April 7, 2015

How to Identify These Sales Reps Prior to Hiring

avoid-these-5-types-of-salespeopleThere are some that argue anyone can sell.

If this is true, then why are there so many sales managers frustrated with teams that do not deliver results?

There are those that can sell, and then there are those that will sell.

So how can sales managers tell the difference between them? And more importantly, how can you keep these bad salespeople out of your company?

When hiring managers use ineffective sales employment screening tactics, like relying solely on face-to-face interviews, bad sales candidates sneak through.

Bad salespeople often get through the hiring process because they can and are willing to sell themselves, but when it comes time to buckling down and actually selling a product or service, they are suddenly incompetent.

There are plenty of lists for identifying the top qualities of great salespeople, but very few for identifying the worst qualities. We have cultivated a list of the worst types of salespeople and explain why they underperform.


Protect Your Company from These 5 Types of Bad Salespeople

  1. The Teleprompter

sales-telemarketer-reading-scriptIf your sales team communicates to clients like news anchors reading a teleprompter, it is time to hire new players.

Sales reps that stick to a script stumble when a client gives an unexpected response to the sales pitch.

Sales representatives that rely on scripts also have the tendency to sound insincere.

For some, the more times they perform the script, the less enthusiastic they sound. And while they are so focused on the script, they miss opportunities to read and react to their audience.

  1. The Ham Actor

avoid-over-the-top-ham-actor-salespeopleGreat actors sometimes make the worst salespeople. A good actor knows how to sell a performance, but that does not mean that she knows how to sell your product or service.

On the other hand, potential sales can be driven away by a ham actor who never knows when to stop talking.

Yes, you want your sales team to be friendly, and to be able to carry a conversation, but you also need a team that knows when to listen, rather than ramble.

A great salesperson has a high level of emotional intelligence and uses it to build lasting relationships with clients. She knows that listening to customers not only makes them feel valued, but it also informs her on what their true needs are, allowing her to find the right solutions.

  1. The Inflexible

avoid-hiring-inflexible-salepeople-1For years, extroverts were considered to be great sales candidates by hiring managers. After all, it does take some confidence and social skills to close a sale. However, new studies suggest that extroverts definitively exceeding introverts in sales success is a myth.

It is important for sales managers to understand that extroverts no longer have a clear advantage in sales and should not be given preferential treatment during the recruitment and hiring process.

In fact, there is a newly recognized personality type that blows them both out of the water: ambiverts.

Ambiverts are flexible. They can be the life of the party, or the reserved dinner guest. In other words, they know which customers to win over through charisma and which ones to win over with empathy.

A bad sales rep does not have this flexibility. He only knows how to sell to one type of customer, and is unable to change his tactics when faced with a different kind of client. Often times, he will have difficulty even distinguishing the difference between those clients.

  1. The Settler

avoid-hiring-salespeople-that-will-settle-1Someone who settles for “good enough” does not have the Drive needed to become a great salesperson.

Settlers do the bare minimum and never take the opportunity to improve themselves or their standards. Settlers only think about the day-to-day, and never dare to plan for the future.

High-Drive candidates have the innate Need for Achievement and strive for competition. A salesperson with Drive never stops looking for opportunities to do and be better.

High-Drive salespeople understand that planning for the future enables them to fulfill the high standards they have set for themselves. They also have the Optimism to see the big picture by envisioning and planning a successful future.

  1. The Wrecking Ball

avoid-wrecking-ball-salesmen-using-under-handed-tricksWe place salespeople under this category who use heavy-handed – and underhanded – tactics to sell.

As the name suggests, these salespeople are reckless. They either withhold information from clients or managers in order to fluff their numbers or they make impossible promises. A wrecking ball sales rep lacks accountability, is selfish and often pushy.

The old stereotype of the average salesperson falls into this category as well. Like the settler, the wrecking ball only thinks of the day-to-day, and focuses on quantity of sales in the short-term rather than quality of sales that evolve into repeat customers.


Can a Sales Employment Screening Really Weed Out These Candidates?

Our list of the worst types of salespeople really focuses on the personality traits that separate the candidates that can sell from those that will sell.

The worst salespeople lack the Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism needed to be high-Drive sales reps and become A-players on your sales team.

Teleprompters lack the confidence needed to step away from their scripts and improvise a better sales pitch.

Ham actors and wrecking balls have no shortage of confidence, but are not great at cultivating and maintaining relationships with long-term clients.

Inflexible sales representatives might be persuasive, but only to half your clients. Settlers lack both Competitiveness and Need for Achievement.

A bad hire not only leads to lost sales and high labor costs, but can have other financial consequences too. You need a dependable sales employment screening process that can detect these terrible candidates before hiring.

Consider adding a sales aptitude test, like The DriveTest™, to your hiring process. With the right personality test you can avoid hiring these 5 kinds of sales candidates.


Your Turn: Have we missed any salespeople in our list? Let us know what types of salespeople you avoid hiring and why!