How to Hire Killer Sales People Every Time


Your business will experience pressure points along the way. Hiring the right people who know how to power through them on their own is essential to sustainable success.

All businesses, all sales teams, have headwinds to progress. Your company's ability to sail through the storms of adversity is directly related to your team's deep set beliefs as of this moment and what your team focuses on consistently each day. What you and your team believe and focuses on today compared to their past pressures will affect the quality of their current actions and future results. Your ability to focus on the right things in the interview process will determine the success of your next hire.


If you, as the leader, are easy on your business today, your business will be hard on you down the road. IF YOU ARE HARD ON YOUR BUSINESS TODAY, YOUR BUSINESS WILL BE EASY ON YOU TOMORROW. If you are hard on your business practices now your business operations will be sailing in the future. That includes the sales people you hire and their long-term results.

When I say HARD, I do not mean unfairly difficult or extreme. I mean hard as cut a diamond, unmovable, totally committed to a specific form and function for a specific tomorrow. I mean focused on consistent growth towards peak performance. I mean taking the time to form a success road map for each employee, and above all...make sure it is crystal clear to everyone.

Moreover, it is easy to is just so much easier NOT to do it.

Oh but I can hear you now..."we are committed now". Look at how busy we are! If we really drilled down on your daily actions and the core beliefs that drive them, we will discover that you aren't really committed. You are not married to peak performance, just dating it.


Take hiring, for example, if you have ever made a panic hire or just a bad hire then it is likely you have already experienced this cutting truth. If you had only taken the time to ready yourself with a more effective hiring strategy, and began the process with a more compelling belief, your hiring batting average would have put you in the major leagues of your industry. Or at least, helped you achieve your revenue goals. If you made sure, you knew what to look for and knew what those success behaviors looked like in their raw "pre-hired" state you would have never hired that "walking disaster" you thought was a super-star when you hired him. The truth is the employee did not did.

Take the time to know what to look for in a super performer, the super performer that is ideal for you, your culture, and your mission. Study the telltale signs of peak performance. Make your hiring standards, policies, and procedures HARD, CLEAR and TOTALLY CONSISTENT with your true business values. Then you are likely to have a performer that will be easy on your business down the road.

The candidate you are excited about hiring may be a chronic underperformer and is most likely emitting the tell-tail clues of mediocrity like a glowing neon sign throughout the entire interview process on. Unfortunately, you just did not see them. Many managers are blind to the clues because they get lulled to sleep by their candidates' acting performance in the interview. Pay the price to know what the signs of mediocrity look like before you hire them...not after. It is a lot less expensive that way. You are going to pay a high price for a bad decision if you do not. Knowing what to look for will lead you to a much higher success rate with lower turnover and an easier business for you to run.

Do and believe the right things about your business up front. If you don't do right and believe right you will pay a much heavier price. You are probably paying that premium right now!



1. Hire People Who are Right-Handed to Their Imagination.
(sorry lefty's...left-handed too)

Your best candidates are obsessed with a compelling future for themselves and they can see it in Technicolor. This person dwells on where they are going more than where they have been.

We all have a "hard wired" preference to how we sort the world around us. Some like to live in the present with their sensory acuity entrenched in the moment. They rarely focus on tomorrow's possibilities, nor have they learned many lessons from the past. Their language pattern is a tell-tale sign. What do they naturally gravitate to in their conversation, their past experiences, the present circumstances, or future possibilities? Spend the extra time and effort to find out. Listen to them over time. This is a core reason why you need to conduct several interviews and in different locations...not just in your office. Make sure they naturally focus on growth and possibility verse the challenges of yesterday. If your candidate does not have a three-dimensional color picture of their best future, ready for publication, move on. They either do not have one or do not trust you enough to share it. Neither is acceptable.

In today's stressed out world we all suffer from a degree of "attention deficient disorder". There is so much to focus on out there and so little time to focus on it. Even if we are not over loaded with sensory stimulation our minds were designed to only focus on one thing at a time. We can only manage a small cluster of thoughts at any given period of time and only one per moment. That is why Ma Bell decided years ago on only seven digits in our phone number. She knew that after seven or eight digits our memory begins to disintegrate.

Our brains are wonderfully made. We are designed to sort the world in small sections at a time and focus on just certain preferred parts while screening out everything else. That is how we cope with it all. We all have a preference on how we want to see the world around us while we screen out everything else. We all have a preferred way to reach out to our surrounding just as we have a preferred hand for more complex tasks.

We are all, or most of us anyway, right handed or left. Just as we have a preferred hand, we have a preferred way we sort the world. Some of us sort for the past first. Some of us live within our memory on a consistent basis. Engage them in conversation and they immediately refer to their personal history book to form a response. Some live in the present most of the time where immediate gratification is their primary driver, and then there are those who sort the world through their imagination. They cannot help but fantasize about the world as they envision it to be in the future. They immediately default to a "future state" conversation, first time, every time. They cannot help it. It is how they are wired.

The candidate that naturally defaults to their compelling future is a major clue that you may be in the presence of a future super-performer. Top performing sales people all sort for a future state of mind first. Whether they were born that way or acquired a learned behavior over time, either way the result is the same. They have been blessed with an essential ingredient of sales success. Make sure this personality trait is present with your top candidates and your hiring batting average is sure to rise.



Zemira Jones
Zemira Jones> all articles
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CAREER FOCUS_________________________________________

Management Innovation & Media/Marketing

Zemira Jones is a successful leader in the communications industry with broad scope of management experience with Fortune 500 companies and market leaders.

Combined expertise in the following:
Corporate & General Management- Radio Operations- Training & Development Systems-Performance Coaching_Strategic Business Planning-Sales Management-Network Syndication-Contract Negotiation- Innovative Marketing Strategy-New Media Product Development-Talent Management-Satellite Radio Management-Multi-Format Programming

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-Named one of Americas 8 BEST MANAGERS IN RADIO nationally by Radio Ink Magazine
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-WLS awarded News/Talk Station of the Year by Radio & Records Magazine
-Named one of the “TOP 15 Africa Americans in Radio” every year for more than a decade by Radio Ink Magazine

BOARDS OF DIRECTORS_____________________________________________________
Reach Media Inc., parent company of the legendary Tom Joyner Morning Show---The Illinois Broadcasters Association---Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce---Streetwise Newspaper---Volunteers of America of Illinois---Howard Theater Restoration, Inc---Associated Press Advisory Board---Silver Cross Hospital

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