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

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

2014 Best Green Companies to Work For announced

News
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

100BestGreenMore than 350 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s sixth annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

Charged ride

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
0614launchBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex fast changing business environment. 

Update: We checked in with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who offers his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

Driving green

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Transportation accounts for the second-largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. (28% in 2012), and the use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, is booming in light of state and national programs to make transportation fuels cleaner.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


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