7 Traits to Look for When Hiring Sales Reps

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Blog

The average salesperson spends just over two and a half years on the job and takes almost five months to train and ramp up (Hubspot), and that’s if your new hire works out. What if they don’t? You could end up making a considerable investment in someone who doesn’t stick around. When you hire a new sales rep, you need to know if you’re making a good bet on the person you’ve chosen. To help you feel more confident when choosing, here are 7 traits you can look for when hiring a salesperson.

1. Persistence

This comes down to knowing how to keep a conversation going no matter what. Someone who’s persistent will never end a meeting without scheduling a follow-up or knowing how they want to follow up. They also know that “no” doesn’t always mean “no,” but sometimes means “not right now.” 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls–5! Whereas, 44% of salespeople give up after making just one follow-up call. When it comes to email, 70% of salespeople stop after one, but if they send more, there’s a one in four chance they’ll get a response (Hubspot).

2. A Positive But Real Perspective

There’s no question that a positive attitude makes people more likeable, and therefore, more likely to buy from. Positive people can empathize with a client’s problems and have a desire to find solutions to make their lives easier or better. At the same time, reps need to strike a balance between positivity and being real. Realism isn’t pessimism, though. A realistic salesperson will be intelligent and practical with how they strategize and pursue their goals. A realistic outlook helps them to see the big picture and avoid being blindsided by something that doesn’t go their way.

3. Quick on Their Feet

You can give a salesperson the best training, walking them through all the scenarios, but you can’t prepare them for every situation. They need to be able to improvise when they’re hit by something unexpected. They need to size up a situation quickly, hone in on what the customer really wants, and then deliver a solution that aligns with their needs.

4. Self-Awareness and Self-Empathy

Unless you can grasp the challenges and pain a customer is dealing with, you’ll never be able to truly connect with them. And people will never understand a client’s needs and problems if they don’t understand their own. Simply put, you’re only able to give someone the attention you’re able to give yourself. If you don’t understand your own feelings, if you don’t listen to your own heart, if you don’t have empathy and understanding for yourself, it’s hard to do that for another. An emotionally-intelligent candidate who understands their own needs, “hot buttons,” and limitations will more easily identify those things in others.

5. Curiosity

Successful salespeople have a hunger for information and learning about the world. If they love learning, if they ask you a lot of questions, then they’ll probably be interested in learning more about their clients and asking them lots of questions. If they’re conveying a genuine interest in their clients’ lives, clients will believe they’re understanding people invested in helping them reach their goals.

6. Calmness Under Pressure

Not every sales day is a good sales day. Sometimes people lose major sales or major clients. Good salespeople will be disappointed, but they won’t buckle under the pressure of a major setback like these. They’ll display patience, won’t take the loss too personally, and remind themselves the most important conversation is the next one.

7. A Sense of Responsibility

We’ve noticed certain characteristics in great salespeople. Married people and homeowners do well. People with children and pets do better in sales. People who’ve been self-employed or who’ve previously lived poor do great as salespeople. What do these things have in common? Responsibility! Those who are willing to take it on in life are a safer bet!

Think about these qualities before you interview your next candidate, and you’ll have a better chance of hiring someone who can do well in the position and be happy with their job. Contact us at Sales Arbiter when training your new hires so we can maximize their sales potential.

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