You need the best salespeople, of course. But how do you get them? In this episode of the Sales Chat Show, we reveal the secrets to recruiting top sales staff.
Recruiting New Salespeople
New sales people joining your organisation are VIP’s. This acronym is a good way of remembering how advertisements should be worded.
- V – visibility. Job adverts need to be highly visible and fly off the page/screen. Sometimes adverts look good when they are sketched out but often struggle for visibility and get lost when placed alongside many others on the page. Make good use of logos, colour, layout, type style and themes.
- I – identity. Adverts need to clearly identify who you are, what you do and what your business is famous for – being the industry leader, for example. You need to clearly identify what the job is and what the job isn’t.
- P – promise. The advert should contain a promise and some WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) comments. This could be money, challenge, job satisfaction, responsibility, promotion prospects and so on.
- S – simplicity. Use everyday language that people will instantly understand. The advert should clearly explain what qualifications or experience you are looking for and how the applicant should apply.
Make the job as easy as possible to apply for but as difficult as possible to win.
Moving on to the next stages of the recruitment process here are a number of practical tips to remember:
- Try not to interview the CV – it is an easy mistake to make. Don’t say to yourself “I know why he probably left that job”. Keep an open mind. When looking at CVs and application forms ask yourself “What are the good reasons why I should see this person?
- Allow enough preparation time – including time between each interview to collect your thoughts.
- Get the applicant to do most of the talking. Create the right environment. The main purpose of the interview is to establish if the applicant has what our company needs – this is difficult to achieve if you are doing most of the talking
- Avoid “gut feel interviews”. Some managers say “I know within 30 seconds if someone is right for us!” Normally these managers then spend the next thirty months regretting the instincts of their stomachs! Interviews should establish the applicant’s performance abilities before looking at their personality. So how on earth could you assess someone’s performance ability in the “first 30 seconds”?
- Don’t ask questions that can be interpreted quickly to produce the “interview answer” The examples below are all dreadful but, sadly, are real:
- I see that your CV has been professionally produced – does this mean that you are putting yourself about on the job market?
- Is this a spur of the moment decision for you?
- We are looking for people that don’t mind working during some weekends – how would that affect you?
- Would you say that you are an adaptable sort of person?
- Don’t look for a mirror-image of yourself e.g. “There is something about him that reminds me of me!”
- Don’t take the best of a bad bunch – it will damage your business. Try not to compare applicants to each other – compare the applicant to the KASH Profile for the job – the knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits needed to do the job.
- Stay in control and don’t get distracted or defensive if the applicant tries to gain control by using provocative questions like “Is your company financially stable?” or “I want to work for a people-organisation so could I just ask you what training would I receive?” Answer their questions at the appropriate time – for you.Be aware of personal prejudices. We all have them! What are yours? Do you believe that women will never succeed as Managers? Do you think that anyone over 55 is past it? Perhaps people with red hair are fiery? Maybe fat people are lazy? Or do you believe that all Celtic supporters are bad people?
- Be aware of personal prejudices. We all have them! What are yours? Do you believe that women will never succeed as Managers? Do you think that anyone over 55 is past it? Perhaps people with red hair are fiery? Maybe fat people are lazy? Or do you believe that all Celtic supporters are bad people?
- Don’t make assumptions – check out the references and tie up all of the loose ends.
“Many things done at the time of firing should have been done at the time of hiring”
Here are some excellent open-ended interview questions.
Background to the interview
- What has prompted you to look for a job?
- What appealed to you about our advertisement?
- How much do you know about us?
- What is your understanding of the job advertised?
- What do you see as the main responsibilities of the job you’ve applied for?
- What is a typical working month for you?
- What do you enjoy doing the most?
- What have been your greatest achievements?
- What don’t you like doing?
- What experiences in your job wouldn’t you repeat?
- How would your staff and your boss describe you?
The job advertised
- What strengths would you bring to us?
- What would your “weak spot” be?
- How would you approach your first three months?
- What training would you need to get started?
- How would I, as your Manager, get the best out of you?
- Who was the best Manager you worked for and why?
- Who was the worst and why?
- How should I measure you at the end of the first year?
- How would you like to see your career develop?
The “real” person
- What motivates you?
- What does life outside work mean for you?
- What’s been your greatest mistake in life so far?
- Who do you admire in public life?
- What would you do if you won the Lottery?
- If Hollywood was to make a film of your life in the future what would you want them to call it?
- What else do I need to know about you?
- If I had to write down a sentence to remember you by what would you want me to write?
Employ an attitude that can acquire new skills.
Don’t employ skills in the hope that they can acquire a new attitude ………….. because they can’t!