Finding a super talented sales person will probably require you to not only shift your hiring criteria, but also to shift your thinking about the process. A good place to start? Stop depending on resumes. A resume is best used for understanding some of the facts: Where they've worked; How long they worked there; and How they view their accomplishments. A resume will never tell you the real truth about how successful a candidate has been. Resumes are designed to attract your attention and present the person in the best light possible. That sometimes makes a candidate look better than they really are. I've heard it said that a resume is 40% fabrication and 60% exaggeration. While I don't know if that's actually true, when is comes to sales people, experience has taught me it's awfully close! Remember, some are legends in their own mind and can present a very convincing picture. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when a company passes on a candidate because they didn't like the resume. Or they felt it was poorly written. Selling is a relationship game not a writing game. While I believe writing skills are important, a great sales person thrives on the hunt. Hunters move too fast and are more interested in verbal communication. They don't have the patience for writing. On the other hand, a sales person who's sitting behind a computer screen, demonstrating their outstanding writing skills, spending more time on emails than getting out in front of potential prospects, will have a hard time making their monthly sales goals. Instead of depending on a resume, try adding two things to your process: an assessment tool and a phone interview. Use an assessment tool that you trust which will tell you what this person's sales strengths and weaknesses are and how they will fit into your organization. This tool will also tell you what this person doesn't know or won't tell you about him or herself. Studies show that assessment tools are accurate; so don't ignore what it's telling you. With that knowledge you can then conduct a phone interview. The phone interview won't tell you everything, but it will tell you a lot. If you aren't impressed over the phone don't go any further. Finding sales people who have the "right stuff" requires: Having the right strategy Devoting the time to implement that strategy Raising the bar on who you will hire And finally… if you refuse to tolerate excuses and mediocrity from yourself and everyone around you, your business will grow in ways you never expected. Stay tuned next week for the final post of this blog series, the solution to Reason #3... you failed to manage your new hire properly.
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