Hiring Sales Reps: The 8 Characteristics of Top Closers – Part 1

Sep 1, 2016

Hiring Sales Reps: The 8 Characteristics of Top Closers – Part 1

In a previous communication, I was referring to 8 traits that are common to top closers. How do you detect if a new sales rep will perform well in closing customers (not just taking to them)?

As I had expected this last week, many clients asked me the question, “what are these 8 traits”? When we evaluate an applicant for a sales job with the Recru-Tec™ Test, we always look at these 8 characteristics because we know, if just a few of them are missing in the applicant’s profile, chances are that he or she will not perform well over time as a sales professional.

So, what are they?

Out of those 8 characteristics, 4 of them are so important that no matter the type of sales, if a candidate is lacking them, you will need a lot of time and energy trying to turn them into good closers. So we thus have 4 primary and 4 secondary characteristics of a top closer.

In this first part we will address 2 of the 4 primary characteristics.

1. Performance-Driven

People either put their attention on results or they mainly focus on action. Not everybody is result-oriented. Per our experience in training over 55,000 sales professionals, we have found out that about 55% of sales reps confuse performance with tasks. They gladly pack their agenda with appointments, because that is what a sales rep is supposed to do. They never give up in following up with prospects, but they forget to ask for the order.

Did you know that on average, 52% of sales reps will NEVER ask for the order?

Top closers have that one thing in mind: get the order. Whatever they do it is with the intention to close the client. Why? Because they focus on results – not on action. For that matter, one trait on the Recru-Tec™ Test predicts a candidate’s ability to close: assertiveness – or determination. Low assertiveness guarantees trouble in closing clients! Top closer usually demonstrate a level of assertiveness 40 to 60% higher than others.

Note: Do not confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness – which is uncontrolled or “negative” assertiveness (by the way, the Recru-Tec™ Test precisely evaluates the difference). Top closer are assertive – they use the power of intention to get results. They do not ask for permission to close – they just do it. They do not wait for the customer to make up his mind – they know it is worthless to do so. They do not trust the customer’s promise to think ‘about it’ –they know they must close ‘now.’ It takes a quite gutsy or even (sometimes) pushy personality; that is exactly what assertiveness means.

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2. Challenge-Driven.

It is well known that “hungry” sales reps are usually more inclined to perform. That hunger for performance actually is a constant appetite for challenges. You probably know about a sales rep who was doing well until he/she reached his/her plateau – or level of necessity. Passed a certain level of income or commission, they simply stop producing and do not feel the need to do more. Some call it laziness or limitation; we call it lack of need for challenge. The Recru-Tec™ Test evaluates if a candidate to your sales position is hungry for challenges.

Top performers are always looking for challenges, no matter how well they do – they want more. You might have known a sales rep who was always doing best when you would give them an impossible mission – when you were playing a game with your sales team. Some love it – some hate it. We have seen after many years of dealing with sales reps that those who do not like games or challenges limit themselves in showing performance.

We always look at a combination of traits to measure hunger for challenge. But one specific trait on the Recru-Tec™ Test can always predict a candidate’s willingness and ability to take on challenges: Enthusiasm. Low enthusiasm means low interest for the future and low motivation to take on challenges; it also guarantees trouble in closing clients and in persevering! And the combination of the two traits – Assertiveness and enthusiasm, guarantee to tell you a lot about a sales person!

Note: Greeks will give you another reason why enthusiastic people sell more: the word “enthusiasm” comes from Greek “Theos – God” and “En – within” – God within! 🙂

We can help you attract and select sales professionals who are result-driven and hungry for challenges. The smart combination of our “No-Fail Hiring” system and the Recru-Tec™ Test make the evaluation of these key components of success in sales a breeze.

Let us know what type of sales people you are looking for. A minimum, use the Recru-Tec™ Test to ensure that the selected applicant(s) have what it takes.

Next time, we will address the next 2 vital/primary characteristics of top closers.

Best success,

Patrick Valtin,
Best Selling Author of “No-Fail Hiring 2.0”

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