Ten Rigorous Steps

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What percentage of salespeople, hired by your company in the past two years, actually became the top performers they said they would be? If your answer is 5% or less, your experience is typical. Yet, when salespeople are interviewed, they claim to be top performers whose book of business will follow them without fail. In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth. What happens is that salespeople, who were underperformers in their previous positions show up in the interview as sheep in wolves clothing. Those imposters were actually masters of the interview process but their sales expertise is limited! My research shows that organizations keep those imposters employed for at least 18 months and if they happen to have a pleasing personality, much longer. I call this dance of the lemons because these underperformers go from one interview another and what they become excellent at is conducting a good interview that can con even the most seasoned sales leader and HR professional. That is why I developed the Demonstrate; Don’t Discuss! interview process. When salespeople tell me they are skilled at a certain task, I ask them to demonstrate it to me. You would be surprise how quickly you can out-fox the foxes.

Just recently, one of my clients saved $500,000.00 by using this model. They had four new interviewees short-listed for me to interview and they assumed that all that was required was a ‘courtesy interview’ because each person had answered the standard interview questions with ease and finesse. We had decided on the top five sales competencies and asked them to demonstrate these skills, and it all fell apart. They could talk a great talk but had no sense of the actual measurable skills needed to execute for success. For instance, when I ask each of those four short listed candidates what their tried and true sales model is, without fail each person told me “relationship selling”. When I asked them what the metrics are for determining an “A”, “B”, or “C” prospect/client, they were dumbfounded and had no answer. A top performer would know what it is he or she does to transition a “C” prospect to a “B” prospect, to and “A” prospect.

Yes, it takes longer to find the right person but the wait is worth it and your results will skyrocket!

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