How do you identify a great seller in an interview?

May 19 08:12 2011 Sarah Haines Print This Article

This simple article looks at types of seller who can come across as top sellers in interview but don't deliver for you. There are also some handy questions to help you spot this kind of candidate.

Why is it that when you hire a top seller from another company they sometimes just dont do the same thing in your organisation? This is an important topic in sales management training courses as learning spot a real top seller can have a massive impact on your team. Ask the candidate about their top 5 clients in their current role. Then find out a little more about those accounts:

Which of those accounts were inherited when you started in the role?

Where did you get the leads for those clients?

Who else in your organisation was involved in closing the deal? What role did they play?

So,Guest Posting why are these questions key? Over the years I have profiled certain types of top seller that just dont deliver. Well, there can be quite simple reasons that they wont deliver as much as you expect:

The Silver Spoon. This candidate can quote you some amazing results at interview, you get a reference and everything they said was true. Of course if you dont ask you wont discovered that they actually inherited an area with loads of existing customers. That 500k of business isnt new business, it came from warm calls to existing accounts. They wouldnt have achieved this without being a good account manager, but is that what you are looking for? If you find that their top 5 clients have been inherited you might be looking at one of these top seller disappointments.

The Percentage Man. At interview this candidate sounds great. The big figures sound great, but actually they have only made a percentage of what they should have with the territory they were working. You will find this candidate will only deliver a percentage of what you need from them. These candidates, like the silver spoon candidate dont like to make cold calls so have relied on referrals and company generated leads. Be wary when you ask a candidate about where their leads come from and they talk a lot about referrals or company leads.

The Wing Man. This candidate is a little different to the others, he has no issues with finding his own leads. In their last job they found plenty of leads, but then their sales manager had to close them for them. They rely on someone else to close the business and give it back to them to take orders. That left them with the credit and plenty of revenue,  but unless you are ready to close for them too they arent going to deliver the same results for you. Make sure you pay attention to those who were involved in closing their big clients, start to worry if you hear the sales manager talked about often, this candidate is probably a wingman.

Finding the right candidate can make your life as a sales manager so much easier, you dont need a team member that you will need to carry.

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Sarah Haines
Sarah Haines

Sarah Haines enjoys writing articles on a variety of topics that effect UK business. Hiring the right person for your sales team is one of the most important things you can do to ensure success, so important that it should be included in all sales management training courses.

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