Avoid Hiring These Salespeople

There are some people who just shouldn’t be in sales yet far too often they get hired to do just that. Here are two types of people to avoid hiring if you want o avoid a lot of aggravation.

The Gabber

Every now and then I get a call from one of my consulting clients who is all excited because he thinks he’s found the ideal salesperson.

“Brian,” he’ll tell me excitedly, “This guy is great with people. He’s a really good talker.”

And I’ll respond with: “I’ve no doubt he’s a good talker, but can he sell?”

And of course, the client assures me that the guy can, until he finds out that he can’t.

Many folks used to think that outgoing people who have the gift of gab made good salespeople. That was before they discovered that many of these outgoing people wouldn’t shut up long enough to let the prospect buy.

We need to remember that there’s a difference between making conversation and making sales.

There are a several reasons why we keep on hiring this type of salesperson:

They come across as being extremely likeable, and we think our clients will also find them that way. In actual fact, your clients will probably give a sigh of relief when the person leaves or hangs up the telephone so that they can get about their business.
They are extremely proficient at selling themselves into a job. Unfortunately, that’s often the last thing they sell for you.
Reference checks come up clean because former employers still like them and don’t want to give a poor reference.

Remember, good salespeople ate smooth listeners, NOT fast talkers. Make sure you hire sellers, not just talkers.

The Salesperson from Hell

We’ve all heard of the customer from Hell, but some of us end up hiring a salesperson from the same place. Of course, none of us sets out to hire the wrong person, but occasionally it happens that we end up with the salesperson from Hell. This is the person who looked good and sounded good during the brief hiring process but ends up either not performing or wreaking havoc within the organization.

This can happen when we don’t take the time to hire smart and we try to plug a round peg into a square hole. When this type of mismatch occurs, grief follows and takes the form of:

  • lost and missed opportunities
  • unhappy or lost clients
  • wasted time
  • demoralized staff
  • lawsuits
  • lost money
  • …and more

Many managers, in an attempt to either save time or money, have no formal hiring process in place. This is often a false economy and may result in the hiring of an unsuitable candidate.

It takes a newly hired salesperson, even a seasoned one, several months to a year to become productive. You can usually tell quickly if you have a winner, but it could take upwards to a year before you decide you have a dud. That’s yet another reason to spend the time to hire smart instead of hiring quick.