Be an Adult and Hire One

The interview ended and everyone rose to their feet to shake the candidate’s hand and thank them for coming in. As soon as they had left the room, the manager turned to their colleagues and said, “Did you like her?” I am sure this process repeats itself many times over, in thousands of offices all over the country after an interview. We tend to hire people we like, and if this candidate was liked chances are, they moved onto the next round or even got the job. Likeability in sales is key but is it everything?

Studies have shown that people talk to people they like. For a salesperson this is a great trait. It will get you in the door as conversation is the first step towards a sale. Without it you have nothing. There are though other very important traits a salesperson must have to succeed. Trust is at the very top of that list. People buy from Salespeople they trust. Without trust the great conversations can go nowhere and for salespeople that can be an exercise in futility. So as a salesperson how do you earn trust in the process? Trust will be earned along the way by your actions. This might be as simple as returning a phone call when you said you would or following up on an important piece of information without having to be asked a second time. It can be earned via your presentation and with your product knowledge, if what you say corroborates with information the prospect already knows. Being confident but also knowledgeable goes a long way. After all, how must trust do you think you will earn if you cannot answer questions about your own product?

Additionally, the trust of a salesperson goes deeper than the relationship with the prospect/client, it is paramount between the salesperson and the sales leader and their organization. If this is missing the bond required for success is strained and weakened and will generally lead to friction within a team. It is true I believe that with employee’s, trust needs to be developed over time but there is always a starting point and leaders must extend the benefit of the doubt to salespeople particularly if they hired them. Innocent until proven guilty should still rule the roost, as hard as that might be sometimes with leaders often managing up rather than down.