Excellent Professional Salespeople are an extremely rare breed. So rare indeed that if you feel you have one in your organisation, you should be prepared to hold on to them at all costs.
Most people assume that sales is easy and being a sales professional is not a worthy profession. The fact is that being an Excellent Professional Salesperson is very worthy and while they may make it look simple, its not easy.
Its true to say that when sales jobs are advertised, the number of applications is generally quite high. The challenge is that the calibre of candidate is often poor and many people who pass themselves as sales people are no more than freeloaders moving from company to company buying time and taking advantage of the fact that a field based sales person is difficult to manage.
An Excellent Professional Sales person should possess the following attributes in abundance:
- A Commitment to Excellence
- A Determination to succeed
- A Hunger to Win
- A Can Do, Never Give Up Attitude
- A Willingness to go the extra mile
- A belief in their own ability, backed by experience, training and self development
- A value system associated with success, achievement, wealth and results.
- An organised focussed approach to getting the job done.
Some of the above attributes are natural to some people, all of the above attributes and be learned and developed by the committed individual.
In a normal interview, it is nearly impossible to determine if the person sitting in front of you possesses them because it is very easy to articulate the face that you do and wax lyrical about the success you have achieved, quoting percentages of growth rarely if ever seen in real life.
It is important to devise a list of sales person specific questions which draw out real life examples of the challenges, successes, setbacks and learnings that sales people encounter when doing their job.
A personality profile will assist. Use a tool like DISC or similar – again, it will not tell the complete story but it will guide you.
Look for tell tale signs of ability: How good are they at listening, at taking on board information, at getting to the point, at summarising, at working under pressure. More recently we have begin to introduce role plays to interview processes. While not always a reflection of real life, it can give good insights.
Getting other team members involved in the process is also good, because the one question that everyone asks about a potential sales person would be: Would I buy from them? If the answer is no, we would need to understand where this gut feeling came from.
Taking the time to hire the right person can be frustrating but equally, you do not want an unsuitable person representing your company in the wrong way.
Call me on 087 222 0720 if you would like help in developing your organisation with a team of committed sales professionals.