Hiring Salespeople Who Perform Well After the Interview

Have you hired too many salespeople who were great during the interview, but who failed? Were you sure during the interview they were “handling themselves so well”, that they just had to be the one? Did you feel yourself sold on them in the interview?

Allowing yourself to sell or be sold in the interview is a fatal mistake.

Pretend You’re an Engineer – Adopt the “Engineer Persona”

It’s tough for us sales managers not to get fired up in the interview. Our enthusiasm and natural persuasiveness got us to where we are.

Selling is our “default setting.”

But to do well in sales hiring, you’ve got to get out of the “Salesperson Head.”  Instead, the best mindset to use in interviewing is the “Engineer Head.”

What a 62 Year Old Engineer Taught Me About Making Good Decisions

When I was first in sales, my customers came from many backgrounds. One in particular, Jacque, controlled a large ad budget for a technology company. Jacque was an engineer.

I wanted to get a hunk of his budget for our Rock and Roll radio station.  I knew our audience would respond to his offer and I knew I needed a big budget to make it work. No one had come close to cracking the account.

While I was presenting, he was impossible to read. I was sure I was getting nowhere with him during my presentation. He kept looking down at his desk. He seemed bored.

You know what THAT feels like in a sales presentation. I wanted to stop in the middle, because I “knew” he wasn’t buying.

I got to the end. Silence. I couldn’t think of anything to say.

Finally he looked up and said that it sounded good.  And he bought. And that is how I sold Jacque and brought in the largest annual contract ever.

I was 22 years old and I learned an important lesson. 

Jacque taught me why it is so important to stay clear on your goal. And don’t let your emotions control the decision process.

Too many sales managers make the fatal mistake of turning the interview into a sales call.

Stop getting tricked in the interview by scripting your interview. Break your interview down to sections. Each section needs to cover a key personality characteristic.

  • Stick-to-it-iveness
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Ability to overcome adversity

We’ve put together a video. Watch it and see how to construct an interview that gets you salespeople who perform.



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