The DriveTest is the only pre-employment sales test available that helps you determine whether your candidates have the most critical personality trait for success in sales: Drive.


The Production Builder sales assessment test provides specific suggestions for improving your current team's skills based on each salesperson's unique personality profile.


Underperforming salespeople are perhaps the greatest cause of frustration to sales executives and financial loss to business owners. This book provides a step-by-step hiring process, including interview questions to identify high Drives sales candidates.

Can My Candidate Handle Difficult Customers?

iStock_000012256921.resizedRelationship skills are critical for high-performing salespeople, whether they are in account acquisition or account maintenance roles.  Many companies look for candidates who can start producing very quickly.  Whether they are cold calling a new account or managing a demanding current client, the best salespeople are skilled at making emotional connections that last a lifetime.  One of the most important aspects of doing so is dealing with difficult customers.  To gauge a candidate’s ability to do so, we can ask one key question . . .

“Tell me about a customer relationship that was particularly challenging to develop.” 

After asking this question, stop and listen carefully, probing deeper if necessary.  Look carefully at the following three areas:

  1. What was the most challenging aspect of the relationship for the candidate?  Was the candidate successful in developing the relationship, or were the obstacles too much to overcome?  Would these obstacles be present in the open position?
  2. Was the customer’s personality an issue?  If so, is this type of person typically difficult for the candidate to handle?  Would the candidate be calling on similar individuals for you?
  3. Does the candidate need training in dealing with individuals at specific levels in the company (e.g. C-level prospects or individuals on the shop floor)?

If you determine that the candidate needs considerable development, consider whether you will be able to invest in the resources necessary for training.  It not, you may want to hold out for a more seasoned candidate who is able to hit the ground running.

To learn more about our DriveTest™ for assessing sales candidates’ Drive as well as relationship skills, please click here.

Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. For more information, click here.

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What Our Clients Are Saying...
Since incorporating the DriveTest as part of our pre-employment process, our organization has been better equipped to identify and hire talent. The DriveTest helps us pinpoint key characteristics of a successful sales person that may be overlooked in the normal interview process.
Kristen BodoHuman Resource ManagerVeeam Software Corporation
The SalesDrive Assessment has proved to be invaluable in helping us qualify those candidates who are uniquely suited to work here.  SalesDrive is the most important tool in my selection tool kit for evaluating sales professionals.
Bobbie LyonsHuman ResourceRouse Properties