Creeping Mediocrity In Your Hiring Process

Past behaviors are the best indicator of future success. This point is crucial when hiring salespeople for your team.  The difficulty lies in deducing if the candidate has the right set of skills to be successful in your specific sale. Here’s the ugly truth – “bad” salespeople can still have good interpersonal skills…skills good enough to get past your hiring process. Every sales leader, and I mean every, has a sales hiring horror story.  The sales leader thought they were hiring a superstar and they ended up with a dud.  These fantastic flame-outs are memorable and disappointing for sure.  But there is a more odious error that eats away at… Read More

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Reading Microexpressions A Key To Sales?

In a word…yes. We spend a fair amount of time working with salespeople to access their empathy and read the prospect in a qualifying situation.  This ability is one of the keys to all successful selling. This article from Harvard Business Review provides a thorough breakdown of this topic.  A first pull quote from the article: In my work as a body language researcher and instructor, I’ve long theorized that one of the key differences between exceptional negotiators or salespeople and those who are merely average is the ability to read these microexpressions, gauge visceral reactions to ideas or proposals, then strategically steer them toward a preferred outcome. And why… Read More

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3 Tips To Hire Salespeople

From the Harvard Business Review Tip of the Day email: Most companies spend more on hiring in sales than they do in any other part of the organization. With an average annual turnover rate of 25 to 30%, and direct replacement costs ranging from $75,000 to $300,000, there’s a big opportunity for improvement. Here are a few places to start (emphasis mine): Focus on behaviors. A primary cause of turnover is poor job fit. Consider ramping up assessment tools, simulations, and interviewing techniques to help identify the right people. Or, try temporary positions to assess people on the job before offering a full-time position. Be clear about the relevant “experience”… Read More

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25 Fastest-Growing Job Titles for 2016

From Monster.com, I doubt you would guess what is number 1…Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.  Seriously, there are 13% more of them now than 1 year ago.  Number 2 you might actually get – Registered Nurses which makes sense with the aging Baby Boomer generation. Sales Managers made the list, but you will have to follow the link to find out at what spot they landed.

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Job Interview Mistakes That Will Make You Cringe

If you have done some level of interviewing, you have certainly come across some interesting characters.  Monster.com highlights a few: Wearing a tuxedo to an interview. I told him to dress nice and professional for his interview, but he definitely went overboard and crossed the line of dressing business professional. Needless to say, the hiring manager also thought it was a crazy move and the candidate did not get the job. I caught a candidate lying in his resume. He had made up so much of his previous experience that he then forgot a company name where he said he had worked. The candidate actually asked me to look at… Read More

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Don’t Ask This Interview Question

I haven’t heard of this one but it is intriguing: To boost the chances of preventing that hiring misstep, there’s one easy tactic everyone should take in an interview: Stop asking candidates to evaluate their own abilities. Here’s why. Underskilled candidates consistently overrate their abilities, and more skilled candidates consistently underrate their abilities. There’s even a name for this: the Dunning-Kruger effect, a psychological research finding that the poorest performers are the least aware of their own incompetence. So I’m immediately left questioning why?  Are highly-skilled salespeople awash in humility?  I don’t think so and neither does the author. Top performers set higher standards for their own performance, so they… Read More

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The Most Important Trait In An Interview

Trustworthiness.  It is true.  I have sat through many interviews where I simply did not trust, or believe, what the candidate was telling me.  The Harvard Business Review tip of the day quickly dissects this point. The most important thing to get across in an interview is not that you are smart and motivated – it’s that you are trustworthy. Trustworthiness is the fundamental trait that people automatically look for in others. To be seen as trustworthy, you need to demonstrate warmth and competence. Warmth signals that you have good intentions, and competence signals that you can act on those good intentions. If you follow the usual interview advice and… Read More

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Does Job Jumping Matter Anymore?

I would answer no.  I have the opportunity to look at many resumes on any given day and there is a definite sea-change in the job jumping area.  Millennials are far less loyal to their employers than any generation before them.  In fact, I would say “job” jumping isn’t accurate, they are actually “skill” jumping.  These employees are often looking for personal skill development and once they sense they have tapped out their growth curve in their current role, they leave. I spend a fair amount of time explaining this skill jumping behavior to old-school hiring managers.  Companies must have a plan for ongoing development of their Millennial workforce otherwise… Read More

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The Lost Art of Decorum

Maybe I am aging faster than I will admit, but I have seen a trend in the professional workplace that is unsettling. Decorum.  As defined by Webster, it is “correct or proper behavior that shows respect and good manners.” One of the things I tell hiring managers is that the initial candidate interview is as good as it will get.  The candidates’ behavior, manners, etiquette, communication, etc. will never exceed their level as observed in that first interview.  Therefore, the candidate’s decorum should be exemplary in that interview to the point where it is memorable. Sadly, I simply am not seeing this exemplary decorum nearly as much as I used… Read More

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Hiring What You Need To Know

Experience is a tricky component to successful sales hiring in that it is often overvalued.  Don’t get me wrong, it is important, but you never want to overvalue it.  The reason is that you can teach new salespeople about your product or service a lot easier than you can teach them how to sell.  A sports analogy (I know, often overused) – it is far easier to teach a football wide receiver what routes to run in your offense than it is to teach them how to run a 4.3 40 yard dash.  Some will simply never run a 4.3.  This is why talent is far more valuable to successful… Read More

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