• August 20, 2012

If one of your duties is to hire salespeople, you probably realize that the ideal candidate—one who will consistently bring in better sales—will exhibit an extroverted personality. Unfortunately, when job seekers are trying to secure a position, it’s difficult to separate the introverts from the extroverts. After all, most people searching for a job will call on their best acting abilities; if you want an extrovert-type for a sales position, by golly they’ll be an extrovert—at least until you’ve made your decision. But if the extrovert temperament isn’t actually part of their makeup, they may win an Academy Award, but they probably won’t win a sale.

One great tool that helps you hire salespeople is the DISC assessment. Each letter of the acronym stands for a specific temperament: D and I are the extrovert temperaments, Dominance and Influence, while S and C are the introvert temperaments, Steadiness and Compliance.

While the term “Dominance” might bring to mind the raised hackles and bared fangs of an Alpha-pit bull, that’s not exactly the type of candidate you want selling to your customers. Another term that’s often used for this category is Drive. Obviously, the very nature of selling requires a significant Drive rating. Without Drive, salesmen won’t be motivated to track down leads, develop prospects, overcome objections, and bounce back from the occasional rejection. Salesmen with a high D factor are very focused and results-oriented.

Influence is also a critical characteristic in salesmen.  Candidates that rate high in influence have well-developed people skills and know how to communicate on the appropriate level with any individual. Once again, the high Influence scorers won’t adopt the pit bull style when exerting influence on a prospect; it will more likely be some form of gentle persuasion combined with a magnetic personality.

The S in the DISC acronym, Steadiness, seems as though it would be a desirable trait, and it can be; but, with the possible exception of phone selling, you generally don’t want to hire someone for sales who rates highest in Steadiness. High levels of steadiness indicate a reluctance to shift environments, which means that they may not be very enthusiastic about making sales calls.  These types can be counted on to show up and stick around,  but they won’t necessarily be closing sales while they’re showing up and sticking around.

The Compliance factor is also good in the right situations, but not necessarily in sales. Although employers generally feel following the rules is a good thing, it doesn’t lead to the creative, entrepreneurial spirit that good salesmen possess. A compliant nature means that the candidate will always follow policy, dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s, but it also means that he will be reluctant to try to overcome customer objections. A sales rock star is more likely to invent new rules if it means making the sale.

When you use The Advanced Hiring System to aid you in your sales hiring, you benefit from a system that expands on the DISC assessment model. Once you have experienced the sales hiring success that comes from using the AHS tools to identify the candidates with the highest potential, you’ll wonder why anyone would use any other method in their hiring.