October 29, 2020

What is one of the most important Behavior Traits to look for when Hiring a Salesperson or Manager?

Hiring a salesperson or a manager that meets or exceeds your expectations is one of the more challenging and important hires that many of you face.  Employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.  And companies do not prosper when sales are lacking.  Anything that will increase your odds of making a more informed decision for these positions and any other position is worth consideration.  If Vegas had odds on this trait against success or failure, I could have retired years ago to my own island that doesn’t have Covid19.

For either of these positions, a good resume and years of experience are not going to guarantee a successful hire. There are thousands of candidates per day with both of these qualities that are bottom performers applying for these positions and at your company too.  I am confident that many of you have scratched your head wondering why someone that looked so good on paper and did so well in the interview(s) flopped after you hired them.

In our findings over the years, the assertiveness score on our Employee Assessments is one of the most important predictors for these positions, If not the most important piece of the puzzle for a successful hire.    We have not conducted a study on top performers yet for either position that showed successful performers as a group possessing an assertive score below the 50th percentile.  Typically, 95 to 100% of the top performers in these studies for clients are above the 50th percentile on this one scale.

A common mistake that is made for both of these positions occurs during the interview on this trait alone.  As an example, when a nice hiring manager conducting the interview has a score below the 50th percentile on assertiveness and they are interviewing a candidate around the 75th percentile this can be a turn off to them.  For some hiring managers they gravitate towards hiring people like themselves, which in this case is not going to bode well over time.  For unknown reasons to the hiring manager, they just do not like this candidate.  If they knew what we know at Plotkin Group, they are staring at a potential top performing hire for several reasons, but they decide not to hire this candidate because they thought the candidate was too abrasive, too assertive, not nice or too direct.  They will tell you that the candidate interviewed poorly.  Why did they interview poorly?  If a candidate is above the 85th percentile, they most likely will interview too assertive or too abrasive and there is a good chance depending upon what is needed for the job that they are not the best candidate to hire because of this.  You are usually not looking for super high scores either.

With most sales positions you want someone that can ask the direct questions and probe, not be afraid that they are bothering a prospect while doing their job appropriately or follow up until they get a yes or no. With managers they deal with conflict from employees, co-workers and others regularly. If someone’s assertive score is too low, they do not like conflict, they will avoid it, and this will end up causing performance issues. If a low assertive manager is managing a low assertive staff, this may work out fine , but these scenarios are the exception not the norm. Low assertive scoring sales people think they are bothering prospects or customers and need to modify their natural behavioral tendencies to do well in their job or change careers.

At this writing many of you have a salesperson or manager that would score too low on assertiveness and this is causing job performance challenges. Instead of trying to put a round peg into a square hole while spending tens of thousands of dollars that will be down the drain, assess them and make the appropriate decision.

Assessments raise caution flags, provide confirmations and additional insight, provide focused interview questions and provide management suggestions.  Assessments will greatly increase your odds of hiring a candidate that has the ‘aptitude’ to be successful.  If you want to learn about our other secrets that we have uncovered for these positions, please contact us today at info@plotkingroup.com.