With Sales you either meet your targets or you get fired. Staff are constantly under pressure, and are constantly facing rejection.
According to Caliper Corp, 55% of the sales workforce lacks the qualities that are required to succeed.
You can use your interview process to filter for the best of the best that possess these qualities.
1. Understand Their Story
What's their story? Storytelling. When you tell a story, 63% of attendees remember it, while only 5% will remember the statistics you mention (Source: Chip & Dan Heath). When your sales person can tell a good story, they can sell. As a legal note, please make sure you consult a lawyer/HR person before asking any personal questions in an interview. You want to make sure that they won't be misconstrued as unlawful discrimination. This article is not intended as legal advice.
Some prompts that may help:
- Describe instances in your upbringing that have forged you into the person you are today.
- In your life right now, either personal or career-wise, what are you having the most difficulty with?
- What have you learned from your parents or guardians?
These will hopefully encourage your candidate to tell stories as well so you can figure out if they're a good storyteller. And if they're smart, their stories will involve ones that display their empathy and their confidence.
2. How do they see themselves?
- Do they have the confidence to say they're at the top of their game?
- Do they do enough research to know who the big players are and who they should model themselves off? Are they constantly improving themselves?
3. The Ego Test
You think you've got your champion. Now tell them that they're not a champion. Yes, be polite and firm, not gentle. Don't be aggressive and make sure you don't sound judgemental either. Practice saying this in a neutral tone, as calmly as possible. Your champion will be so sure of themselves that they're going to challenge you.
The best response? "Why is it that you think that?" This is the ultimate question they can throw back at you because they are proving their salesmanship: when faced with a hesitation, ask a question, find out the problem and then solve the problem.
By Shweta Jhajharia, award winning business coach at the London Coaching Group. For companies looking to learn more about how they can grow their business, London Coaching Group has excellent success rates achieved through their systematic solutions.