How To Hire A Sales Star

Denise Rondini August 15, 2012

Adding a sales assessment tool to your hiring process can improve your success rate.

By Denise L. Rondini, Executive Editor


Finding the right salesperson for your dealership begins with first defining what exactly you are looking for. According to Dave Pearce, president of salestestonline.com, “We have all heard the terms hunter and farmer applied to salespeople. A lot of people think sales is sales is sales, but this is not necessarily true.”

 If, for example you are looking for a hunter-type salesperson — somebody who can close, somebody who can prospect — those individuals generally are quite assertive. “They usually are very outgoing, they usually are rather impatient and they are usually rather independent,” Pearce says.

“This is why they can be pushy albeit in a nice way. It also is why they tend to be quite hard to manage because the traits tend to be like two-edge swords. They do not like the rules, they will break the rules but the very same characteristics can make them deal with the rejection, make them ask for the order, make them comfortable with a lot of failure because every failure brings them closer to a sale.”

If your dealership is looking for more of a farmer type or customer-service type individuals often they are not very assertive people. However they tend to be outgoing, warm and helpful. They often are very detail oriented, and they are often very structured personalities who will follow up well, according to Pearce.

“If you ask them to follow up, you can almost set your clock by them. They will be rule bound, they will largely motivated by fear of failure and this is what tends to make them very good with procedures, rules, guidelines and the details,” he says.

 Pearce suggests dealers make sure which type of salesperson they want before advertising for an opening in the sales department. “Think about yourself as a casting director for a movie,” Pearce says. “Before you can decide who is going to be good for a role, you should know what that role is and that is the same with sales.”

He also suggests dealers set up a consistent hiring process. “Do the same thing for everybody so that you are not flying by the seat of your pants and doing one thing with one individual and one thing with another,” he says.

Reviewing resumes is the next obvious step and then conducting telephone interviews with the most promising candidates.

 “At this stage of the game, I would suggest testing people because of the cost of testing and the fact that it can be done over the Internet.  If you are serious about people after you have talked to them over the phone, you can quite easily evaluate them to see if they are a good fit for you at that point,” Pearce says.

 “Then if you are not interested so be it, but if you are interested than you can bring them in for an interview or you can even give them a series of exercises.”

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