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

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

Game On

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.


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