Tips for hiring salespeople.

In part three of her sales interview series, Board of Experts member and Metal Mafia owner, Vanessa Nornberg, takes us into the interview room. Vanessa uses a tried and true method to fast track hiring salespeople. It begins with an email, moves through a phone interview, and now right into a one-on-one interview. As with the previous two steps, Vanessa utilizes a single challenge question to zero in on the best candidates.

“Tell me about what is important to you?”

The answer, Vanessa says, will help you separate the diamonds from the rough.

Hiring Salespeople – What To Look For

Best Sales Candidate – “A top earner will usually talk about things like wanting to do her best, to learn, to win, or to grow as a person.” The traits to look for in your candidate’s answer, according to Vanessa, embody a desire to grow on a personal level, do her best, and overcome challenges.

Average Sales Candidate – “A mediocre salesperson will tell me that he wants to make people happy, to provide good service, or to make a difference.” This kind of candidate will tend to focus on being liked, and, as Vanessa says, put emphasis more on the pitch than the probe – a mistake in brokering high quality, mutually beneficial sales. They’ll probably be great for customer service, but not for sales.

Bad Sales Candidate – “A bad salesperson will talk to me about what he wants from the job, from my company, from the world in general.” According to Vanessa, don’t give this candidate a chance to cost you money.

Hiring salespeople is about finding the right qualities that lead to a high level of sales and satisfied customers. Qualities like ambition, high energy, the ability to listen and respond proactively, and a love of a good challenge are all hallmarks of a good candidate. Vanessa’s one question challenge can help you separate the great candidates from the rest.

You can read Vanessa’s article in its original form at Inc. Magazine’s website.