I often get asked these questions in my business strategy session: “How can I find a perfect salesperson to join my team?”
If you have this question, this article is for you. So, please enjoy.
At What Point In My Business Do I Have to Hire a Salesperson?
Recall when you first started your business, you take your product or service with a view to making it as perfect as possible by, for example, meeting your customers’ needs, making it easy to use, or delivering value to your customers).
At some point, you will end up with “SOMETHING” that would make your competitors green with envy.
And more and more customers have come to take your solution so that they can get the results you promise to deliver and they don’t need to spend time and effort to build their own solutions. They would likely stick to you for the longer term and ask you “what’s next?”
Now, your business is growing.
You begin to have a taste of “success”.
And this would likely be the time when you start asking the question “How can I reach out to more potential customers?”
The solution is “I have to increase my workforce.”
Your Venture to Hire Your First Salesperson
In any case, no matter whether you are hiring your first salesperson, or just adding a new salesperson to your existing sales team, it’s important to know how to spot a successful salesperson.
You need to understand what makes a good salesperson and attract the right talent to join your team and scale success.
If you can resonate with what I said above, please carry on reading.
I know it can be difficult to see through charisma and well-rehearsed interview tactics. What I do know is that the best salespeople have certain traits that can’t be missed.
To help you improve your success rate in hiring the perfect salesperson, I have identified the following steps to equip you with the right tools for your consideration.
And all good wishes when you make a decision to implement these steps…
Step 1 – Identify the specific needs for your new sales hire
Is that obvious?
My mentor, T Harv Eker, the author of the Secrets of Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth, said “The number one reason most people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want.”
In our context of hiring a salesperson, there is no difference from my experience.
Before you hire a new salesperson, you have to be clear about what your business requirements and needs are. If not, complete this step first.
Are you sure you really need to hire another salesperson?
Can you hire someone who can work within your current system in your business? [Note: I don’t believe any candidate is a good fit unless he is able to do so.]
What qualities do I look for when hiring another salesperson?
What are my retention strategies so that I can make this salesperson stay committed to producing a win-win-win for my business?
Step 2 – Write the Salesperson’s Job Description
The second step is to advertise.
But… when you want specific candidates, you have to specify what skills the candidates must have so that they can fulfill their roles as effectively as possible. As a bonus tip, list your company’s name and contact information to allow candidates to do research on your company before they apply for the role.
Which skills do you think a perfect salesperson should have?
Interestingly, HubSpot recommends the following key qualities that make a great salesman in order to get off on the right foot:
Ability to multi-task simultaneously
Persistence & patience
Honesty & integrity
Creativity or Resourcefulness
Ability to learn & grow through experience
Solid work ethic & motivation
Strong communication skills — verbal and written; good communicator (both internal and external)
Good judgment; ability to make good decisions quickly in a fast-moving, ever-changing environment
Ability to follow rules/policies and procedures. Conscientious about details.
Willingness to sacrifice personal time for business needs
Self-motivated; takes initiative and keeps busy without management intervention
Of course, I am not asking you to look for a salesperson with all of the above skills. Go back to my first question about figuring out what you want.
Identify 3 specific skills listed above you are looking for in an ideal candidate. Ensure these skills are mentioned in the job description.
Step 3 – Reach out to the right candidates
In your course of searching for the right candidates, you are not looking for anyone and everyone obviously.
It is important that you find the candidates who share your core values and have what it takes to be great salespersons. After all, you don’t want to spend time developing someone who isn’t going to get the job done.
Here is an important tip – expect that finding the right candidates is going to be difficult enough without starting off with the wrong people.
Some people are perfect for the job, but just don’t know that they’re perfect.
Talk to them about what their strengths and weaknesses are, and make sure they know you need a certain type of person who will be able to handle your current system/processes. They may seem like an excellent candidate if you can tweak some of their abilities!
On the other hand, if it is apparent that someone is not fit for this role, ask yourself whether you can offer them other positions within your business or recommend another position they might take – even if it’s outside of sales.
Once again, depending on their personality, skillset, and experience. It’s better to give someone a chance rather than letting him/her go in a negative manner.
Bonus Step – Develop a clear interview process
We got this question in Clubhouse often – you need to develop a clear interview process.
You will look through a bunch of resumes and select a handful that represents the most qualified applicants who would go through your interview process.
A clear interview process should include clearly designed interview questions about
personal background or professional history, interests, goals
years of experience in sales
Greatest weakness when it comes to selling?
Tell me about some difficult situations you’ve experienced in selling. How did you handle them?
Give them a sales assignment and find out how they would complete it.
Discuss their goals and how you can help them achieve those goals.
Summarize all information after this process and compare your notes to make sure that they are ideal for the job.
The result should be an offer letter, but before you send it out, ask yourself what you expect from your new salesperson.
Do you expect a high level of commitment to your company or do they have room for their own ideas in the business?
What is your approach with regard to culture and expectations?
The Outcome of Having a Clear Interview Process
Finally, after you have selected the candidates to hire, you have to think about how to offer a competitive salary and regular bonuses for achieving personal goals along with other intangibles like training programs and networking opportunities.
Offer an enticing package of these extras when you make the final decision so that candidates will be happy to work for your team.
Sometimes, it’s not only about compensation but also creating an atmosphere where people feel appreciated and valued for their efforts.
Even if they don’t seem like the ideal candidate, make an effort to get in contact with them anyway; it might be worth their while and they could have some useful insight – but only if you give them that chance.
Do not discriminate against any candidates!
You may think one person is better than another because of their gender or age, but there’s no real evidence to back this up.
Finding the perfect salesperson for your team can be a daunting task.
I hope that the above steps will help you find the right person for your business and avoid wasting time on unqualified candidates. The 10 qualities of a good salesman that are outlined in this article will also come in handy when interviewing prospects so you know what to look out for before they even walk through the door.
If all else fails or if you need extra assistance finding someone who is qualified, let me know to see if I can help. Our team would love to work with you one-on-one!
Some salespeople are natural, and some require training.
Either way, we’re here to help you get the best salesperson for your business.