- Customers -- both current and past
Look for sales qualities in the people you sell to. Positive: They know what your customers want and need, and they are familiar with your products and the competitors' products. Negative: They may refer some of your customers to the competition for certain merchandise.
Look hard at your vendors. Positive: They know the industry and they are familiar with your company. Negatives: They know their products, but they may not know yours. They'll need some training.
- Current employees
When looking within your own organization, don't limit your search to "professional" people. Look in the warehouse, too. Positive: They know your company. They have a better sense of what can and can't be done, in terms of fulfilling a customer's needs. Negative: People often take "lower level" jobs so they won't have to sell. Selling requires a different mindset, and they might not be able to develop it.
Go after people who consistently beat your people in sales. Positive: They know the industry, they know your company and are familiar with your competitors. Negative: It may be hard for your staff to accept "the enemy" as a colleague.