Hiring a Sales Guy

I was recently asked, how should a non-sales person go about hiring a sales person?   I’ve talked about hiring before.  But, I think things change a bit when the hiring person is NOT  a sales person.

There are a lot of things to look for in hiring a really good sales person and for someone who has never sold before or is unfamiliar with sales it can be especially daunting and intimidating.   My advice for a non-sales person hiring a sales person, hire the person who asks the most questions.

Really good sales people probe, they try to understand the buyers problems, challenges, objectives, goals and more.   Really good sales people ask questions to find an in, an angle, a hook, that place where their service or product can deliver value.   Average sales people tell.  They talk a lot.  They use their personality to “connect” with buyers. Some good sales people do this and so do bad sales people.  Hiring a sales person for their charisma is risky and can kill.

If you’re a non sales person who is making your first sales hire, focus on the questions.  Are they asking a lot?  Are they inquiring about your business, the processes, the objectives of the position, the current challenges, the team dynamics, the available tools, the skills required, the perceived barriers and more.  Are they digging into your business and the position?   Are they taking your answers and offering solutions?   Do you feel like you are sitting across from a business consultant?   If yes, you probably have a good hire.

Hiring good sales people can be difficult and complex.  Sales people know how to sell.  So, if your a non-sales person, hiring a sales person for the first time, keep it simple. He or she who asks the most, relevant, questions wins.

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