When building a salesforce look for people who have a strong desire for personal financial success and a commitment to doing what it takes to get there. This combination of desire and commitment will ensure that they have sufficient motivation to overcome whatever obstacles occur. Skills, techniques and technical knowledge are easier to instill in an employee than a drive to succeed.
Desire is Critical
Desire is the single most important characteristic for a sales person to possess. Without desire a salesperson will not grow and reach new levels of production. Recent studies have shown it is a reliable indicator of success in many fields. Everyone has experienced athletes with tremendous skill and God-given talent who fail because they have no “heart”. Everyone knows a brilliant student who achieves nothing in life because they are afraid to take a risk and suffer from the “paralysis of analysis”. Yet the world is full of examples of men and women who overcame major obstacles and achieved great success when everyone “knew” they were ill-equipped for the task at hand.
Commitment is Irreplaceable
Desire without a commensurate level of commitment is just wishful thinking! Commitment must be unconditional if true greatness is to be achieved. Commitment is the willingness to do whatever it takes, no matter what, to achieve the goal. Commitment and desire complement each other. It is hard to have much commitment unless the goal is meaningful and worth your time and effort. How committed would you be to do something uncomfortable (like a cold call for example) if all you got was an extra $1, How about $100, how about $1,000 or $50,000, or a solution to world hunger or to save your child’s life? If the smallest of obstacles will defeat you, there is no chance of success. Nothing can replace commitment. Talent can not. There are plenty of talented people too discouraged to act. Skills can not. Major obstacles usually come with stress and pressure. Skills go unused in the face of pressure and stress without the commitment to act. Good intentions come across as cheerleading when the will to act is missing due to lack of commitment. Commitment to the achievement of a meaningful goal is what drives a salesperson to succeed.
How do you Know if They Have It?
So how do you know if a sales person has desire? The most reliable indicator of desire is the goals the individual has. A person with high desire not only has goals but they are written and are broken down into short and long term and there is a plan for achieving them. The really successful person not only has written goals but also has a plan for monitoring progress toward the goals. Another way to measure desire is by looking at the person’s history. What goals did they set and what obstacles did they overcome to reach them. Did they stick to the goal when the going got rough? Were the goals aggressive? Did they pick the easy way out? I have been told by college basketball recruiters that anyone can spot talent. But the real challenge in recruiting high school stars who will succeed at the next level is to measure the heart of the player. This is the same challenge faced when you are hiring a salesperson to help your company grow. Don’t be blinded by the glitz of the resume or the smoothness of the interviewing skills. These are obviously important factors but a candidate with the unrelenting desire to succeed should be a major prerequisite for any new salesperson you hire.