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Hire for attitude, when recruiting Top Sales Talent

When it comes to hiring the best salespeople, it's essential to shift the focus from mere qualifications and experience towards the evaluation of an individual's attitude. Here's why hiring for attitude matters and how to uncover that winning mindset during the interview process.

In the ever-evolving landscape of sales, the key to building a high-performing team lies not just in the knowledge and skills of your salespeople, but equally in their attitude and winning mindset. While knowledge and skills are undoubtedly important, people can be taught, cultivated and developed over time. On the other hand, attitude is often inherent, making it a crucial factor in identifying individuals who will thrive in your sales environment.

Why Attitude Matters

  1. Resilience in the Face of Challenges: Sales is inherently challenging, with constant rejection and unexpected obstacles. A positive attitude enables salespeople to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and maintain the enthusiasm needed to succeed.

  2. Adaptability and Continuous Learning: In today's fast-paced business world, adaptability is a prized trait. A positive attitude fosters a willingness to embrace change, learn new skills, technologies, and stay updated on industry trends, ensuring your sales team remains ahead of the curve.

  3. Team Collaboration and Customer Focus: Attitude plays a pivotal role in fostering a collaborative team environment and maintaining a customer-centric approach. Salespeople with a positive attitude are more likely to work cohesively with colleagues and go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction, fact!

Questions you can ask in interviews to identify the right attitude:

  1. Tell me about a time when you faced a major setback in your sales career. How did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?

  • This question assesses resilience and the ability to learn from challenges, providing insight into how candidates approach adversity.

  1. How do you stay motivated during tough periods in sales when results may not be as expected?

  • Understanding a candidate's motivation and coping mechanisms during challenging times can highlight their positive mindset.

  1. Describe a situation where you had to adapt your sales approach to meet the needs of a diverse group of clients. How did you ensure everyone felt valued?

  • This question evaluates adaptability, showcasing the candidate's ability to tailor their approach and maintain a customer-centric focus.

  1. Can you share an example of a successful collaboration with a team member on a challenging project?

  • Collaboration is crucial in sales. This question assesses a candidate's ability to work effectively within a team, emphasising their attitude towards cooperation.

  1. What steps do you take to keep yourself updated on industry trends and advancements in sales techniques?

  • Probing into a candidate's commitment to continuous learning reveals their attitude towards staying informed and adapting to changes in the sales landscape.

In summary, while knowledge and skills are undoubtedly valuable, they are not the sole predictors of success in sales. Hiring individuals with the right attitude ensures that your team not only meets but exceeds expectations. By incorporating attitude-focused questions into your interview process, you'll be better equipped to identify and onboard salespeople who bring a winning mindset to your organisation. Remember, attitude is the driving force behind lasting success in the dynamic world of sales.

Jason Bushby

Director @ | Helping people build great teams

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