One of the characteristics essential for all “hunter” salespeople is persuasiveness. This ability, which can be taught, consists of three elements:
- Comfort with Selling – The individual must be skilled at building a good case, negotiating and getting others to change their point of view.
- Directiveness – The individual must be able to move the prospect from the first contact through the sales cycle, to the close.
- Adaptability – The salesperson must be able to adjust his approach to fit his audience, whether in the C-suite, or on the shop floor.
Here is one of our favorite questions for assessing a sales candidate’s level of persuasiveness:
“Tell me about the most difficult deal you have ever handled.”
Listen carefully to your candidate’s answer:
- How does this sale stack up against the ones he would need to make for you?
- How did he handle the challenges thrown at him?
- Did he close the deal?
Probe carefully to gather this information.
Of course, unlike Drive, persuasiveness can be taught, using an appropriate training platform. But, if you determine that your candidate needs to build this skill, make sure you are prepared to spend the time and money necessary to get them up to speed.
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!