1. Skills over experience- Experience counts. When I talk to people about my sales coaching skills I validate myself by saying I have had over a decade experience in B2B sales, so experience is vital. But if you are so long on experience and thin on skills, that is a no-no! A man can have one year of experience in a ten year role. If you stayed on a job doing the same thing for the same people for 10years, come on, that’s not 10years experience. That’s one year of experience in a 10years role!
2. Knowledge over certificate- It gladdens my heart these days when I speak to CEO’s intending to recruit sales officers about minimum educational qualification as a requirement. I see that many are not so bothered about whether or not they have a degree. Interestingly, I am getting more comfortable myself with recruiting candidates into well-paying sales roles who may not have excellent first degrees or who have non at all. Generally speaking, people who are excited about learning do well in sales. If someone has not read a book in a whole year chances are that he is averse to change and that’s the biggest impediment to success in the sales profession. Almost everything change in sales every month and you will be required to learn, change and relearn so frequently that you cannot afford an anti-learning attitude.
3. Attitude Over everything- I reviewed post recruitment reports from clients and found that every candidate who demonstrated excellent attitude at the point of recruitment are doing very well. I mean E-V-E-R-Y! By attitude here I mean two things- People who will NEVER be comfortable giving excuses. I mean people who genuinely believe nothing is impossible.
4. Role plays may not work- Many times one of the key questions in an interview for sales guys is asking them to do a role play. That only works in road side retail sales; certainly not B2B and may be not high value sales. Role plays are not bad but they are grossly limited in their usefulness to determine who’d be a good sales guy. Often, you will see aggression and say it’s persuasiveness. Role play focuses on the ability to talk while the most important skill in sales is listening. Sometimes you see eloquence and then conclude it is knowledge. At any rate, two things will eventually earn you a sale for B2B. Strategy and persistence. You can’t validate either by roles play.
5. Ask questions- In my next article I will be sharing 5 questions I ask. But here is one of them. If a prospect has capacity and has a need but delaying to buy what can you do? There is no wrong or right response to this answer but the creativity of the answer should tell you what a candidate can do when faced with a similar challenge and he will; very frequently.
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