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You Can't Hire Great Sales People – So Stop Looking For Them

Executives often try to hire great sales people, but they should be looking for something else. In this episode of the Sales Management Minute, learn what you should look for in sales candidates.

It’s the epic stand-off. On one side of the table is the sales candidate determined to get hired. He’s ready to position himself as a master prospector and strong closer.

On the other side of the table is the executive hoping that she has just found a rainmaker. She’s looking for a great sales person.

The sales candidate dazzles the executive with a great gift of gab and receives the job offer. Both sides win … at least, for today.

Three months later, this supposed rainmaker is shown the door as he has failed to produce as the company would have hoped. Today, both sides lost.

Executives often times walk into the interview room looking for a great sales person … defined as a master prospector and strong closer. These executives have dreams that they hire so-called great sales people and success is guaranteed. Yet, more often than not, the dreams become nightmares as the rainmakers fail to perform as expected.

Why does this happen? The issue lies in what executives seek in sales candidates. They look for "greatness,” while they should be looking for "potential to be great.” The difference here is that "greatness” infers that it is a standalone attribute.

However, the "potential to be great” means that the candidates are evaluated against your unique ideal sales person profile to see if they have what it takes to strut their stuff in the sales role for your company. Your ideal sales person profile addresses the factors that cause sales people to succeed or fail in your company, not universally.

The next time you find yourself in the sales candidate versus employer stand-off, don’t get caught looking for the "great sales person." Find the "right sales people with the potential to be great" in the sales roles for your company.

See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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