Sales leaders and managers have shared with negotiator training specialists The Negotiation Experts how challenged they feel in making the right hiring decisions. They lament how often they get it wrong. The Negotiation Experts report that they stumbled across the answer to their client’s sales hiring challenge, in the form of a question they’ve been asking their graduates for over 14 years.
Sales professionals are good at selling themselves, perhaps too good. Sales pros are more likely to research tough interview questions, and go for more job interviews to find the right position.
So is there a killer question to cut through all their great interview preparation to help pinpoint tomorrow’s high performers? Turns out there is, and it’s not an obvious question. The right question is: “Read any books relevant to negotiation, sales, influencing or persuasion?”
The Negotiation Experts understand that most sales people will not be converted into book readers. This is part of the reason their public courses will continue to be the main training grounds for tomorrow’s sales high performing sales professionals, including their public access Denver Sales Negotiation Courses.
Expert negotiation training facilitator Calum Coburn shared: “Let’s face it, sales is a tough job. Sales professionals deal with rejection and resistance. So having grit, carving out time to read, plus graduating from training courses is a proven recipe for long-term success. While we don’t see most readers applying a great deal of what they’ve found in books, we do notice the readers possessing more passion and perseverance.”
Coburn referred to Angela Duckworth’s findings from ‘Grit,’ her international bestseller. Coburn believes that the ‘X’ factor sales leaders seek boils down to what Duckworth equates to applicants’ hobbies. Duckworth advises to search for grit by asking job applicants about their hobbies; believing that hobbies are the best indicator of the grittiest performers. Duckworth’s research suggests that applicants who have stuck with their hobby for more than a year, and especially more than two years, should have the highest levels of stickability when faced with adversity.
Most are surprised when they hear that a mere 10% to 15% of business-to-business sales professionals have read a single book relevant to their profession, according to the Negotiation Experts. When asked what’s the ideal number of books, Coburn says the more the better.
So the obvious message to sales leaders is this: start a library of sales books for your team, and be glad if you never see those books returned – but keep track of those who borrow, because they are likely to be your future best performers.
Sales Leaders can contact Calum Coburn at The Negotiation Experts for more information.