are you moving? Why now? Tell me about your family? What does your future look like? How is a day in the life now in your home? What would you change? What do summers and winters look like around your house? What are you afraid of? What have you heard? Those ones. They have a chance.
Talk about a candidate pool being narrowed down. Finally the ones who have asked the right questions, solved the right problems, and now advocate proudly based on their expertise and how their product best solves my customized functional and emotionally problems, needs and wants, THEY GET HIRED ( if they are the best among the best being interviewed)
2) The Experience is everything
I look for people who have great results and are winners, but for those who define that success as coming from how they made their customers feel, not just what they bought.
If you have a professional who is empathetic and demonstrates “do unto others, as you would have them do to you” and is driven to make a difference in others’ lives and believes in that responsibility, you will never have to hold them to account on this, they raise their own bar.
They view themselves as the brand and as the customer’s champion, and you can’t lose. These are people who thrive off getting results, but thrive on the qualitative recognition as much as the quantitative. Look for this.
3) Their personal brand means more than their sales results
Some of the best sales professionals out there with the best sales results, define themselves based on what the market says about them, not their sales results.
The great ones get the results as a bi-product of upholding their reputation for service and
relationship skills, not with
The players you want on your team are the ones that people rave about because they value that more than any number they will produce
We are in an age where it is seller beware not buyer beware. Are you hiring people who are always closing or are always opening up new relationships?
You go your way, and I will go mine, let’s see who crosses the line first, and keeps their sanity🙂