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Which is better: Experience or a rookie?
We are in the process of interviewing and hiring 3-4 guys in order to get our sales team to an appropriate level for the spring and summer. The other sales manager and I are in agreement with the owner that we need the help going in to the busier months but we are struggling to find the right guys. Part of the problem is that the owner only wants us to hire someone that has a good amount of previous sales experience under his belt ( car sales or not). His take is that if we hire a person who already has experience, we will have to spend less time training him and getting him where we need him to be. While I think experience is really important, I don't think that should be the determining factor as to whether or not we will hire them.
My take is that ideally we would like to hire a guy with some sales experience, but I think we should be more open minded. We put our prospective employees through a screening process and the lady that does that for us asks them about sales experience. She doesn't even set up an interview with people that don't have experience. I think we could be turning away some really good candidates and I haven't even had a chance to meet them. I tried to argue the point by telling him that his 2 managers ( myself and the other desk manager ) were both hired with no sales experience whatsoever. I like the idea of taking a young, ambitious guy and training and molding him into a superstar. But that's just me!
So who's right? Do you go for instant gratification and get a mediocre guy with some experience or do you look for a guy that could be great and invest the time into him?