Simon Harris

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Simon Harris

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:05

What are the qualities I need to look for in a rookie salesperson?

When recruiting any sales person, new or experienced, I always ask the question, "So tell me, if I were to walk into your home office, what books would I see on your shelves?”


I usually get a blank response and then If they are quick on their feet they will respond with a few book names.


Others will rattle off a substantial list and claim to have read the lot. Having books on shelves versus reading them is known as “shelf esteem”!


To me this is one of the biggest indicators of future success as a sales person – their willingness to grow and learn their chosen profession.


I am looking for a "self motivated" individual who is willing to take responsibility for growing themselves and someone who is open to learning rather than being closed.


Other qualities in a rookie would include, a willingness to follow the sales systems in place already such as scripts and reports, I want someone well presented, organised, on time and someone willing to go the extra mile.


These are values that they should have gained in life already from their family and their schooling, they should be in their DNA. It is an uphill battle to drill them into someone this far into their life's journey.


Turning the mirror around and looking at whether your organisation is ready for a top notch rookie to fit in would have me looking at the culture of the business, how well this was defined and whether your company viewed regular sales training as a fundamental part of your employees success.


Either way it takes two willing parties to create a winning sales team.


Good luck on your search.

Simon is the managing director of the Business Coaching Centre, which represents coaching program ActionCOACH, based in Sydney.


He has 27 years of sales and marketing experience in four different countries and was named the Global Coach of the Year in 2003.

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