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Can you kid a kidder? How founders can spot the BS when hiring salespeople

a salesman looking sneaky

Finding the right salespeople for your start-up is crucial to driving revenue and achieving growth. But beware, not all that glitters is gold!

Some salespeople excel at interviews, dazzling with their charisma and eloquence, but fall short when it comes to actual results. In this blog, we'll explore ways for founders to see through the smoke and mirrors, separate the wheat from the chaff, and hire salespeople who are genuinely effective rather than just excellent at sounding effective. So, grab a cuppa and let's uncover the frauds! ☕️🔍

The interview arsenal: Questions to unmask the true salesperson 🎯

a) "Sell me this pen" 🖊️: A classic question that reveals a candidate's ability to think on their feet. Beware of those who recite memorised scripts or use generic tactics. Look for candidates who ask questions, identify needs, and tailor their pitch accordingly. Remember, effective salespeople focus on solving problems, not just pushing products.

b) "Tell me about a deal that went south" 🚫: This question allows you to gauge a candidate's honesty and resilience. Look for individuals who take responsibility, learn from their mistakes, and have a positive attitude towards overcoming challenges. Beware of those who blame external factors or seem overly defensive.

c) "How do you handle rejection?" 🙅‍♂️: Rejection is an inherent part of sales, and how a candidate deals with it can make or break their success. Look for individuals who can bounce back, learn from each 'no,' and maintain a positive mindset. Beware of those who can't handle rejection or get demotivated easily.

Red flags: Spotting the 'All Talk, No Action' brigade 🚩

a) The "sales superstar" who lacks substance: Beware of candidates who claim to have single-handedly generated incredible revenue without providing concrete evidence. Look for those who can substantiate their achievements with metrics, data, and specific examples.

b) The "my way or the highway" attitude: Effective salespeople are adaptable, collaborative, and open to feedback. Beware of candidates who insist on using only one sales approach or dismiss other strategies. Look for individuals who can demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to learn from others.

c) The "overpromiser" who underdelivers: Watch out for candidates who make grandiose promises or use exaggerated language. Effective salespeople are honest about what they can deliver and set realistic expectations. Look for individuals who are genuine and demonstrate integrity.

Techniques to unearth the real deal: Getting under their skin 👀💡

a) Role-playing scenarios: Simulate real-world sales situations and see how candidates handle objections, negotiations, and closing techniques. This practical exercise helps you gauge their sales acumen and adaptability.

b) Digging into past experiences: Ask candidates to provide specific examples of their accomplishments, challenges faced, and how they overcame them. Dive deeper into their stories to ensure they aren't just reciting a rehearsed script.

c) Talk to references: Reach out to previous employers, colleagues, or clients to gain insights into a candidate's performance, work ethic, and reputation. It's often the unfiltered feedback that reveals the most valuable information.

Happy hiring

Hiring effective salespeople requires more than just an impressive interview performance. By using the right interview questions, identifying red flags, and employing techniques to uncover the real deal, founders can assemble a sales team that will drive their startup's success. Remember, it's not just about finding a salesperson who talks the talk, but one who walks the walk.😊💼


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