How CreativeSourcing Finds Candidates Destined for Success
If you have ever watched a championship sporting event or athletes competing in the Olympics, you are watching the best of the best in their field compete to win.
To reach that level of success in their fields, they have had to overcome adversity, sacrifice their own personal desires and push past the feeling of failure. Tiger Woods—pro golfer—has been said to practice his putting stroke 100 times a day for not just 100 attempts but 100 successes. The minute he misses, the count goes back to zero and he starts over. That is dedication, persistence, and maybe just a little bit of insanity!
The same can be said for great salespeople. A great salesperson knows that receiving a rejection is a good thing because it means they are just one more sales call closer to success.
Great salespeople understand that it isn’t skill as much as will, similar to what an athlete brings to the field.
When we search for the best candidates for a sales opening, we look for prospects who exhibit that passion for winning. There are six traits that athletes and sales people share and our prospecting and initial interview questions are geared to uncover whether or not the candidate exhibits these traits:
1. Having a Will to Succeed
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
~ Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers
Sales skills can be taught, in fact, with the right candidate, it may be preferable to train them with your process rather than retrain bad habits. However all of the training in the world won’t make a successful salesperson if they don’t have the right attitude; the will to succeed no matter what. Selling can be a tough game, there will be a lot more “nos” before you get to the seemingly illusive “yes,” and yet a person with the will to succeed will keep trying until they succeed.
2. Learning from Mistakes
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
~ John Wooden, basketball coach winning ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period (including seven in a row), an untouchable feat
A candidate that can’t remember their mistakes is one that raises a few flags with the highly trained recruiters with Creative Sourcing. Salespeople who are confident and have the best success record will openly share their mistakes and the lessons they have learned. You aren’t born batting 500 and neither do you start out closing every sale.
3. Understanding and Using your Resources
“Success – it’s what you do with what you’ve got.”
~ Woody Hayes, coach of Ohio State football team
Effectively using the tools and resources at your disposal is a great trait that crosses from sports to sales. That also means openly seeking out constructive criticism to help make your skills stronger. A candidate who can express the ways in which they take advantage of the resources a company provides shows someone who will be willing to effectively use what is provided to be successful.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
Part of being successful in sales is the acknowledgement that it is a challenging field and yet those that are persistent, resilient and persevere come out on top. In an article by Matt Cook he compares athletes to sales people in this way:
“Swimming 100,000 laps is like making cold calls or warm calls. You put your head down and know you have to do it to reach your goal. You may not want to but you know you have to. Not every practice is going to be your best but learning to overcome obstacles and hurdles in the process teaches you what it takes to push through them and ultimately achieve your goal”.
5. Recognizing Weaknesses and Turning Them into Strengths
“Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.”
~ Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football legend
Not every trait a candidate has is a positive one. Just like using failures to their best advantage, sales people who understand where they are weakest and have created workarounds to be successful in spite of those weaknesses are to be applauded.
6. Embracing the Team
“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”
Although most sale positions are measured individually, working against a quota, unit sales goal or overall sales performance, being able to work within a team environment is also of critical important.
In an article about the value of teamwork, says:
”It is important to respect, encourage, support and stay committed to your teammates through the ups and downs. Team dynamics and keeping the team goals ahead of your own personal stats is vital. Being accountable, reliable and dependable are attributes that are held in high regard by both coaches and sales managers.”
Certainly there are more comparisons between athletes and sales people; hard work, determination, persistence, a strong desire to win. At CreativeSourcing, we look for the candidates that not only fit the specific job qualifications and will mesh with your company’s mission, vision and values but we look for individuals that have the unmistakable “fire in their belly” to succeed.
We understand the importance of bringing the right candidates for the table for each of your sales opportunities. To learn more about our interviewing and prospecting process, give us a call at  296-0167.