We all want to hire star sales people. Finding one, however, is more difficult than you can imagine.
Here’s the key to spotting and hiring a star sales person. Don’t be sidetracked by what he/she knows relative to products or industries, and don’t be blinded by how he or she looks. Instead, concentrate on who he/she is.
These six qualities of character that mark star sales people of any industry all describe who they are, not what they know.
Let’s consider each one.
The second quality that every successful sales person needs is a HIGH ENERGY LEVEL.
Whether we like it or not, it is still true, and probably always will be, that sales is, to a large degree, a numbers game. Every sales person must see a certain number of people in order to sell one. Or, he must call on an account a certain number of times before he begins to do business with it.
So, the element of quantity is very important to a successful sales person. Given two salespeople of equal skills, experience, intelligence, product knowledge, etc., the one who works the hardest will be more successful.
There is no substitute for hard work. And in sales, hard work is often defined by quantity of effort. Sometimes, the difference between one sales person being successful and another being unsuccessful comes down to quantity of sales efforts. And, the quality of character that is at the foundation of hard work, of high quantity efforts, is the quality of HIGH ENERGY LEVEL.
We are all different in our metabolism and physical make up. Some of us are content to lay around every Sunday afternoon and watch sports on TV, while others are out painting the house, jogging, or golfing. The difference is energy level. Some of us just have a lot of energy to burn. And that energy often translates itself into our work.
The high energy person is the one who will make that first call a breakfast meeting at 7:30, and schedule a sales call at 4:30 the same day. While the low energy person will make his first call at 8:45, the last at 3:00, and won’t make it out of the office past noon on Friday.
One word of caution. It’s certainly possible that a high energy person will direct his excess energy into avenues other than his/her work on your behalf. For example, one high energy person might put in his forty hours, and then invest another 20 – 30 hours in an outside interest like coaching children’s sports, church work, etc. So it is possible for that energy to be directed outside of the job. But, without that high energy level to begin with, there is no possibility of it being directed toward work. The first step, then, is to spot the high energy person. The second step is to help him/her direct that energy toward work.
The best way to predict how great will be the volume of sales calls made by your prospective salesperson is to rate his/her existing energy level. The higher the energy level, the more likely the person is to make more sales calls. And, to some degree, more sales calls mean more sales.
Here’s an example. I was called to work with a client’s salesperson who wasn’t producing to the degree that the client wanted. My client felt that the salesperson had everything necessary to succeed. In his opinion, that meant a great deal of product knowledge, a motivation to be successful, and a manner that made him easy to talk with. But the numbers weren’t there. I was engaged to identify the problem. I spent one day with the salesperson, and the answer was obvious. Low energy. The salesman started late in the morning, lingered over every movement, and stretched every call out twice as long as it should have been. He stopped for three breaks during the day, took a long lunch, and ended early. All together, his low energy level meant that he actually managed about half of the sales calls he should have been making. The result? An unproductive salesperson, and a costly investment for my client.
So, HIGH ENERGY LEVEL, is one of the foundational qualities of the successful sales person.