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Hiring the right people will solve most, if not all, of the new business production problems that you have today.  If you have people today that are underperforming, you have to ask yourself this question:  Did I hire them this way or did I make them this way?


I just finished reading an article in Psychology Today that discussed the “new” interviewing process of simulating the work situations that your potential new hire will be faced with IF you hire them.  To determine if a sales person is going to be as successful as you hope, you should implement this type of process NOW.

For years, as part of our recruiting program – STAR (Sales Talent Acquisition Routine)- we have strongly suggested that our clients create an environment that the sales person would most likely encounter and potentially have trouble with.  There are a couple of dynamics at work in this situation to consider when setting this up.

1.  What will they struggle with?  As the article indicates, most people have done a fabulous job of hiding the weaknesses in their resumes. I personally have not seen a bad one in years.   What kind of pre-interview process do you have that will challenge them and show you how they will handle the likely sales problems they have or will face?

2.  How do you go about the screening and interviewing process today?  When you bring them into interview, do you find yourself doing the following:

*  Establishing bonding and rapport instead of making them do that?

*  Selling them on why your company is such a great one instead of getting them to sell you?

*  Asking them questions instead of waiting to see if they will interview you just as they should interview a prospect?

*  Attempting to make them comfortable instead of putting them under the same type of pressure and anxiety that they will encounter with prospects?

3.  During the initial contact – assuming this is done by phone – do you do all the heavy lifting of making conversation, asking all the questions, attempting to bond on the phone and then closing them for an interview or:

*  Do you test their phone skills by making minimal statements?

*  Attempt to make them uncomfortable with challenging questions?

*  Make them close you for a next step

Hiring the right people will solve most, if not all, of the new business production problems that you have today.  But, back to the issue I’ve addressed, resumes will look good, the prospect will interview well and they will provide great references.  But how will you know HOW they will perform unless you simulate your typical sales environment?  This must be seriously considered as part of your evaluation process.

You may have heard me say this before, “You are perfectly designed for the results that you get today.”  This includes your profiling, attracting, screening, interviewing, contracting, on-boarding and training program.  If you have people today that are underperforming, you have to ask yourself this question:  Did I hire them this way or did I make them this way?

About the author

Tony Cole

Tony Cole

Tony has a lifelong focus on helping people and organizations achieve their personal best.As…

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