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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Why Can’t Sales Candidates All Wear Talent Labels So I Know Exactly What I’m Getting?


I passed by a drink display at the grocery store the other day and one of the Coke cans caught my eye. In big bold letters it screamed out to shoppers the word, “Superstar.” You have probably seen the Coca-Cola can labels with the descriptions on them. The “Superstar” can was sitting between a can that said, “Friend” and one that said, “Dreamer.”

At first glance, all the cans looked exactly alike, but when you looked closer, they all had a different label.

It made me think about helping managers identify sales talent. Resumes today are often built using templates or professional assistance and they can make anyone look like a superstar. And, when you meet candidates in person, they look pretty similar on the outside, but when you look closer and ask the right questions, you can get a glimpse of how the person is wired, and whether or not he or she has a natural ability for sales. 

The truth is, it can be difficult to identify innate sales talent in job candidates. It would make spotting sales talent a lot easier if everyone would just wear a label like the Coke cans.  

How do you know when you are talking to a sales superstar?

A candidate may send you a perfect looking resume, show up looking polished and professional, and do really well during interviews, but does he or she have the talent to be a consistent top performer? 

It is extremely important to screen for talent during recruitment and selection. Using a screener interview before your traditional interviews allows you to uncover evidence of talent, and weed out people who do not have the talent for the job. It’s crucial to learn about their talents before you hire them because you can teach them skills and give them experience, but you cannot give them talent. Top performers have consistent talent in a number of areas, and to be a superstar, it’s not enough to just have one.

You may interview a “dreamer” who reaches for the stars, is highly ambitious, and tells you, “I want to be the best!” But that’s not enough if they’re not curious, able to uncover client needs, and provide great marketing solutions. 

You might interview a “friend” who has great relationships, who everyone likes, and tells you, “I love interacting with people.” No doubt, these job candidates are extremely likeable, but that’s not enough if they don’t have the work intensity to put in the energy and effort to reach their goals, or if they won’t take risks and feel uncomfortable asking their friends for money.

Superstars are dreamers, friends, and more, all in one.

When you find the candidate who has the natural talent to be a sales “superstar” you get someone who has all of these innate abilities. These people are dreamers, friends, workers, planners, problem solvers, and closers all rolled into one. It is difficult to find, but screening for talent and using a scientific instrument like the Sales Talent Interview before you hire will help you to identify the sales people with the most potential.  

There are a lot of employers out there scouring the shelves of candidates for the superstars. They may be easily fooled, but you won’t be when you consistently use a strong screener instrument to help you uncover evidence of the talents you need for success. With concentrated effort and due diligence, you can bring only Superstars back to your team.

Download  30 Ways to Turn Talent into Performance  



Topics: Sales