One of the questions often asked by recruiters to this day is that, “How do I know if I’ve hired the best person for the job?” After all, who wouldn’t want to hire the right person for the job to help the company reach its goals? This one question has gotten recruiters to rack up their brains to try and figure out just how to find ways of ensuring they get the best people out there.
Steli Efti from The Startup Chat has given his insights to shed some light on how to know if you’ve hired the best salespeople. “You don’t,” said Steli. You’ll never know how good a person is from the get-go. There may be some indicators that somebody might be good at sales but you’ll never truly know until you’ve worked with someone for a long time. You need to give the person the chance to show what he/she is capable of. In sales, consistency is important since salespeople need to be able to perform and deliver. Consistency is something that can only be measured through time which is why you can only truly know whether a person’s good enough after working with them.
Sales is a Performance-Based Activity
“When I’m hiring a cook for one of my restaurants, and I want to see what they can do, I usually ask them to make me an omelette.” These are the words of Mr. Bobby Flay, a celebrity chef from America. What he said perfectly epitomizes how salespeople are meant to be assessed. You can try and ask a bunch of questions during the interview process but ultimately, you’ll have to see how people perform in their jobs to be able to give a proper assessment of their skills.
Sales is a performance-based activity not just because one requires the necessary skills for the job. A person also needs to possess the right mindset and attitude for sales. Salespeople need to be able to show up every day at work no matter how they feel, no matter how things are going on in their lives and perform to the best of their abilities. They need to be able to talk to people with much enthusiasm, energy and with enough clarity to properly negotiate with potential clients.
As my father used to say, “Salespeople take rejections for breakfast.” More often than not, salespeople will get their heart broken, get rejected, and watch helplessly as massive deals disappear like magic before their very own eyes. Amidst all this, salespeople need to be able to emotionally and psychologically deal with rejection and pick up the phone to call the next person.
The Ever-Famous “Sell Me This Pen” Interview Question
Some of you may remember this from the famous film, “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He asked this question to his friends to see how they’d go about selling. This interview task is perhaps one of the most widely used ways of figuring out whether or not someone has the potential to be good in sales. In fact, Steli Efti always uses this whenever he would hire salespeople. The purpose of this task according to Steli is: to see how someone does the actual selling; to demonstrate one’s skillset; and to show their skill versus just talking about it.
However, it is important to note that even if someone does especially good in an interview, you must reserve your judgment on whether or not they’d be good at sales until you’ve worked together for at least three months, per Steli. This is because some people may only be good in the beginning since they are new and want to put their best foot forward. The most important thing to sales however is consistency. It is vital to let your people perform first and reserve judgment later. Only when you see that a person can do work every single day on a consistent basis, can you make the assessment that a person is a good salesperson.
How do I Find Potentially Great Salespeople?
Since you can’t possibly know if someone would be good at sales from the beginning, the question remains, “How do I find people who’d have the potential to be good at sales?” Before going into that, it is important to first classify salespeople based on how different they are. According to Steli, there are three classifications for salespeople:
1. People that are great at selling
2. People that are great at selling themselves as salespeople
To differentiate between the first two, you simply have to bear this question in mind. “How easy is it for you to convince these people to join your team?” If someone is truly great at sales, they are making a lot of money. They have a lot of offers and are very much in demand. If somebody seems to be too easy to hire, then they’re probably not that good at sales.
However, hiring those with highly decorated sales backgrounds, come with a very big price tag. This fact makes hiring experienced sales people difficult. Furthermore, they will be very difficult to convince since they have dozens of offers lined up. This may seem like a problem to most because they want the best, but at what price?
The problem lies in the fact that we are limiting ourselves too much. We think that we need to look for someone who has a sales career today or who at least has a bit of experience in selling. This is kind of thinking isn’t necessarily always right. A ton of salespeople today are those with no prior sales background to begin with. What you should be looking for are those whom you think have the potential to be good at sales but would never consider a sales job or are currently in a totally different career path. After all, sales techniques specific to a company can be imparted or taught.
3. Everybody else who are in sales but shouldn’t
The last kind of sales people are those who are neither great at selling nor great at selling themselves as salespeople. These types of people are easy to spot and know because they will not be very convincing. They give you that vibe that you wouldn’t want to buy from this person.
The One Question You’ll Need to Find “The One”
After everything I’ve said, you probably still have a lot of questions going on in your mind. That’s fine because you’re virtually taking a bit of a risk here. You’re getting a person whom you can’t be 100% sure of his/her capability to perform consistently. However, all your questions can be answered if you get around to asking yourself this one simple question. “Would I want to buy from this person I am currently hiring?” This single question may seem simple at first, but it can work you wonders. This question can help you gauge how much you will be able to trust this person should he/she be selling to others.
If I can leave you with one takeaway from all this, it’s this. Don’t think about whether or not a person is good in sales. Neither should you think about how this person similarly epitomizes your idea of how a salesperson should look and walk like. Simply ask yourself, “Would I want to buy from this person?” Do that and you’ll be saving yourself a bit of the trouble of trying to find the best person out there.
Curious? Want to know more? You can reach Jason at 0917-569-3371.
The difficulty of sales is what makes it challenging yet exciting all at the same time!