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How Bad Salespeople Get Hired

Bored BusinessmanDespite the best intentions of hiring managers, bad salespeople still slip through the cracks and get hired.  It happens every day in every industry.  As we say in our seminars, sometimes the best sale you ever see out of a candidate is in the interviewing process.  Here are three common ways underperformers can infiltrate a sales team.

  1. The hiring manager gets desperate.  When a territory has lain open and fallow for a long period of time, hiring managers will naturally want to fill it quickly.  It can be tempting to settle for a warm body.  We need to take the time necessary, by using an online sales test and interviewing effectively, to make sure our candidates have the underlying Drive essential for success.
  2. The interview questions are too easy.  A classic mistake some hiring managers make is to ask candidates what they would do in certain situations.  (“What would you do if a customer did x?”)  We need to use behavioral questions to get specific examples of times when the candidate demonstrated Drive, persuasiveness, and every other characteristic required.
  3. The candidate takes over the interview.  If we are not prepared for the interview, candidates will often take advantage.  Many books on interviewing advise candidates to take over the interview if possible.  We need to have our questions ready from the start, allowing the candidate a bit of time to warm up, of course, then digging in and running a thorough, tight interview.

By being patient and prepared with well-constructed interview questions (and using an online sales test upfront), we can make sure our time is well-spent and underperformers are kept out.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience the difference of the DriveTest, contact us today!

One Response to “How Bad Salespeople Get Hired”

  1. Chris Young says:

    Excellent points…

    Your point “The hiring manager gets desperate” is particularly meaningful.

    I agree – smart hiring / sales managers use an online sales test to ensure they hire the best talent possible. By using such a test, the potential of hiring better sales talent increases significantly.

    I also recommend to “always be hiring”. You cannot go broke selling at a profit and great salespeople generate great profits. Smart sales managers need to move from “hiring only on need” to “always hiring great sales talent”.

    Keep rockin’!

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