The Success Triangle has three sides … Skills, Knowledge, and Attitude. It is said that a salesperson can be successful if they score high in two out of three. Should they score high in all three … you will have yourself a stone-cold killer.
Now consider this. Skills and knowledge can be taught. Attitude cannot. If this holds true, and it does, if I hire someone with the right attitude, I can teach them the rest. What kind of attitude should I be looking for?
Positive outlook – The last thing that I need is some Debbie/Daryl downer. I need someone who is upbeat, looks forward to every new challenge, and who displays confidence in doing so!
Self starter – The attraction of selling, at least for most successful salespeople, is that you are running your own business and you will be compensated directly based on your efforts. This is one of the reasons why salespeople tend to be independent and also why they will chafe at being managed too closely. That’s great, but only if you are a self starter! A high sense of urgency generally will accompany this trait.
Anxious to learn – I don’t want someone who is willing to learn. I want someone who is anxious to learn. If they have a track record of investing in their own self-improvement … all the better!
Will take direction – I don’t care how much successful sales experience you have had at your previous employers. You have none of that with me and you must be willing to take direction.
Competitive – Selling may be the most competitive career that there is. I don’t care whether you love to win or hate to lose more … you need to have at least one of these characteristics. Having both is better!
If they have some knowledge of our product, and proven sales skills, all the better! However, this is entirely contingent on them having the proper attitude. Without that, you are probably going to have a tough row to hoe, at least on some level, with this individual.
Be aware that embedded knowledge and skills sometimes come with unwanted baggage. These may have worked well at their previous employer, but your company is different. They may be resistant to change and to your suggestions on what they need to do to become better at their craft. Conversely, a newbie starts as a blank canvas.
A sales behavior assessment, used as a part of your hiring process, can go a long way to answering some of these questions. See one here. Should you have any questions, please feel free to schedule a free 30-minute Zoom consultation with me.