Building a sales team is tough.
Whether it’s inside sales or your technicians in the field, finding employees that will represent your company with enthusiasm and professionalism can seem impossible. Not to mention, hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake.
But, there is a key trait you should be looking for that will help you avoid the new-hire blues.
How do I know? I'm a Relationship Specialist at NiceJob, and this is how I personally came to know the key quality you're looking for in a salesperson, and what questions to ask before making your next hire.
In my first month at NiceJob, one of my primary objectives was to learn all that I could about our products and services. I put in a lot of work to make sure I was prepared for mock sales calls, but when my boss said that he was impressed with my memory - I was shocked!
I've never considered myself to have a good memory. (In fact, if you ask my wife she might express a certain disdain for my ability to retain information.) How was it then, that I was able to become an expert on our offerings in such a short period of time? I thought about this for a few days before it hit me:
Hire a salesperson who believes in your product or service and vision for the company.
I come from a small-business background. I know how important an online reputation is for growing a service business, and I know how difficult it can be to get reviews. That's one of the reasons I wanted to work at NiceJob in the first place! When I read what entrepreneurs were saying about the software (from their reviews, naturally), I was intrigued. When I saw how the software worked, I was sold.
And that was the answer.
I didn’t struggle to remember this massive amount of information because I believed it.
You don’t have to remember things that you believe to be true. Do you have to remember that the sky is blue? Of course not. Likewise, believing in the service you're providing is going to be vital to the success of your sales team.
Having a belief in your service allows you to be unwavering on your sales calls. When a customer contends that your pricing is higher than the competitor, you won’t flinch. You'll have a solid response locked and loaded to educate the customer on why your service is worth the money. And that customer will be able to sense that you believe in the service!
Still skeptical that believing in the product or service is the key trait you should look for in a salesperson? Consider this:
I’m sure you’ve been in a position where you didn’t believe what a salesperson was telling you. Maybe you sat in a timeshare presentation where afterwards you could tell that even the person trying to sell you the “vacation property” didn’t believe what they were saying. They were trying to get you to spend your hard-earned money on something they would never buy themselves. Don’t be that person. Believe in your service and your customer is more likely to believe in it as well.
Similarly, if your business plan is based on servicing a high volume of lower-ticket clients, don’t hire someone who finds small jobs tedious and doesn’t like interacting with customers. That person is not going to be the best salesperson because they don't believe in the business plan.
So, how do you look for this quality in a salesperson?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t ask the right questions during the interview process you could easily run into the new-hire blues. The best salesperson in the world isn’t going to be effective selling something they don’t believe in. This is why you don’t see many vegan servers at a steakhouse!
Here are some example interview questions that will help you avoid hiring the wrong salesperson:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What made you decide to become a [plumber, electrician, hvac technician]?
- Do you believe that the customer is always right? Explain your position.
- What is your idea of an excellent customer experience?
- Why would a customer benefit from hiring us over the competition?
You may also want to try some of these hiring strategies from other service industry pros.
The best employee is one who believes in your company’s vision, business plan, and core values. I know this firsthand as a relationship specialist at NiceJob, and you know this because you didn't buy the timeshare and you didn't get served by a vegan at the steakhouse.
Hire someone who believes in what you're selling, and your customers will too.