Home Archives September 2007 Finding and hiring just the right salesperson

Finding and hiring just the right salesperson

| Print |  Email
Saturday, September 01, 2007

A great salesperson will expand your business and help you thrive; a bad one will cost you both salary and lost opportunities. Dorane Wintermeyer, sales vice president at Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, urges companies “to wait for the right person.” When you are ready to expand your team, devote time and resources to the process. The long-term investment is worth it.

Great recruiting leads to great hires. Here are a few tips on how to find the best:

CREATE A CLEAR JOB DESCRIPTION. Decide what kind of salesperson you need and what they will do. Determine the skills the job requires and the personality or work style you need. Do you want an independent and aggressive rep to expand sales? Or do you need someone more collaborative to support existing clients?

WRITE A BROAD ADVERTISEMENT. Don’t limit your potential pool with a requirement for, “chemical sales experience.” Bill Raymond, of Sales & Marketing Leadership Group, a sales training and consulting company in Beaverton, suggests trying “industrial sales experience.” It is more important to find someone with an inherent ability to sell than someone with specific knowledge of your industry.

NETWORK WITH INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS. Let trade organizations relevant to your business know you are hiring. Beth Wickham, director of Bend’s Small Business Development Center, points out they may also provide you access to a bank of resumes and sample job descriptions.

RECRUIT 365 DAYS A YEAR. Even if you aren’t hiring today, pay attention to other companies selling to your clients. Find out who your clients like and who are the best salespeople in your industry and region.

FOCUS ON ATTITUDE AND BASIC STRENGTHS. Someone with the drive to succeed and a positive outlook will work to make the sale no matter what. It is much easier to teach skills than to instill desire and commitment.

CREATE A FORMAL HIRING PROCESS. Informal interviews easily lead to hit-or-miss hiring based more on liking a person than on their qualifications. Structured interviews also ensure more of your time is spent with qualified people.

PREPARE QUESTIONS AND LEAVE TIME FOR ANSWERS. Questions should get at a candidate’s competency, “When have you lost a sale and why?” as well as attitude, “How did you feel, and what did you do about it?”

GIVE ASSIGNMENTS. Ask applicants to research common objections to your products and how they will address those challenges. This will show their commitment and how well they understand your company and client needs. Answers will also give you insight to their work style and level of creativity.

CREATE REAL WORK SITUATIONS. Use role-playing to see how applicants make a pitch, handle a dissatisfied client or introduce themselves to potential clients. Pay close attention to body language as well as verbal answers.

Whether your company is large or small, the quality of the salesperson you hire will determine your company’s success. Don’t skimp on the upfront work.           

BROOKE MATSCHEK


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





 

More Articles

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

November/December Preview: Revenge Forestry

News
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

Seneca AW46A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

A Recipe for Success

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Two businesswomen, two iconic food brands and one food-obsessed city. We thought this sounded like a recipe for good conversation. So in late August, Oregon Business sat down with Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, to discuss their rapidly expanding businesses and Oregon’s trendsetting food scene.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits announced

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

100NP14logo4WebOregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS