Sales People Versus People Who Sell.

How many times have you received a sales call or made a call to buy something and the person on the other end of the phone was reading a script?  They could care less what you were saying as long as they could get to the next line of their speech.  Take a look at your own sales staff and ask yourself how many sales people you have versus how many are just reading scripts like robots.   The success of your company lies heavily on the success of your sales team.  In turn, your sales team’s skill set relies on your capability to hire true sales people.  Remember, you are not hiring a resume, you are hiring talent. People who sell find it almost impossible to function if anything arises to throw them off their script.  For example, I have often answered the obligatory “How are you doing today?” with “My dog just died.” So many times the person responds with “That’s great!” As a business owner, if one of your sales people were one like I just mentioned, how would you react?  These are people that have taken a sales job and have no clue how to sell. On the other hand, have you ever bought something from a person and thoroughly enjoyed the transaction?  If you did, my bet is that you had a close encounter with a true sales person.  In my opinion, and based on twenty-five years of working with and building successful sales teams, true sales people are born. They are not simply on a career path because someone offered them a job.  True sales people have a God-given talent for sales and have no choice but to sell; it’s in their blood.  They can improve their skills by training, but at the end of the day they inherently know exactly what to say and what to ask in order to close the deal. When you are interviewing  sales people for your company, how do you know if you have a true sales person or just a person who sells?  When I have a face-to-face interview with someone for a sales position, I do a few things to test the aptitude of the person sitting across my desk.  First, I toss their resume in the trash.  You should see some of the reactions I get!  Second, I give them a thirty second pitch on the company, of who we are and what we do.  Finally, I ask them to assume they  are hired and to sell me on the company.  Again, you should see the reaction and wide variety of responses I get from that question.  A true sales person will fight through and at least attempt to sell me. I have the pleasure to work for a recruiting company that understands that sales people are true talent. Hiring is not as simple as reviewing accomplishments on a resume in order to find a sales person.  We hire seasoned sales people as recruiters. “It takes one to know one” has never been more accurate of a statement than in sales.  I would like to leave you with one final thought today.  What questions do you ask when interviewing a sales person in order to find that needle in a haystack “A” talent?  Do you hire sales people or just people who sell?  


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.