This is the 4th post in a series of 5 on the top 10 things we’ve learned from hiring experts we’ve interviewed during the first 10 episodes of the Down2theHire Podcast.
In yesterday’s post, Tips on How to Hire an Employee from our First 10 Podcast Episodes – Part 3 of 5, we highlighted the unique advantages startups need to leverage of when hiring and recruiting, and why small businesses can’t afford to not use pre-employment testing when hiring.
Today’s top two hiring tips focus on how to hire salespeople.
Tip #7 on How to Hire an Employee: Make sure your next salesperson is high on both ego drive and empathy
In our week 7 podcast on Two Things You Have to Know Before You Hire Your Next Salesperson, my co-host Dave asserted that successful salespeople are born not developed. This means that we need to accept the fact that not everyone can sell. This also means that we need to look for certain core-characteristics in the sales candidates we’re interviewing.
Dave introduced some proven research that Harvard Business Review has brought to the forefront about What Makes a Good Salesman, which boils down to the following two traits:
- Strong ego drive, meaning a deep desire to win, or competitive spirit.
- High on empathy, meaning that they are tuned into people’s feelings, concerns, and fears.
Tip #8 on How to Hire an Employee: Hire People Wired for Sales
In week 8, Jim Allen, who helps companies build successful sales organizations, joined the show and confirmed Dave’s assertion that people who are successful at sales over the long-haul – 10 or more years – are wired for the profession. He’s seen people succeed for 2 or 3 years, but if they’re not wired for sales then they eventually move onto areas more inline with their natural gifting and talents.
Jim also recommends using assessment instruments like the CORE Value Index (CVI) or DISC profiles to see if candidates are wired for sales. While this approach takes some additional time and money, it is certainly worth it when you consider the cost of hiring the wrong salesperson. Jim estimates these types of hiring mistakes can easily cost between $300,000 to $400,000.