Hiring sales reps is not an easy task. Though the best sales people are out there and looking for positions, they are cleverly hidden among those who are less talented. Many a business has wasted valuable time interviewing less than stellar candidates, sometimes to come out the other side without even one standout. That’s why thousands of corporations choose to work with recruitment agencies to narrow the pool and find sales people who are really worth hiring.
For those working with a headhunter sales representatives are much easier to come by. Headhunters locate potential candidates, screen them for suitability, prepare them for interviews, help negotiate salary, and conduct closure to the search, usually for commission. In the past, headhunters have primarily been used to track down candidates for highly specialized fields. However, in recent years they have expanded to other areas including sales and lower level management positions.
For a headhunter sales representatives of excellent quality aren’t easy to come by. Fortunately for businesses, however, the executive search agents who work with headhunting companies do the sorting ahead of time, eliminating wasted time and effectively improving the available pool of candidates. Given that the cost of a sales hiring mistake can be six or even ten times a sales associate’s base salary, such services are essential. Headhunters generally have a wide range of personal contacts in their industry of specialty, making it easier for them to hear about and make contact with quality sales reps. For headhunters sales is a fairly easy industry to recruit for. Almost a third of all sales people have been with their companies for less than a year, with the result that they can be easily persuaded to leave.
To impress a headhunter sales representatives need to demonstrate certain qualities, including the possession of relevant skills, knowledge, aptitude, qualifications, and educational or job related experience.
Skills necessary to a successful career in sales are often natural traits in the best sales people. Four of the most important include:
- Perseverance: Viewed as one of the most important qualities for a sales person, perseverance is the trait that makes the biggest difference between closing a sale and losing it.
- Listening skills: By finding out what things are most important to a client, sales people are better able to pitch effectively.
- Persuasion: Persuasion allows a sales rep to present a product in an effective and non threatening manner. It’s about befriending complete strangers, showing that you care for their best interests, and persuading them that you product can help.
- Work ethic: No lazy sales person has ever been successful. A great rep is always willing to work harder and better.
Experience and Education
For a headhunter sales experience and knowledge are paramount in a quality candidate. Degrees in marketing and business are often helpful, as are job experiences in telemarketing and customer service. Sales is one of those paradoxical fields that requires experience in order to gain experience, so those who are new to the industry will have to get a little creative, within reason, on their resumes. Though being a student caller for your college to prospective students isn’t technically sales, it does require a lot of the same skills and should be emphasized. Other experiences that utilize sales skills can also be spun to help a resume rather than hurt it.