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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Find Those Underlying Talents


When you are looking for your next superstar salesperson, you know what talents to look for, right? They need to be comfortable talking to strangers, be persuasive and able to close, be able to multitask and keep track of a lot of moving parts and be competitive, wanting to always sell more. We know those talents. But how can you find your candidates' hidden, underlying talents?

Once your initial screening assessment is done, you are ready for your face-to-face interview with your candidate. What should you be looking for? First things first, observe their stance and body language when they are talking to you, as well as others in your office. Initial face-to-face interviews are stressful, so how does the candidate come across? Anxious? Stressed? Calm and friendly? Completely in control? There isn’t an assessment that measures “cool under pressure” but that first interview is a pretty good test. What about thinking on their feet? Throw in some difficult questions to see if they can think quickly and then calmly respond, or if they get flustered.

When you meet with your candidate, ask them not just about their professional life, but a little about their personal life. What are their interests or hobbies outside of work? Do they like to write? You may have a future company blogger or newsletter writer. Photography? They might be interested in taking pictures for clients or campaigns. Do they love to read and do research? They might enjoy finding a subject and becoming the expert on it. Once they have started with the company, conduct an Individualized Management Questionnaire to dig a little deeper into those hidden talents. Find out what their passions are, and how those can be incorporated in their daily job.

A fun activity is to have each of your salespeople “interviewed” in a "Focus on…" series for your staff meetings or newsletters. This is a fun way to find out interesting things about people on your staff, but also to uncover some hidden talents. You may not have known for instance that someone on yours staff collects and works on classic cars. Are they your go-to for calling on auto dealers? And what about the foodies on your team? Are they first on your list when a new restaurant opens? Any hobbies or interests your team has can translate to sales if the right people call on the right accounts.

Find out what your salespeople are passionate about, what really gets them excited and use those interests to help them excel in their sales.

Talent is only a strength when the fit is right.