Sales Hiring Tip #7: The First Interview / Audition

If you missed out on our previous posts, first check out Sales Tips #1#2,  #3,  #4 , #5 & #6

Let’s just take a moment to review. You took the time to identity your ideal candidate. You wrote a killer add. You automated and used the best sales candidate assessment and completed a phone screen. Now you are ready to interview. Wait – we never covered Resumes? Your are right and that is Sales Tip #8.

A lot has happened and it time to test the candidate in the interview. Test?  Yes Test! In other words we want to tour the interview into an audition. The only way you will be able to know how the candidate will behave in a real sales call is to make them sell you in the interview.

No, I’m not talking about – ‘Sell me this pen’ kind of stuff. Or stupid questions like, “Why are man-hole covers round?” I’m suggesting that you need to create the same kind of environment that you expect the salesperson to sell in with your customers, clients and prospects.

For example: If I’m interviewing and I make it easy for the candidate to bond, posture, and build rapport, I don’t know if they can actually do that. So, don’t make it easy for them.

You have the right to be tough, dis-engaging and hard-nosed. Isn’t that how your prospects are going to act? Make them roll play with you. Make them uncomfortable and notice how they handle pressure.  You can do this and still be nice. I know the fear is, if I’m rude and mean they won’t want to come to work here. True, so do this without being rude and mean.

Use the Sales Candidate Assessment and the Resume to ask questions that expose their strengths and weaknesses. For example: If your position requires them to hunt you must know not only if they can but if they will. Sure, you can explain the responsibilities and ask if they are willing to prospect regularly. And every time you’ll get, “I love prospecting!” We all know that’s a crock. You must covertly get the answer by disguising the question.

For Example: Sherri, let’s assume we like you and you like us and we make you an offer and you accept. We have a territory that is doing about a quarter of the business we think is out there. How will you go about generating four times the business after you learn our products, services, who are customers are and have completed our 90 day on-boarding plan?  Ask this and you will hear all the excuses you would normally get 90 days after you hire them. Or you will get strait up, I’ll make the calls and find the business.

It’s all about framing the questions and putting them into the selling world. Need help with this? →Click Here

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Author: Rocky LaGrone

Rocky LaGrone is a seasoned sales development expert with over 25 years in sales development and training working with well over 1,000 companies of all sizes in various industries.

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