Video Mystery Shopping Tip: How to Interview (and HIRE) New Home Sales People

As a sales manager, one of the most important responsibilities you have is building a strong and solid sales team.  And as we all know  this can be much more difficult than it sounds! Have you ever hired what you thought would be a top-notch sales person only to find out 3 months later it was just not going to work out? It can be a painful and costly process when you hire the wrong sales person!

Did you know that it costs the average employer 1 to 5 times the annual salary (depending on the position) of the departing employee? Do the math! Making a hiring mistake can get quite costly! So, you want to make sure you get it right the first time! I’ve developed a B R I G H T process for interviewing (and hiring) the right new home sales people:

  1. B –Build your Bench: Well, for starters you want to make sure you are interviewing and recruiting the best in the business! And, this is something you do each and every day, not just when you have a position to fill. Start building your ‘bench’ for the future! Make sure you have identified the TOP TEN new home sales ‘movers and the shakers’ in your area, and make a point to reach out to them and get to know them, even if it is meeting for a quick cup of coffee at Starbucks. Make sure you know them, and they know YOU. This way, when you do have to actually hire a new sales person, you have a prequalified list of pros to start interviewing.
  2. R- Research: Before you actually interview your potential new home sales consultant, do a little research on that person. Facebook and Linked In have made this process a whole lot easier! Find out who they are, what they do, and who they do it with! As the old Jimmy Buffett song goes, ‘there’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.’  You might be surprised to find that ‘Mr. Clean-cut All American Salesperson ‘ isn’t quite what he seems to be after checking out his Facebook profile. On the flip side, make sure your Facebook and Linked In profiles portray you as the professional that you are. Save the pictures of doing tequila shots for your private e-mails. Also, Google yourself (and your potential hire). Technology can be very helpful in pre-qualifying your candidates!
  3. I- Input: The next step is the actual interview, and I know you all know the standard interview questions so I won’t bore you with that. But, what I would suggest you do is get input from other people on your team. Watch how your candidate interacts with people of all levels, from the receptionist to the purchasing manager and the division president. You are building a team, so doesn’t it make sense to get some input from the team?
  4. G- Goals: Successful sales people are motivated by success, both personal and professional. To get a better idea of how motivated your candidate is, ask them to share their goals with you, and what action steps they will take to meet those goals.
  5.  H – Hear (don’t just listen): There is a big difference between listening to someone and really HEARING what they are saying. Each time you ask a question during the interview, really hear what the applicant is saying to you. Don’t have any pre-set expectations of what you want them to say. You might be pleasantly surprised!
  6. T – Trust your Gut: Only you know if your candidate will be a good fit with the rest of your team.  Listen to your inner voice. It rarely steers you in the wrong direction!
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