When Hiring A Sales Professional


For the love of God, every organisation needs to understand that hiring a sales professional can be a tricky process. I personally like to do my own hiring.

See, sales has a language only sales professional understands. Objective of the interview is to hire the best available sales person at that point for yourself. Who is best to decide, if not a salesperson himself?

A huge mistake will be to send someone who has no selling experience into the room to have a chat with your candidate. I am going to straight to the blunders and not even remotely considering to sugar coat this.

a. There is NO scientific proof that the more cold calls one makes a day, the better sales person you are. There is no denying the more cold calls, the higher the chances of a potential closing happening. However, without the right skill sets, you could also be killing the leads on the phone.

So instead of asking how many cold calls do they make on an average or in a day? The right question will be :

i. How comfortable/confident are you with cold calls?

ii. Pitch me on a cold call

iii. What is your ratio of calls to close?

b. There is only 8 hours a day in the office, assuming you are productive and do not need to work late. How many meetings can you squeeze in a day? I really want to know what goes on in the person’s mind when they ask ” How many meetings do you do a day?”

QUANTITY VS QUALITY. May I remind you that meetings come with agenda and it has a process. Well you would know this process if you have read my 6 Steps to Your Next Close. Hence a quality meeting that bridges gaps and creates trust needs nurturing and time. And seriously, does the number of sales meeting they take a day equates how efficient they are as a sales person? Geez.

Therefore this is an irrelevant question. If you want to know more on their meeting style, you can always ask them on how do they manage clients’ expectations.

c. Regardless whether you are a sales person or from HR, please take some interest in your candidate. Find out a little more about them. If they can take the time to find out more and research about your company, I believe you should do the same. An interview is a 2 way process. You are learning them and vice versa.

If you have no knowledge on their previous experiences, how do you validate that interview? At least, get to know the nature of business of the previous employer so when you ask questions and they share their insights, you can keep up on how and why they do certain acts.

I will leave you with some questions I think makes an impact for good interviews:

  1. Elevator pitch to sell yourself
  2. What motivates you?
  3. How do you look for business?
  4. How do you handle objections or rejections?
  5. Do you have a sales system? Describe it



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