People Solutions for the Decorative Building Products Industry

Fishing Expedition, or Strategic Hire? Part II

Fishing Expedition

Acquiring listeners, negotiators and closers for your sales team continued from last week’s blog…

At Keercutter, we screen, coach, assess and recommend numerous sales representatives for manufacturers and wholesalers in the decorative building products industry. The “formula” for a successful match between and sales rep candidate and a hiring company is not magic, in fact, it’s about asking strategic questions, and listening for insightful [not colorful, buzz word-filled] responses. Here are our favorite questions for sales rep candidates.

These questions are more specific to their judgment and not about the candidate’s sales acumen per se.

• What makes a successful salesperson?
o This is a philosophical question that will tap into the sales candidate’s personal experience with success, and models that s/he has had the opportunity from which to learn.

• What have you learned from the different sales positions you’ve held to-date?
o This question will shed light on the development process this candidate has experienced, or, is looking for in their new post.

• Describe the best and worst managers you’ve had to-date.
o Ask a lot of probative, follow-up questions in this section to illuminate potential behavioral and/or process issues this specific candidate has had. Questions like: “Why do you feel this happened?” Or, “Can you give me more backstory here, help me understand how this happened?” Cultural fit will be revealed here as well.

• Explain your role as a teammate on a sales team.
o Look for the candidate to identify collaborative learning and growing statements; look for how the candidate defines various sales roles, and their inter-dependency. This question will help identify if the candidate is a cultural fit for your team.

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