When hiring salespeople, make sure you test their basic selling skills. Do they ask good questions? Do they listen well? Do they have empathy skills to match their ego-drive? Can they stand and present? Do they communicate effectively by phone, by email?
I get weary of hearing how they indexed/ profiled/ assessed well, but weren’t tested for these key selling skills! If you’re not sure, here’s how to test them: Pay attention to how they ask questions, listen, empathize, and present during their interviews for the job. Have them leave a powerful sales message on a voice mailbox set up just for those calls. Have them stand and present: Why You Should Hire Me? Afterwards, have them write a proposal to support Why Them? by email.
One grateful client told me this: The best suggestion you ever made, in a long list of great suggestions, was having them present Why Them? to me. I asked the next 3 sales candidates to do it and 2 never called us back. I didn’t have to waste any time at all with 2 candidates who decided they couldn’t, or wouldn’t comply, but would have come in and talked to me and my people for hours. What a savings in time, energy, stress, and money. Thank you.
Also, as part of the pre-interview phase, make them call into a voice mailbox and leave a powerful sales message for you. If they can sell, they’ll figure it out, and you’ll be impressed. If not, it tells you what you wanted to know about that critical skill. Once again, the savings of time, energy, stress, and money is worth it!
I want evidence, not theory. If they are incompetent, sloppy, and unresponsive during the honeymoon phase, it will only get worse, it won’t get better. So, if you’re hiring salespeople, test them before they’re on the payroll…to determine if they should be!