Listening skills are critical for all salespeople, whether they are focused on finding new customers, or searching for opportunities in existing accounts. A good salesperson knows how to give the floor to the prospect/customer and allow them to do most of the talking. On the other hand, we have all dealt with salespeople who focus on their own agenda, irrespective of the customer’s unique needs. When we need consultative salespeople who know how to listen, we need to look for a few telltale signs . . .
The most effective way to determine a sales candidate’s ability to listen carefully is simply through observation. Remember, during the interview, the candidate is on his or her best behavior. So, the tendencies you notice here would likely play out in front of a prospect as well. Here are a few things to look for:
Remember, unlike Drive, listening skills can be taught. If you determine that the candidate needs to develop his or her listening skills, make sure that you consider this carefully in your hiring decision, and provide the necessary developmental resources to those whom you hire.
To learn more about our online assessment for the non-teachable element of Drive, 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.