Avoid Hiring the Wandering Sales Candidate

Hiring salespeople is difficult. In this series, I identify a group of sales candidates who, when hired, fail to meet expectations. But they all have one thing on common: they interview well.

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

The Wandering Sales Candidate

The wandering sales candidate has many of the characteristics of a top sales performer except one (and it’s hidden). They lack the drive to put their talent to work and achieve their sales goals. As a result, they merely wander aimlessly through life (and work) with very little passion or goal achievement.

What you see

In many cases, this sales candidate is an extrovert. They may possess a strong sense of urgency and are assertive, like a Type-A Personality. They interview well, and embody the traits you’re looking for in a Hunter salesperson. In addition, they also have a work history of sales success. In other words, they seem like the perfect candidate.

What you assume

Because they demonstrate such strong characteristics, you assume they will be a top performer at your organization. You assume they will be good at prospecting, a tough negotiator, an excellent closer, and a consistent quota achiever. Why wouldn’t you assume that? All indicators point to this person being a sales superstar.

What you don’t see

This is a very difficult trait to identify. I describe it this way: they lack initiative and personal drive because they are apathetic about their future. This occurs when their desire for attaining long-term goals devolves to the point of hopelessness. This can be brought on by relationship issues or significant changes in financial situation. Perhaps they lack purpose in their life. Maybe they have an inability to cope. This is not depression, but a lack of focused energy towards a future goal. This could include career advancement, buying a vacation home, building a retirement fund, or putting kids through college. Only until this person decides to reengage in life will their personal drive reemerge.

What you actually get

Sadly, this sales candidate is unmotivated. You’ll see a low prospecting effort. This results in a substandard pipeline and low sales. You hire what you think will be a great salesperson. Instead, you become confused by their lack of motivation. You get frustrated by their lack of results.

Never assume that good interviews and extroverted personality traits translates into successful salespeople. Use an in-depth sales assessment tool to help you uncover these hidden attributes that contributes to a sales rep’s success or failure. Dan Cable provides more info about why people lose motivation.