When sales recruiters are looking for potential new hires, they aren’t just looking at the person — they’re looking at what the person can do in the future. Sales recruiting firms look at thousands of people each year, and as such need to employ certain types of sales prospecting techniques. Some sales prospecting techniques may be immediately clear to the people looking to get recruited — there are the classic techniques such are role-playing sales scenarios, as well as traditional interviews or even group interviews. Other sales prospecting techniques are not obvious, and can be difficult to recognize. This is because, as the world of sales is so personal, and so dependent on people’s personalities, many recruiters find themselves relying on instinct. A person can make a huge impression, and a good one at that — but this doesn’t mean that they are meant for the sales world. Other times, a person can be extremely qualified for sales, but get passed over because they were quiet and non-confrontational. There are no particular sales prospecting techniques that you can become attuned to before going in for a job interview; there are no particular “hacks” that those looking for sales jobs can memorize. But there are things that sales job recruiters are looking for — particular qualities that make salespeople successful, and set the true prospects apart from the rest. Let’s look into what sales recruiters are looking for in prospective hires.
1. Social Skills
At first glance, social skills may seem like a requirement for almost any job — but this is not actually the case. A surprising number of desk jobs really don’t require a lot of social interaction. But even if the sales job you are interviewing for would require a lot of desk time — say, you’re largely selling products over the phone or even by email — you have to have a high level of social skills. You need to be able to not only interact with people, but do so in a personable way and understand and take advantage of social cues. It’s said that at its core, selling is a social business — and this is very true. While you need to be tenacious, you also have to balance this with sensitivity and understanding — otherwise, you’ll just come off as obnoxious. If you’re on a sales call, a warm smile and a handshake can do more than all of the facts and statistics you’re ready to present. You can have all the experience and degrees in the world; but if you lack social skills, you probably won’t succeed in sales.
Sales can be a harsh business in many ways. For one thing, many salespeople operate on commission. While this can be highly motivating for some people, for others this means less pay when you aren’t doing well, and therefore possibly some depression. Less pay, after all, is a painful reminder that you aren’t doing what you should be doing. A persistent person, however, will take this as a challenge to improve — and they will improve. As sales means interacting with people on a daily basis, this also means that invariably you will meet people who will rebuff your offers and at some times even be aggressive. While there are times when a no is truly final in sales, other times salespeople are able to recognize that there are still openings for opportunities — you can persistently going after them in cases like these.
Yes, you are selling a product. But in a way, you are also selling yourself as a salesperson — you don’t just want to sell products once. You want to be a client’s connection for all future re-orders and other such sales. As such, you need to be confident. Being confident in yourself means that other people will be more confident in you and your abilities. Being confident can make up for inexperience, or a lack of qualifications. Believe in yourself, and others will too.