The sales of a business rises or fall with the quality of its Sales force leadership. Depending on the size and structure of the organization, we could have the customer Development Director, Head of Sales, National Sales Manager or even Brand or Marketing Manager holding overall responsibility for this key function. A good salesman makes good sales most times so also a good sales leadership keeps an organization’s figured up most times. It is Sales that pays the salaries and other expenses that keep the business afloat. Perhaps this explains Authur H. Motley observation that “nothing happens until somebody sells something.

So in hiring a salesperson, care must be taken to hire a moving train rather than a sitting spaceship. Hiring the wrong sales executive can upwardly turbo-charge your selling cost, create new challenges in the mode of high-octane supervision and ultimately disrupt the altitude of your sales team with its negative-cum-excuse bent attitude. And heaven help you if he turns out to have integrity issues.

The high increase in marketing and sales jobs plus the constant money-exchange means a lot of donkeys are being attracted instead of smart productive monkeys. Also, producing a good product is not a guarantee that the cash will flow in, a great deal of planning and resources will have to go into sales and promotion. After all, “any company is nothing but a marketing organization,” said the President of Buroughs Corporation.

So what king of sales man should you avoid in your quest to get the cash in?…

  1. Avoid THE MAN WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE SELF in him:– A man who cannot ‘sell’ himself shows he does not know his most familiar product. This is usually evident from a candidate’s Curriculum Vitae. Should they scale through the Resume gateman, they are usually unable to highlight their achievements, tell you about their key skills, or simply create any excitement around themselves. A man who cannot sell the product he has known since birth – himself – cannot sell your product.
  2. The man who cannot intelligently interpret your interview questions: Selling is the skill of identifying and matching the needs of the customer (interviewer) to the benefits of the product or services of the seller (interviewee) in a way that create beneficial business relationship through profitable transaction between buyer (Recruiter) and seller (applicant). It is the same skills that go into listening, interpreting and adapting once product to the needs of the prospect those go into answering interview question. The interviewer questions you based on the qualities they believe are needed to fill the Sales position. So it you have to keep re-phrasing your questions or getting an irrelevant answer, then you know the man sitting before you is a potential excuse-digger.
  3. The man who cannot confidently reference you to his boss and or other superiors: No matter how good a salesman claims to be, if you cannot get two to three superiors or colleague to verify that he is a stand-up man, you probably have another average in your hand. Star salesman, no matter how relationally rough, are easily tolerated by colleagues and bosses they may not be in the good book of all but they will surely be in the good book of most – and most times someone will want them to stay despite their extra laugages.
  4. Avoid the Red-Sea kind of a salesman: He may be a sales bulldozer but if he lacks integrity then he is a grave risk. Think about the man who will make you some million bucks in terms of sales while the real profit from the deals ends in his pocket. They want to grow in their career but don’t want your business to grow. They milk you by stealing from you as they always leave traces of unfaithfulness to that mammon in their career. Always verify that they have cleared all previous financial obligations in their last company. Ask casual questions or write them his organizations. The time invested in this finding pays great dividend.
  5. Avoid the blabbing Salesman: – if he cannot, without thinking, dish out his last sales figures, demonstrate how he plans his sales activities, show up for the interview on time, contribute meaningfully in constructive thinking and show how he has led or have been part of a team, then he cannot grow you beyond the present. Unless, there are no room for promotions don’t hire him. If you must, be certain he is not expecting you to promote him beyond the current positing. Such a salesman will usually be satisfied with insignificant increase in salary which betrays lack of motivation.
  6. Be careful of the Millennial Salesman who has never spent full two years in a single organization. He is driven by the next new job and always applying for employment as if it is a hubby. Most times, his Resume betrays the information or you may have to ask for experience in other sectors or product categories to see if he can be caught unaware. Do background check and watch if he is digging for answers. You surely do not want to go through the selection and recruitment rigor for the same position quite soon. Answers to why he left each company really give huge insight. This is not just a regular interview question, it is meant to tell you about their drive and staying power.


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