Have you ever wondered why some business owners are lucky and find the right salespeople while others don’t? Perhaps it’s not luck but rather deliberate steps taken when creating the job description, finding the candidates and conducting the interviews.
A business owner I was talking to last week told me he just let his seller go. He explained that although he thought he was careful during the interview, for some reason, the seller wasn’t successful.
He couldn’t understand where he went wrong. I asked him to describe to me what he wanted the seller to do. He said hunt. I asked him to be more specific and describe what aspect of hunting he needed. He gave me an odd stare. It never occurred to him that there were different aspects of hunting. He figured a hunter was a hunter. In my experience that is not true.
Some sellers are great at going on the meetings and closing sales. Others are great at getting in the door. Few are great at both.
Surprised? So was he. Getting in the door is a different skill set than closing sales. It’s a different pace of sale. While finding a good salesperson is never easy, those who can close sales are significantly more abundant than those who are crackerjack at opening the doors. If what you need is a door opener and you don’t have one, you won’t be very successful.
Here are a few suggestions to help you pinpoint the door openers in the sea of hunters.
Step 1: The right job description. Identify what you need the hunter to do. If you need a territory created where none existed before, make sure to state that in the job description. Not all sellers enjoy door opening. It’s important to weed those sellers out as well. Create the description that brings the right sellers to your door.
Step 2: Ask this interview question: Tell me about a time when you had to create a territory from nothing and describe in detail how you did that. Very few interviewers ask this critical question. However this is one sure way to know whether the person you are interviewing has done this successfully and liked this aspect of sales.
Step 3: Enlist the support of someone who knows the answer above. He/she can bring a solid B.S. meter to the equation, which is highly recommended. Here’s why. Any salesperson worth his salt will find out what you need and tell you he can give it to you. In order to tell the true door openers from the “order takers” or the good closers, find someone who knows the answer to the question in Step 2 and ask him/her to give your best candidate(s) the final interview.
Opening doors to the prospects you most want to meet isn’t easy. It’s critical for you to properly identify the right sales hunter(s) for your organization. I hope my suggestions make it a little easier for you. If not, our door is always open to you. Give me a ring!