By Jeff Beals
What’s the number one indicator of future success?
Frequent past behavior.
Do you have responsibility for hiring sales professionals? If you’re not directly responsible for hiring, do you have influence over which candidates are chosen for sales jobs?
If so, you need to see clearly and think deeply. Don’t be fooled by flash and glamour. Instead, focus on the basics and carefully examine exactly what candidates have done in their previous work.
The way a person has frequently behaved in the past is probably how they will behave in future. Study the past carefully. Ask detailed and probing questions. Ask uncomfortable questions. Do your homework and use other sources to find information about a person before hiring them.
Extroverts vs. Introverts?
I have two kids. My son is an extrovert, while my daughter is an introvert. People are naturally drawn to my son and he makes friends easily both with adults and other kids. He’s charismatic. People will often say to my son, “You should be in sales like your dad!”
Why do they tell him such things? Well, because most people assume successful sales professionals are gregarious and outgoing. Stereotypically, salespeople are loud, confident and comfortable being the center of attention, the life of the party. Salespeople are supposed to be extroverts, right?
Despite all the outward advantages my son has as a would-be sales professional, my introverted daughter may end up being better at selling than her big-personality brother. Why? She’s a great listener and she remembers everything.
The single most important thing you can do if you want to be successful in sales is to discover exactly what your client values without making any assumptions. The single best way to do that is to listen intently and get inside your client’s head. Keep that in mind when you are looking for sales talent.
Now obviously, prospective salespeople do need some level of charisma, and it does take some confidence to pick up the phone and call a complete stranger. But don’t discount the quiet, introspective and studious personalities. They might have to push themselves to make the initial call, but they could very well end up having a higher closing percentage because would-be customers will like their sincerity and authenticity.
Hiring Sales Managers
What About Hiring Sales Managers? What about hiring the people who will lead your company’s sales team on a day-to-day basis?
The most important advice I can give you is don’t be blinded by talent.
Who is most commonly promoted to sales manager? Someone who has done a great job as a sales producer. At first glance, that might seem like a good idea.
Many executives think great sales reps make great sales managers, but that is frequently not the case. How can you tell? Look outside their patently obvious skills and attributes and determine who has the capacity to organize, manage budgets, coach, motivate and discipline people.
Great salespeople, especially the naturals who haven’t had to work terribly hard to be successful, aren’t always good at teaching others how to be successful. Similarly, star athletes don’t often make successful coaches if the game came easily to them during their playing days; they can have a hard time relating to players who struggle and need time to develop.
If you’re a sales leader, hiring is one of the two or three most important things you will do. You will be judged on the success of your people, so shoot for the moon when you’re hiring.
Don’t be intimidated and don’t let your ego get the best of you – surround yourself with people who are smarter and more talented than you are. If you want to be a winner, surround yourself with winners. Never hire anyone unless they are completely motivated to succeed and move up in the world. Only hire salespeople and sales managers who play to win and are competitive.
You want sales professionals who are ambitious, and as long as they maintain their ethics, just a little bit greedy.
Jeff Beals shows you how to find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. Jeff is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.”
Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:
“Jeff Beals has presented four different topics at five of our internal events in 2016. At each event, the audience of commercial real estate principals and agents was completely engaged and motivated the entire time. Jeff facilitates his training sessions in such a way that each member of the audience was able to relate and understand how to apply it every day in the field. Jeff is brilliant, and we have hired him to continue speaking at our events in 2017!” – Lindsay Fierro, Senior Vice President, NAI Global, New York, NY
“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil
I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us here. He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had ever heard. Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA
“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team