Hire Good Salespeople
October 16, 2006
By: Adams Hudson
Sometimes we lie to ourselves when we are in need of a salesperson. We think, “Better to have someone who’s okay than no one at all.” Is that faulty thinking?
You want a closer who’s not afraid of high margins (which reduce the breakeven as a result) or of asking for referrals. And also consider…
- When you ask an applicant about their previous sales history, instead of simply asking for numbers say, “When I call your references to ask about your sales record, what will they tell me?” This really cuts down on embellishment.
- Don’t worry about hiring someone who doesn’t know the industry! Technical information can always be memorized, but “people skills” and the ability to smile after being rejected repeatedly are things that can never be taught. Ability to sell tops knowledge of air conditioners every time.
- Good salespeople know how to think when they’re cornered. Ask an industry specific sales question like, “Pretend I’m a customer who just bought a new system. Now try to sell me a maintenance agreement”. This will let you know the applicant’s true nature.
The worst salespeople will complain that they are unsure of how to go about this without any training and will shy away and/or put on a poor show.
The most aggressive salespeople will jump right into it (maybe even interrupt you) and try to sell you without anything but their talent for talking and sales ability. These salespeople are good, but they aren’t the best.
The best salespeople will listen carefully to your instructions, and then when it’s time to try to make the sale they will ask you questions to get their footing. The best sales people listen, then talk.
Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink “Creative Marketing that Works.” His company creates a full line of marketing tools for contractors including Customer Retention newsletters, Yellow Page ads, “turn-key” Marketing PowerPacks and custom copywriting. You can get a free subscription to his “Sales & Marketing Insider” by faxing your letterhead to 334-262-1115 with the request. Also check out www.hudsonink.com on the web for free marketing tips or call 1-800-489-9099 for more info.
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