Ep. 403: How to Identify Your Next Superstar Salesperson (4 Traits)

Hiring Salespeople

“Sell Me This Pen” Doesn’t Tell You Squat

Key idea: Get a competitive edge by hiring salespeople who have the four fundamental qualities we discuss in this episode. If they come to you with these, you can teach them what they need to know.

In this Silver Dollar episode of Stay Paid, we’re talking about four essential qualities that we’ve found to be the best predictors of success as a salesperson. Discovering whether a candidate has these qualities isn’t easy: it’s a matter of asking the right questions, being skilled at reading people, and putting aside preconceived ideas and biases. However, if you get it right, then you’ll be able to teach your new salespeople anything else they may need to know to succeed in your organization.

1. Are they energetic?

You want your next superstar salesperson to bring excitement and passion to the job because that enthusiasm is interpreted by prospects as confidence—confidence in themselves, their company, and their product or service.

Walking into a room, a candidate should exude positivity. The same applies to a Zoom call. It may be tougher when an interview is virtual, but genuinely energetic candidates should be able to convey their interest regardless of the medium (including the phone).

During your conversation, check to see whether the candidate is engaged in active listening and whether you feel comfortable.

2. Can they drive a conversation?

A mistake that many inexperienced interviewers make is believing they need to sell the position to the candidate. Think about that for a minute . . . why are you selling to them? They’re the one wanting a sales job, so let them sell you on why they are the best person for the job.

Image you’re a prospective client: is this candidate able to get you to do most of the talking? Are they digging deeper, wanting to know more? Are they engaging and bringing you into the conversation? Are you enjoying the conversation?

3. Do they have the necessary drive?

We take the position that the best sales interview questions aren’t about a candidate’s sales skills. Instead, great sales interview questions are those that give you insight into a candidate’s resilience and tenacity. Why?

Because the sales game is 99% rejection.

Of course, you need to know about their experience, and you do want to assess their skills. But, after being denied a close again and again, wouldn’t you like to know whether your new salesperson can still show up the next day with the same enthusiasm they had on their first day?

When you listen to the episode, you’ll hear the questions we ask to determine if candidates who interview with us have the requisite fire in their bellies.

4. Do they have character?

As we said, trying to discern whether your sales candidate has these four qualities isn’t easy, and determining someone’s character may be the toughest of all.

We offer a few suggestions for checking whether a candidate has the type of character you’re seeking.

For example, when it comes to their work ethic, we suggest you don’t ask them about their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, ask them what their former employer would say about them.

If you want to know their commitment to a career rather than just a job, ask them questions about what they read, watch, or follow. Are they growing and developing as a professional?

We like to ask candidates how they give back to others. It tells us something about their priorities and what’s important to them.

Final thought

In the end and before deciding to make an offer, confirm that a candidate truly impressed you: don’t settle. Remember that every candidate is going to be showing you their very best during an interview. If they’re only so-so now, they’ll only be worse later when they’re actually doing the job.

Please enjoy this episode, and we’d appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a 5-star review and comment on Apple Podcasts.

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