Category Archives: Sales

What strengths are useful for a salesperson?

Q: What strengths are useful for a salesperson? What would you say are the strengths I’d want to see in their StrengthsFinder top 5 if recruiting for sales? A: It depends on what kind of sales person you want. What kind of salesperson do you need – is it WOO or is it RELATOR? These two strengths are two sides of the sales coin. Is it more important for this person to be able to win over new people, especially suspicious people? For example, telemarketing, cold calling requires people to love winning strangers over. That’s the WOO StrengthsFinder theme. And it helps to have POSITIVITY (upbeat enthusiasm) when dealing with meanness, rudeness and rejection. Or is it more important for that person to cultivate deep and long-lasting relationships with key clients? That’s where RELATOR comes into play. This person is adept at cultivating deep and close relationships. WOO is breadth, RELATOR is depth. That’s just two strengths. A case could be made for every one of the 34 StrengthsFinder strengths being perfect for some aspect of sales. It’s up to you to figure out what would be perfect for the type of sales role you’re looking to fill. 34 are a lot to sift through though. There are two different categories of strengths that particularly relate to selling. What strengths category is most important to focus on for the role you’re trying to fill?

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Five strengths-related strategies to use in hiring instead of the StrengthsFinder assessment

  Q: If I were recruiting for sales, could I use StrengthsFinder as a source to be sure a possible candidate would be a good fit? A: The short answer: No. I don’t recommend using the StrengthsFinder assessment formally for hiring. But I do recommend using the StrengthsFinder strengths as part of the hiring process. What to do instead of asking candidates to complete the StrengthsFinder assessment: 1. Hire the person first Would you rather hire a bad candidate that has the WOO StrengthsFinder theme (if that’s what you want on your team) or a great candidate that doesn’t? If you weed out everyone who doesn’t have the strength you’re looking for you may miss out on the ideal candidate. 2. Find out if the person actually uses the strength A StrengthsFinder strength only works if it’s put into action effectively. You have no idea if a person is using that strength, and how they’re using that strength, until the interview process. 3. Don’t trust the planned, trust the spontaneous The strengths part of recruiting and hiring is best done in an interview. That’s when you can see how they spontaneously answer questions. Imagine taking an assessment trying to second-guess what you imagine a potential employer is looking for and tweaking your answers so you get the results you hope. That’s not good data. But ask someone about an example of when they successfully sold and you’ll find out where their strengths are. Or ask open-ended questions and see what direction they head. 4. Don’t be tempted to hire someone like you Don’t do it, unless you make that choice consciously. Usually a team has a culture, a company has a culture and that’s often reflected in the person in charge. Hire someone similar to the person in charge and everyone will get along easily – they’ll think, “this person is like me” – but there’ll be blind spots. Blind spots aren’t helpful. 5. Don’t be tempted to hire for blind spots on the team Wait, didn’t I just say that’s good? It can be, but not if those strengths are simply not needed in that role. And not if it’s the reason you pass up a great candidate that has similar strengths as you in favor of a mediocre or bad candidate that doesn’t.

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