Don’t Make A Costly Mistake With Your Sales Recruiting!

Steve-JobsI read this quote by Steve Jobs that has been doing the rounds on LinkedIn over the past few weeks and it reminded me of some mistakes I have made in the past when recruiting Sales people.  They often say that sales people are the easiest to sell to.  Maybe that’s true.  But it doesn’t excuse doing some of the basics that perhaps many people take for granted.
As an example, I was asked by one of my Managers to conduct the final interview with a potential sales person to add to our team.  I did my usual thing of keeping them waiting in Reception for a few minutes (it’s surprising how valuable Receptionists can be with their insight and input if asked!), so our Receptionist had the chance to chat with the candidate.  I then breezed in and up jumped jumped this eager beaver with a radiant smile on his face and a good firm handshake.  So far, so good.  We walked into my office and continued the small talk before I got down to the usual ‘difficult’ questions to get him off balance.  He handled them well and I was hooked.  We finished the meeting and I went over to the Manager’s office and gave him the thumbs up to hire the candidate.
Fast forward three months and we ended up parting company with the sales person, as he was simply too much of an administrative nightmare.  My fault, ultimately and a lesson learned.  The guy couldn’t string a sentence together in writing without the help of an admin support person.  We had simply taken at face value that he could put a decent letter together.  He was certainly very presentable and likable.
Fast forward fifteen years, and here I am today writing fiendish tests for my clients to use when interviewing for their first salesperson.  These test the candidate’s ability to read well, interpret the information (some is implied) and to respond cohesively, all under time pressure.  It works!  Small to Medium Enterprises can’t afford to get the hiring wrong and certainly need to ensure that their first salesperson is self-supporting.
And remember, if you’re in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire or Rutland and  want any assistance to improve your sales processes or tools used, please call me on 01664 840763 or 07712 305111 . If you – or someone you know –  would like some help to energise the sales for your business, as an approved and registered GrowthAccelerator Growth Advisor, I can help – and the Government will fund the majority of the cost, assuming you qualify!
All the best.