1. Understand the baseline characteristics to assess, consider and weigh

  • Empathy: Without empathy, one cannot pick up on the subtle clues and cues provided by others. Not to be confused with sympathy, empathy enables one to see and feel the prospect’s perspective while also bringing the other side of the discussion to light for the benefit of all involved.
  • Ego Strength: Imagine you are one that needs the sale as a validation of your worth, yet even getting to a “yes” typically requires going through four to one hundred “nos.” Without ego strength, one would crumble. Said another way, ego strength defines how much one likes themselves, leading rejection in sales to redouble efforts toward success.
  • Ego Drive: This motivation force provides the ego enhancement from getting a prospect to say “yes” as it satiates the need for their personal acceptance and validation. This trait enables one to withstand all the rejections faced between the prized “yes” response. It drives the need to persuade others. This trait, to an extreme, can and should be the downfall of someone and needs a strong counterbalance such as empathy or conscientiousness.
  • Service Motivation: This trait means one seeks not the “yes,” but rather the “well done,” the “I appreciate that.” Be aware that service motivation and ego drive are not an either/or proposition, which would in fact be counterproductive, as the stronger candidates will have a degree of both.
  • Conscientiousness: An inner discipline or compass. This internally-driven mode leads to accomplishing tasks as an expression of themselves. This makes them purposeful, strong-willed and determined. It is this trait that also leads to self-control which enables habits such as planning and organizing. There is a contrasting type of conscientiousness, that being externally driven, the need to adhere to societal norms. They rely on rules, being told what to do, and tend to be cautious and sometimes anxious. Leadership potential is minimal at best. Regardless of the role in an organization, they require what some might see as micro-management.

2. Setting the interview table

  1. The first requirement is the individual or panel making the hiring decision must have a thorough understanding of the job and the success criteria. Without this, the process is flawed from the start. This includes defining the role for which you’re hiring, such as:
    • Account management vs. sales rep
    • Hunter vs. farmer or a hybrid
    • Leader vs. follower
    • Volume producer or margin maker
    • People pleaser or unbridled game bagger
  2. Determine the qualities needed. Examples might include a high degree of patience, or a high degree of initiative. This also includes ensuring the traits do not mirror the hiring manager; avoid the hiring of “mini-mes.”
  3. Use a structured interview to provide consistency across the candidates.
  4. Be sure to not base the candidate decision on race, sex, age, experience and formal education.

For more insight into job matching, see our article “Is Your Business Stuck in a Rut,” #7 re: psychometric analysis. When applied, this is akin to a silver bullet.

Note of credit due: “How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer” is a book Paradigm Consulting believes offers an excellent crystallization of wisdom on the topic addressed in this note, and we endorse its framework as it aligns beautifully with our own 38 years of sales experience.
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