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Tips for Hiring: Looking for New Salespeople?

By Barbara Wold, Retail & Consumer Tips, 11/14/2006
Be sure to look in the following four places for potential salespeople:
  • 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.
  • Suppliers
    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.
  • Competitors
    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.
Copyright 2006. Reprinted with permission from Barbara Wold's Retail & Consumer Tips, bwold@ix.netcom.com.
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