Hiring managers occasionally encounter sales candidates who are especially persistent . . . calling or emailing them frequently to get an update on their status. Of course, persistence is a very important trait for success in sales. So, it can be tempting to conclude that a persistent candidate will be high in Drive, tirelessly tracking down new leads.
However, as hiring managers, we need to do more digging to determine whether the candidate will really put that same degree of persistence to work for us. After all, many sales candidates are very savvy at looking the part during the recruitment phase, they probe for our pain in the interview, they present well-polished resumes and they keep calling/emailing to close the deal. The key question is whether the candidate has the Drive necessary to maintain that tenacity over the long haul.
We need to test all of our candidates for the three elements of Drive (Need for Achievement, Competitiveness, and Optimism) and rule out the candidates who are presenting a false image so they can later retire on the job. We then use the Drive Interview to probe for several concrete examples of the candidate’s persistence over time . . . allowing us to establish a consistent pattern, and make a more confident prediction about the tenacity the candidate will really bring to bear for us.
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.