Insisting Applicants Have “Sales Experience” Is a Huge Mistake
Most sales managers refuse to hire any applicant who has no sales experience.
Listen. If somebody with TEN YEARS sales experience applies at your company, ask yourself, “WHY?” Anyone with 10 years in sales should have ALREADY found a home where THEY are the most important person on that sales team. They should be an INTEGRAL part of that company’s success. Their sales manager would rather lose his WIFE than lose this star player.
A star salesperson will NEVER look to start all over again with YOUR company. The applicants YOU get who’ve been in sales 10 years, have bounced from job to job. NEVER made the top of the leaderboard. Why? Because they’re B players. They always come up with excuses for not closing deals.
Look. A wide receiver either caught the ball or he didn’t. No excuses from a great athlete. It’s simple. Succeed or fail.
A lousy salesperson tells you, “I don’t know what happened. It was all going great. Then, last minute, the prospect went goofy and didn’t buy.”
But the truth is, that salesperson didn’t qualify the prospect well enough in the first place. So they wasted all that time on somebody who wasn’t a great prospect.
Lousy salespeople don’t listen. They don’t think through WHY people buy their product. They don’t fill the prospect with reasons why. They don’t figure out what motivates each particular prospect. They don’t fill that prospect with answers to their questions. They just never do what they need to do in order to make the prospect feel like this product solves their needs.
If they were money-motivated enough, they’d figure it out. They’d do all this stuff. But they’re not. Ten years of sales experience will NEVER overcome lack of money motivation. That’s why 75% of sales teams just tread water. And 75% of sales managers are just tread water.
Sales experience is a HUGE misdirection. You need people who can REALLY sell. People who are determined to make a bunch of money, come hell or high water. THOSE guys will build your company bottom line. Don’t focus on experience. Get a ton of applicants, test every one of ‘em, and you’ll find your stars.
This is Alan Fendrich. Give me a call.