We know, in talking to our many clients, that the cost of hiring a bad salesperson can range from $50,000 on the low end to over a million dollars, per person, in the high-end financial services industry. And yet the same companies will sometimes balk at paying a couple of hundred dollars for aptitude screening and/or testing for hiring and to determine how to best focus their training budgets. As Seinfeld likes to say, “What’s up with that?”
Psychologists tell us this falls into the category of mind games, that is, the tricks our minds play on us when we are analyzing short term pain for long term gain. It is the same dynamic that comes into play when we know we should go to the doctor for an annual, $200, check up to (possibly) avoid a catastrophic problem later. It is very hard for our minds to actually grasp how bad things can become, but it can easily grasp the immediate discomfort of a flu shot or the inconvenience of a doctor’s visit.
Personality testing is getting more and more accurate given the technology and the big data available. We all like to think we are special, and indeed we are, but to the extent certain characteristics are critical to success in specific vocations like engineering and medicine, and . . . sales . . . and we do not take advantage of the aptitude screening/testing resources available, we are missing an important opportunity for quality control.
If you are not testing today, you may want to revisit the possibility as part of your overall talent and development strategy for 2014.
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.