Let’s play a game of What If: What if you were minding your own business, going through the first stages of hiring salespeople, and a real-life angel—wings and all—floated down from heaven and applied for a job? Would you administer a sales personality test, or would you give that angel a job right away?
I know, you’re probably thinking how completely unrealistic this scenario is. There’s no way any real angels would respond to any earthly sales recruiting efforts. Even if they did, just thinking about giving them a sales personality test would be an insult. It makes a very good point, though. Most people who think about angels at all think about them favorably. If you know you’re dealing with an angel, you believe that everything this angel does will be right—even perfect. That’s the “halo effect.”
Moving from the literal to the figurative, the halo effect—and its opposite, the halo error—are psychological tendencies that everyone is subject to. They can be significant factors in the “gut feeling” method of making a sales hire. Studies have shown that the intuitive method of hiring salespeople is often based on some subconscious response to visual cues received before an applicant has even said a word.
Once hiring managers have seen a candidate, they form judgments based on physical appearances and they make up their mind on a subconscious level. They may not even be aware that they are doing this, but they will slant the interview toward the perceived strengths or weaknesses of the candidate to get the result that they had already decided on.
So much for so-called objectivity.
For this reason, savvy companies rely on the sales personality test to supply true objectivity when building a sales team. When you consider the stressful nature of relying on your own judgment to evaluate and hire salespeople, using a sales personality test as a tool for narrowing the field to the most likely candidates will actually take some of the burden off of your shoulders. Once you have more information—better, scientifically based information, you know you’re dealing with the best prospects. Therefore, the interview process is more authentic.
After all, gut feelings are often based on emotional responses, and we all know that emotion should not be a factor in the sales hiring process. A sales personality test takes the hiring process out of the realm of emotion to one based on logic. Strengths and weaknesses of candidates are revealed, and suitable prospects can be selected to continue to the next level. If you are a course member of the Advanced Hiring System, you have all the details you need to be able to conduct and analyze a sales personality test to bring you the best results possible.
Admittedly, there are some managers out there who have all the confidence in the world in their intuition when it comes to sales hiring. A few of them actually claim a 60% rate of success, and many others boast that they have a 50% success rate. Hmm . . . seems like they could save themselves some time and just flip a coin; the results would be the same.