NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Jon Edmondo
As a small business owner, it can be a daunting task finding the right sales professional to represent your business. Their resume and experience may highlight a successful past, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice for your business. When interviewing, you need to make sure the candidate shows interest in your business, shows a sense of purpose and passion for your product or service, and believes in your mission.
Has the candidate done their homework? Has the candidate treated the interview like the first meeting with a prospect? Does he know what you do or who your ideal customer is? Is she asking probing questions to better understand if your business is the right fit for her? The better prepared the candidate is for the interview, the more confident you can be that they’ll be prepared for customer visits. Watch for non-verbal cues when touring the business and meeting your staff. Make sure you feel the candidate is interested in more than just another sales job.
Do you see tell-tale signs they’re interested in your product or service and the industry overall? Make sure you talk about the mission of your business and watch how the candidate reacts. Ask them if your mission and product/service fits with their sense of purpose in life. Do they have experience with your product or service? Again, keep a keen eye on their level of interest or excitement when you talk about your products/services and mission.
Why it Matters
In a Forbes article, Steve Denning mentions that “Top Performers all have a more pronounced sense of purpose than their average counterparts.” Great reps are passionate about the products/services they sell and that translates into more sales at higher margin. If they believe in your mission as a business, your reps will develop stronger partnerships with your customers and staff. In “Selling with a noble purpose” Lisa McLeod mentions that salespeople must have a true belief in the product or service they’re selling in order to be successful. Brian Tracy, A well known sales trainer and keynote speaker states that “To make selling a product or service successful, you must be personally and emotionally connected to it. Not just the product, but the value”.
So, for your next interview, have a strong game plan and be prepared to ask good questions. Listen to their answers, and more importantly, look for non-verbal cues that show if the candidate is interested in your business. Watch how they react with your staff. Have a few of your key staff ask the candidate the same interview questions and ask them to be aware of body language and non-verbal cues. Get together after and compare notes. You need to make sure your salespeople are passionate about the value of your products/services and mission.
Jon Edmondo is a Global Account Manager at Gexpro Services and NCET’s VP of Tech Wednesdays. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.