Key Attributes...Unlocked

We all agree that a lot of mistakes get made by owners when hiring sales people. These mistakes often begin when developing the job description and trying to identify the key attributes that a sales professional must have in order to be successful in your company.

What do you believe are the attributes of a top sales producer? Do they require industry knowledge, product knowledge, client knowledge, a large Rolodex? Do you know anyone in your company or your industry who has all of the above listed attributes yet is unsuccessful in sales? Why is that? Might it be that there are other attributes more critical to success than these items alone? While these different types of knowledge can be helpful, they are not the most critical attributes that determine future success.

Think about the last time you had a positive encounter with a salesperson (it might have been awhile, but try to jog your memory). What did they do? Were they quick to develop the relationship and put you at ease? Did they ask questions to learn more about you to correctly understand your needs? When you responded to these questions, did they listen to you, not selectively but empathetically, to completely understand what you need, why you need it and what would happen if you didn’t satisfy that need?

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Though it may be obvious to some that these skills are required to be successful in sales, they are often times overlooked by hiring managers and business owners when selecting candidates. More emphasis is placed on industry experience and a large Rolodex than on effective communications skills, listening skills, and infinite curiosity. Furthermore, when limiting your search to only those from your industry, you are limiting your candidate pool size. Top performers are already a needle in the haystack. Understanding and believing that sales skills are transferable can expand your pool size increasing the likelihood of finding a top sales producer!

Let’s identify a few additional key attributes that are required. Sales Superstars need a strong desire or passion to be successful in sales. They also require an unconditional commitment, doing whatever it takes to be successful, even if it requires getting outside their comfort zone. Other attributes include a strong outlook or bulletproof positive attitude, high level of motivation, and coachable (open to change) when change is necessary to take their sales performance to the next level.

Can you identify other key attributes?

We recognize that no candidate is perfect. Hiring mistakes get made…there are many to make. However, hiring success starts by identifying the most critical attributes needed in top performers. Without this very important list, it’s likely you’re going to hire the wrong candidate.

Have you started to rethink how you identify a top sales producer? Are you committed to obtaining the results you are expecting? If you said yes to either of these questions, maybe Topaz Sales Consulting can help. I invite you to learn more about an empowering recruiting, onboarding and training program called Recruiting w/Results created and offered by Topaz Sales Consulting. Like I've stated before, there is no guarantee that you will never hire a bad salesperson again. However, you can take steps to eliminate the majority of the risk.

To learn more about hiring your next sales superstar or to talk about other ways to consistently attract and retain top sales professionals, please give me a call at (512) 219-4015 or visit our Contact page to request a conversation. If you find that this blog is helpful or you know others who may benefit from this information, please feel free to share it.