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The Most Effective Questions to Ask When Hiring Sales Reps

The Most Effective Questions to Ask When Hiring Sales Reps

Sales jobs are demanding and require a certain personality type. Hiring sales reps is also challenging, as you have to ask the right questions and do some careful analysis in order to determine whether the candidate will thrive within your organization. Instead of throwing out the typical “where do you see yourself in five years?” questions and hoping that the candidate gives you something interesting to work with, try mixing it up with these revealing and thought-provoking inquiries:

How do you monitor your target market?

The right candidate will be up-to-date on industry trends. They’ll read trade publications, blogs, and attend networking events. Strong sellers are always thinking about potential clients and connections they can make, so this question should prompt them to provide a detailed response.

Which would you prefer: making quota every month or making sure your customers are happy?

Technically there’s not really a “right” answer for this one, but you want to make sure that you’re not hiring a seller who will do anything to hit their numbers, even if they leave a trail of displeased clients in their wake. When the right candidate answers this question, they’ll explain how they make their quota, while still ensuring that they’re doing what’s best for their customer too.

How do you know when it’s time to stop pursuing a client?

You want your sellers to be persistent, but they also need to be able to recognize when they’re wasting their time. The candidate’s response should indicate that they have some grit, but that they’re not going to spend all day chasing after customers who simply won’t spend money with them just because they can’t take “no” for an answer.

What motivates you?

The right seller is motivated by money, of course, but they should also be motivated by the idea of helping their clients and by contributing to their team. If it’s only about money, eventually they’ll burn themselves out and run out of steam.

How do you shake off rejection?

Ultimately, rejection is a part of a sales job, even for highly talented and experienced sellers. You want to know how a potential seller will brush off bad days and continue to move forward without getting discouraged.

How did you get yourself out of a losing streak?

This is another inevitable part of sales. Hearing how a candidate gets through bad times and slow months provides you with an important look at their process.

What are the questions you make sure to ask all potential salespeople? Share them with us in the comments!

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Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.