• January 30, 2012

There is nothing that will change the course of your business’ success as quickly as hiring top salesmen. Quite simply, top sales performer are able to find ways to sell your product that average salespeople never will.

The problem comes in in the hiring of top performers. Most managers who are in charge of the hiring process are TOTALLY CLUELESS on how to spot one of these Tiger Woods of sales. On top of that they fail to approach the project systematically.

Here then, is your definitive, if abridged guide, for hiring a top sales performer:

Step 1) Write an ad that speaks to top sales performers. The mind of the top salesmen is different from that of mere mortals. Top sales performers think of themselves in very concrete terms, By that I mean they are motivated by practical values – money and power. Mention the money and be specific. If they can’t make a lot of money they are not going to consider applying.

Top performers are also very strongly ego driven. Make sure you appeal to their sense of being able to reach heights reserved for only the superstars. Mediocre salespeople want it safe, top sales performers want the stars.

Step 2) Advertise for your top performer. There are a lot of choices here on how to attract good applicants to apply for your sales position. Our clients are reporting that www.Linkedin.com has become a good source of applicants, but it is not free. On the other hand there’s www.SimplyHired.com – the best part is its free. Post your job here (but be sure to make sure you’ve done Step 1 above) http://www.simplyhired.com/a/add-jobs/request?type=feed

There are many other places to advertise your need for a top sales performer. Be sure your website and Facebook page has a place for applicants to apply. Also, set up a Twitter strategy to get the word out.

Step 3) Evaluate your sales applicants. Here is where most sales managers screw things up, so pay attention. You do not want to read resumes for previous sales experience or previous industry sales experience. Most managers do, but most sales hires are weak. You decide whether you’ve got the guts to do it right here.

Applicants should at this point be evaluated with a validated series of personality profiles. We offer them and you can sign up to try one on yourself here. If you don’t use ours, make sure that the one you use is offered by a company that knows something about hiring salespeople. Most, in our opinion, don’t.

Step 4) Interview your applicants, but not like everybody else. At this point you have filtered your applicants for qualities that top performers exhibit. This means that they have the personality style of top performers. It does not mean they’ve done anything with their talent. Some people call this emotional intelligence. My Dad used to call it getting off their asses and doing something.

Your interview must be scripted. No winging it. Your interview must ask tangential questions. Don’t ask the same stupid questions that every other sales manager does. You must ask questions that get them to show you were they have demonstrated:stick-to-it-iveness, follow through, the ability to overcome adversity and discipline. Make them show you where they have been great in their lives.

Also, you don’t sell in the interview. Pretend you’re boring. Be an engineer. Make them sell, but don’t get all excited with them. Maintain control.

Step 5) Evaluate references. There are some amazing tools out there to support reference checking. It gives your references a chance to anonymously respond to your request for information on the applicant. They cost but they are worth the investment.

That’s the system. Five steps to hiring a top sales performer that take eight weeks to implement. If you’d like more information on how to implement the steps, take a look at www.advancedhiring.com