As a manager you get your results through others and a key executive talent is the ability to recruit, hire and build a sales team of competent people. In our new economy most of our work is performed by teams – groups of people charged with working together toward predetermined goals. Therefore the ability to select the right team members is critical to the success of the home building enterprise and to the success of the manager.
Because human beings are so complex, even the best strategy will not give you a 100 percent success rate. One-third of all people you hire may not work out in the long run, according to the best statistics available on this subject. However, you can greatly increase the odds in your favor if you will first commit to testing and profiling all perspective candidates, and then by eliciting the following mindset and strategy:
Adapt a Ph.D. Attitude
Are you thinking I’m referring to an academic Ph.D.; most do not initially understand that I’m suggesting they seek people who are poor, hungry and driven. I am not talking about those who are literally poor and physically hungry. I’m talking about individuals who are lacking knowledge, but are constantly seeking to learn and gain wisdom. I’m referring to people who are hungry for success – who have that burning desire to accomplish and aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Ordinary levels of achievement just aren’t acceptable. These are people who are driven to set goals and to pursue them with bulldog tenacity.
Poor, Hungry and Driven people (Ph.D.) have an old-fashion work ethic. They expect to work hard…pay the price…and exert the extra effort. They go to bed grateful for the opportunities they have in life. Are you one of them?
Questions Skillfully & Listen Attentively
What questions do you ask prospective sales people in an interview and what answers do you like to hear?
There are two basic questions I ask:
Question 1: Would you describe the new home sales process, as you know it? I expect for them to say, “Well, I have to meet, greet and qualify, then present and demonstrate, select one property, overcome objections, close or outline follow-up measures, then follow through to take care of the details until delivery, and finally obtain referrals.” If they cannot explain the sales process, they wont be able to duplicate a sale consistently.
Question 2: How much time do you spend on personal development and what books and tapes are in your personal development library? If an experienced salesperson doesn’t have a personal development library, I encourage him or her to start one.
I also conclude interviews by asking sales people how they respond when a customer says, Well, I really need to think about it. If the person doesn’t know how to respond to that – knowing it’s the most common objection they will hear as a sales person – then I know I have a lot of training to do. I also conduct a two- or three-step interview to see if candidates will follow up with me. If they don’t follow up with me, they will not follow up with customers.
Keep in mind, when you are conducting an interview, that you are probably seeing that person at his or her best. They’re going to look their best, behave their best, and speak their best. If they are late for an interview, they will be late habitually. So look at their appearance and their entire demeanor, remembering that this is probably the best you will see.