We’ve learned a thing or two about hiring salespeople in the 19 years I’ve been running a company of for-hire senior level Door Openers®. Most sales VPs–and, for that matter, business owners–know the difference between farmers and hunters in sales. What they may not know, however, is that not all hunters are created equally. There are those who excel at meetings and closing sales, while others are great at opening doors. It’s been my observation, throughout my experience, that few are great at both. When your company requires one type of hunter and ends up interviewing for the other, it can result in an expensive mis-hire. This serves to explain the high percentage of hunters who fail in new sales roles–they weren’t the right type of hunter for that position.
To become better at hiring the right hunters you will need to know a few key secrets. A spot-on job description focusing on pinpointing sellers who are intuitively great and experienced at initiating relationships as well as asking strategic interview questions are the ticket. A few key questions to ask include:
- Tell me about a time you grew a territory from scratch. What challenges did you face and how did you succeed?
- What’s your approach to starting relationships with new prospects? How do you engage them in conversation and pique curiosity?
- What do you love about sales?
- If a prospect’s assistant blocked you from a decision maker what would you do?
- If a prospect says, “I am going to continue to work with my current vendor, thanks anyway,” what do you do next?
- If a prospect has not responded to you via email or voicemail after 5-6 touch points, how do you get in anyway?
- When do you give up on a prospect?
Understanding the difference between types of hunters and then interviewing for the one you need is a key factor in sales success. With the right person on board achieving your goals will be much easier!
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