Sales Intangibles - How They Relate to Hiring and Success
It is said (by me) that everything a salesperson does is measurable: Sales volume, number of sales calls made, appointments, estimates, etc. I think the only industry that has more statistics is baseball. It’s all tangible. Everything. But there are intangibles, as well, especially as they relate to hiring and success.
Without question, there is a sales gene that identifies an individual as having the skills necessary to choose this profession. I’m not sure which chromosome it is in the DNA chain but I will get my people on it immediately and let you know.
One intangible that is necessary but immeasurable is Drive. Maybe it’s better described as Hunger. One sales manager told me recently, “I hate to lose. Whether it’s an account or a bid, I will do everything that I can to get the business and like a dog with a bone in his mouth, I simply refused to let go. I don’t see that in the salespeople that I have.”
In a different conversation later that same day, a company owner lamented that his most experienced salesperson had lost that loving feeling. That internal fire had gone out and he wasn’t sure how or if it could be relit. Perhaps it’s easier to see the lack of drive that it is its existence in the first place.
A second intangible is the ability to see an opportunity where others can't. Perhaps they are reading an article in the newspaper and they envision making a sales call.
The number one conversation that I get into has to do with finding a good salesperson. The number two conversation is similar: What are the qualities that make up a good salesperson? Neither has an easy answer. We do the best we can with interviewing and screening but even our best efforts cannot unmask those hidden qualities that can make an otherwise ordinary candidate look like a superstar.
I guess that's why they call them intangibles.
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