• Gert Scholts

Find sales resilience in job applicants without sales experience and hire them


This short recruitment idea, suggests how non-experienced candidates can be selected for sales roles. For growth, adding sales capability and experience to a sales team is a key strategy. Sales will grow faster and new standards of performance can be set.

Unfortunately good experienced sales people with a proven track record are hard to recruit. In addition they are can be expensive and demanding too.

It is much better to find a great candidate without the experience or track record but with a history of achievement in other fields.Not only would he/she be likely to be more coachable, they would also be less expensive to hire and you can develop them in line with your vision.

So how do you find these attitudes in the a fresh graduate, school leaver or the girl in ops who has shown some promise?

Below are 5 suggested questions you want answered The answers identify the traits many successful sales people share as well as an insight in the candidate attitudes.

1) Can you give an example where you kept on going, even if it looked success was unlikely?

This question explores sales resilience, the ability to deal with rejection and move on.

2) Can you give me an example where you had to put yourself through tough training or education in order to achieve a goal? What did you have to sacrifice to achieve that goal?

This answer explores sales focus, the ability to focus on an outcome and keep going despite hurdles.

3) What was the toughest role you have had in the past?

This answer will help to compare the person's perception of 'tough' and how much of a shock the sales role would be for them. If the perception and reality are widely different, the sales role is not for them.

4) What motivates you to achieve other than income and bonuses?

Money is a motivator for many sales people, yet additional motivations like public recognition or providing for one's family, are powerful too.

5) Can you give me an example where you took advice from someone and made a change that help you ?

This question explores how open the person is to training and coaching. I work with sales people every day and some are like sponges whilst others hear, yet do not listen, let alone act to become better.

When I use these questions, I ask for real experiences rather than theoretical scenarios. The idea is to understand how the candidate responded to a real life situation.

There are plenty of other questions to ask of course and the litmus test " would I buy from him/her?" applies just as much.

I help companies growing the sales teams capability including recruitment and selection. To find out more about how I might be able to support your growth, feel free to get in touch.

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