Run Away from the “Face Palm” Sales Candidate

In this series, I’m identifying a group of sales candidates who, when hired, fail to meet expectations. But they all have one thing in common: they interview well.

You struggle to hire good salespeople but experience frustration when they fail to meet their sales goals. Here is an example of a type of sales candidate you’ll want to avoid…

The Face Palm
The Face Palm salesperson lacks common sense. They don’t have the capacity to make clear perceptions about the way business and life function. In other words, they don’t see the obvious. As a result, you find yourself slapping the palm of your hand against your forehead wondering how someone, who appears to be a normal human being, could do something so stupid.

What you see
You see an ordinary sales candidate. They interview well and have the type of sales experience you’re looking for.

What you assume
Because they interview well and have experience for the role, you assume that they will achieve like your other top performers. However, your assumption is mostly based on the surface level observations of personality style combined with their answers to your interview questions.

What you don’t see
You don’t see their lack of common sense. (Yes, we can measure that.) You don’t see the hidden gaps in their thinking that force you to ask a very frustrating question after you’ve hired them: “What were you thinking!?” If you’ve ever had to haul an employee into your office and ask them this question, you know how painful it can be.

What you get
What you get is a sales rep that cannot think “on their feet”. They struggle performing tasks outside of very defined business processes. They lack certain social skills. Although they appear to be normal, they exhibit odd or inappropriate behaviors that can affect your relationship with customers, your sales team or affect your company reputation.

Some examples are that they:

  • Cannot function without a documented procedure (little to no intuition)
  • Struggle with big picture thinking (can’t develop a long-term plan)
  • Violate simple rules without realizing it (I knew a sales rep who hugged a CEO on a sales call!)
  • Challenged by problem solving
  • Have difficulty managing a project
  • Struggle with time management

You need to objectively determine if your sales candidate has the capacity for rational thinking (common sense). Use an in-depth sales assessment tool to help you uncover this hidden attribute that contributes to a sales rep’s success or failure.

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