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7 Secrets of Recruiting the BEST Salespeople
By Steve Suggs

The quality of the sales team you recruit will determine your success as a coach.

In sales, your individual personal performance, to a very large degree, determines your level of income. As a sales manager, your income is controlled by the performance of the salespeople on your team. Therefore, to build a strong team, it is critical that you master the skills of great recruiters.

The great University of Tennessee Women's Basketball legendary coach, Pat Summitt, is best known as a master recruiter. Her understanding that her recruiting skills determine her success as a coach has earned her 15 SEC Championships and 29 NCAA Tournament Appearances. The secret to Coach Summitt's success is that she recruits and coaches using a best practice recruiting and coaching system.

When recruiting top players, Pat Summitt asks herself this question, "Can this recruit play basketball at a level that will win championships?" She knows what to look for and how to look for it. Great recruiters of salespeople should ask a similar question, "Can this candidate sell at a level that will help my team reach my personal income goals?" Do you know what to look for and how to look for it?

Mastering the foundational principals of successful recruiters will determine the number of championships you will win. It will also determine the quality of your life.

These 7 secrets will get you moving toward becoming a great recruiter.

1. The best recruiters have calculated the cost of making a bad hire. The pain of lost revenue is the biggest motivator to improve and change. Managers have given me figures that range from $50,000 to $500,000. What is your number?

2. The best recruiters know the answers to these 3 important questions:

Where can I find more quality people for the sales interview?

What are the tops traits and skills of the best salespeople?

How do I look for these top traits and skills, and what tools do I use?

3. The best recruiters understand that with the right knowledge, they can bring greatness to the people they lead. Using our gut (emotions) to make hiring decisions is the alternative approach to putting forth the hard effort to learn a best practice system. When salespeople don't understand great sales skills, they talk too much. When recruiters don't understand what traits to look for in candidates and do not have interview questions for sales tied to these traits, they default to asking a few random questions and then selling the candidates they like on coming to work for them. Talking about our company and ourselves causes us to like the candidate to whom we are talking. If during the interview, we ask prepared, structured questions, the candidate talks the most. We then, learn what we need to know to make a hiring decision. And the stronger candidates like us because we let them talk about themselves. Just like when managers train salespeople to listen during the fact-finding appointment, managers should be trained to listen while interviewing candidates.

4. The best recruiters stop looking for an easier path to success. They realize that if they do not master hiring techniques and coaching skills in their current job, they will just drag the same bad habits into a new job and get frustrated there, too.

5. Great recruiters understand what the perfect salesperson looks like, and they measure everyone in their pool of candidates against perfection. The pick of the litter is not always the best performer. When we measure everyone in our pool of candidates against the perfect salesperson, we may realize that we need more candidates in our pool.

6. Great recruiters use a "best practice" recruiting system with processes, tools and skills. A best practice recruiting system begins with knowing the top five dimensions of a best salesperson: Attitudes, Motivations, Character Traits, Personality Traits and Sales Competencies. The best recruiters know how to use interview questionnaires and assessments that are tied to these 5 dimensions to measure each candidate against the best candidate.

7.The best recruiters realize that learning anything new is hard. Hard is what allows strong sales teams to rise to the top. If it were easy, it wouldn't pay much. Easy diet and exercise programs don't work, and neither do quick and easy solutions to fixing the complex problem of recruiting.

These 7 secrets will help you as a recruiter at a whole new level. Sales will grow, stress will lower, and you will become a great coach. Now go and RECRUIT THE BEST!

For more sales recruiting training videos, to purchase my book, Can They Sell along with the companion field manual go to

To learn how personality assessments, personality tests, personality profiles and sales assessments fit into a best practice recruiting system, visit

Happy recruiting!

Steve Suggs is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. He is also a partner in the sales consulting firm Sales Manage Solutions. For the past 29 years, Steve has been in sales, sales leadership and consulting. He spends his time training sales leaders to use a best practice recruiting system to increase sales team retention and ramp up time.

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