Imagine your sales candidate walks in your office – steps right up to your desk – looks you square in the eyes – and gives you a firm handshake.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
But in reality, you might have just taken the first step down a very slippery slope.
Is this a great salesperson with fantastic rapport skills or have you just been witness to an academy award worthy acting job? You certainly don’t have enough information yet to know one way or the other.
Hiring a great sales person can be the difference between success and failure in your business. You can’t afford to make a mistake. And, you can’t afford to make a snap decision.
But, study after study shows that most people have made the hiring decision in 30 seconds or less. That positive, enthusiastic first impression will mask all kinds of deficiencies in a candidate.
Of course first impressions are important. But, it is only one small data point. To make great hiring decisions you need to gather volumes of data. Very simply, the more data you have the better you’re hiring decisions.
The enthusiasm a candidate brings to an interview can be real or manufactured. It is your job to distinguish between the two. Every sales candidate is coached to be enthusiastic in the interview. Every book on how to get a job preaches being enthusiastic.
And it is great advice!
To get past the acting and coaching, you need to get as much information as possible. The most effective thing you can do is ask lots of questions. To determine true rapport skills, get an example of how the person established a relationship with a prospect in the past.
Ask for specific details of the conversations. Make sure you know exactly what the person did to establish the connection.
And after you have one good example, get another. With two or three examples, you can feel confident in your determination of how the person goes about developing rapport. Your conclusion will be based on hard data versus a simple quick impression.
Use this same approach to explore all the requirements for your job.
Enthusiasm is important for good sales people. Your job is to make sure the candidate utilizes their enthusiasm to advance sales campaigns on not just to impress people in interviews.
The next time a candidate walks into your office with the air of confidence, get the information to make certain you are hiring a great sales person … and not Eddie Haskell!