Avoid 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 Wanderer
This 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 possess a strong sense of urgency and are assertive, like a Type-A Personality. They interview well, embody the traits you’re looking for in a Hunter salesperson and may have a work history of sales success.

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

What you don’t see
This is a very difficult trait to identify. We use our on-line sales assessment tool to find it. 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, significant changes in financial situation or a foundational inability to cope with life. This is not depression, but a lack of focused energy towards a future goal (buying a vacation home, building a retirement fund, putting kids through college, etc.) Only until this person decides to reengage in life will they begin to develop a personal drive to achieve once again.

What you actually get
Sadly, this sales candidate is unmotivated, demonstrates a low prospecting effort, and develops a substandard pipeline resulting in low sales. You hire what you think will be a great salesperson. Instead, you become confused by their unmotivated attitude and frustrated by their lack of results.

Never assume that good interviews and extroverted personality traits translates into hiring salespeople who will achieve their sales goals consistently. Using an in-depth sales assessment tool helps you uncover these hidden attributes that contributes to a sales rep’s success or failure – especially when they appear to be an ideal candidate.