Sell Me This Pen!

Ron Henson
What creative techniques do you use when interviewing for sales consultants?
Megan Barto
Even if they've submitted their resume, we still have them fill out an application -- if they have to *ask for a pen* - they fail. Don't show up to an interview with out a pen........ shows you're not ready to take things seriously & you're unprepared.
Lauren Moses
Megan, Love that method. Thankfully, I had one in my purse. I don't know what our policies are here on interviews since I'm so new. However, I do think that some sort of test is wise. People can spout how long they have been in retail, even if it's not automotive, but that doesn't mean they are good at it. I would like to not see them sell something to the GM or whoever is doing the hiring, but have one designated employee who can be tough but not too overpowering, and have them try to sell something to them. Let them have a pick of say, 3 different things, a pen, a notebook, or a phone per say, and they have to sell it to the one employee as the hiring manager watches. Also, If u caint spell ur name w/out usin all tha rite letters u need not apply. Written skills are just as important as selling skills. Sometimes more. You can sell anything in the world to the hardest customer ever, but you try to write up the deal and can't spell or use proper grammar, Game Over!
Bob O'Brien
I look more at the blocking and tackling of the persons sales cycle management. Probing questions, relevant probing, the concepts of insight selling and trial closing. I try not to window qualify with such pass/fail criteria as I've heard before, like a degree is required, or the pen one above. Nothing to me is absolute. Just because they passed a course doesn't mean they can sell. Everyone also makes mistakes and I might pass on a superstar because his pen broke on the way in and he threw it away. I can teach them my playbook, I don't have the time to teach basics of selling. The one thing I do look for is the ability to be a team player and a follower.The difference between a great leader and a great follower are very marginal. They have to prove to me they can fly their slot and be part of the team. Hope that helps.
Ron Henson
Bob, I love the idea of insight selling and trial closing. Could you offer a couple of examples of questions that can start that exercise during an interview?
Robert Karbaum
My favourite question is this: "Imagine I am blind, and have been since birth. Describe to me the colour orange." The reason I ask this question is to test: 1) How quickly they can dance on their feet 2) How creative they can get with answers 3) Who can correctly identify the question, and answer it properly. I also let them know beforehand some of the questions will be weird, and assure them all questions have a purpose. I'm not just trying to be a whack job.

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