Video Mystery Shopping Tip: Interviewing for sales associates? Look at it from a new perspective!

New home sales are picking up. I know this because I have seen a huge increase in the number of video mystery shops ordered by new home builders. Dare I say the market has turned around? The word I keep hearing from my friends in the industry is a resounding YES!

Sales are picking up, new home communities are opening, and sales managers are hiring new sales associates. This is GREAT news! For those of us who have weathered this insane storm for the past 6 years or so, let’s all do the happy dance! Yahoo!

Sales managers that I have spoken with lately have said they are excited about the opportunity to build their sales teams up again, and are aggressively recruiting new members. Many have asked me if I had any suggestions or words of advice when it comes to interviewing and hiring new sales people.  So, I have decided to dedicate a couple of blogs on various tips that I believe will enable you to hire the best sales people out there!

First and foremost, I encourage you to look at interviewing from a new perspective. Don’t get stuck in the same old interview process that has been around since the beginning of time. The opportunity to interview potential sales associates is your chance to really determine if they will be a good fit with your organization and an asset to your team.

So, here’s the first ‘new perspective’ idea:  Instead of conducting the interview at your corporate office, ask the sales candidate to meet you at the office and then go for coffee or breakfast together. But here’s the catch….have the potential new hire drive you both to the restaurant! You would be amazed what you can learn about someone by the type of car they drive, how clean and maintained they keep their vehicle, and how their actual driving skills rate.

Remember, in many cases, your sales people will be driving new home prospects to model homes and home sites, so it is important to catch a glimpse of how this experience will be for your potential home owners.

When you arrive at the restaurant be sure to observe how the candidate treats the waiter or waitress. Are they polite? Do they make eye contact? This gives you the chance to see how your potential new hire interacts with strangers. Finally, pay attention to what they order and their eating style. I am certainly not a prude in any way, but good manners never go out of style. I once had a client who utilized this interview method and he told me that he RARELY hired anyone that salted their food before tasting it. Why? His thought process was – how do they know it needs salt to season the flavor if they had not yet taken a bite of food? Hummm, makes sense to me!

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