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Your Sales Interview and What to Look Out For

Posted by Nicky Coffin

Here is the final part of our three part series on taking more off your plate by bringing those sales superstars. 

The interview. 

There are some key traits to look out for which we are going to share however first there are two essential parts to add to the interview. 

  • Personality profiling 
  • Practical test (especially for trainees) 

 

Personality Profiling 

 

 

These are fantastic tools, and they help you pick out some of the critical habits that your B.D. star will have. 

When used with the right outcome in mind, e.g. to understand candidates’ preferences in both a working and communication style. 

There is no point having a shy retiring type in a role where they need to be dominant.  

 

Practical Test 

When it comes to trainees, a practical test will give you an indication of their drive and ability to think on their feet. Set them a few tasks, give them a phone and watch what happens. 

You are looking for their approach, how coachable they are doing they follow the process, did they use common sense. 

 

Demonstrates an Understanding of The Business of Selling

They understand the economics of the business and the role sales plays in the recruitment process and the profit path of your business.  

The right jobs on the board that get filled consistently are your aim. High billing recruiters are driven by outcomes. They are not interested in talking to anyone and everyone. They are focused and want to have conversations with target prospects.

 

A few questions to ask that will uncover their process:

‘Describe the process you use to determine how you qualify a potential new client?’
‘Once you have determined they are qualified; what are the stages you follow from the initial call to conversion?’ 

 

Moreover, what to look out for:

 

 

Good business acumen will be evident as the candidate describes who they sell to, and why. Plus, what made them decide not to sell.  

They will discuss the business size, the scale of the opportunity, whether they can cross sell your recruiting service into other parts of the business. 

 

Are Goal Orientated and Success Seeking Individuals  

When it comes to recruiting great people, attitude is everything. We all know that you can train people to do what their need to do. You cannot, however, make them do it. Great B.D. people have natural behavioural patterns that drive then.

They are achievers; setting goals and doing what it takes to achieve them is part of their DNA. When one goal is achieved, it is on to the next.  

Maxwell Maltz the author of Psycho-Cybernetics describes humans as “Success seeking beings,” a sales ninja is undoubtedly that.

You can uncover these traits by asking questions about what candidates hobbies and social activities are. Here you are looking for examples of competing in sports or playing a musical instrument in a band or orchestra. Having interviewed thousands of business development people over the years both Katy and I have noticed they are doggedly persistent. They have an outcome they want to achieve and will keep exploring the options until they get the right solution for a client and their company; provided the business case is valid.   

They Are Not Afraid to Challenge

We have all heard the phrase “people like to buy from people they like.”  We have also been led to believe that the best salespeople are those who are good at building relationships. However, research has recently shown that the best salespeople in today’s economy are those who can challenge.

Here you are looking for the candidate to talk about situations where they have challenged the status quo. This could be with a candidate or a client or even their last employer. You find people who challenge don’t do it in just one part of their life.

 

They Hold the Belief That Every Day Is A School Day

 

 

A manager once pointed out to me as an aspiring recruiter that; if we are not growing by definition, we are shrinking. Think about it?  

If one candidate is not the person learning the new selling strategies, someone else is. If a salespersons mission is to be ahead of the pack, they buy download books on their Kindle; they subscribe to podcasts they listen to on their early morning workouts and watch the replays of webinars anything to give them the edge. 

 

They Do The Work

There is an excellent book by Steven Pressfield it’s called; ‘Do the work.’, in it, he talks about sitting down and getting the job done. These sales men and women will hold this as their mantra.
There is no doubt in my mind that being wildly successful usually comes after doing some work.
 

I think you will have already noticed that the kind of B.D. people we are talking about you identifying have a serious work ethic. 

They work hard on the right activities and consequently get the result.
Warm regards 

Nicky and Katy 

P.S. Want help? Katy and I have a combined 35 years’ experience of building 7 and 8 figure recruitment businesses. Would you like to increase your revenues by 50-250% in the next year? Then get in contact here.