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10 Interview Questions to Ask Salespeople

Taking part in a lot of tradeshows means that you will have to hire a few salespeople to sell your product. While you can just ask your brother or cousin to help you out, that’s not a recommended strategy. A better idea is to hire a real salesperson. Look for someone that understands your product, and is willing to work hard to get your point across to potential customers.

 

Here are the top interview questions to ask a salesperson.

 

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CC Image courtesy of ryanmilanion Flickr

1. What was the culture at your previous company like? Hiring someone that’s a good cultural fit is far more important than you may think. If your strategy is to act casually with your clients, the person that represents your brand shouldn’t be too formal. You can teach culture, but it’s a lot easier to simply find someone that’s already a good fit.

 

2. Describe a tough sale that you once made. How did you make that sale? Ask your interview subject to go through the steps that were necessary to sell a tough product. Pay attention to the steps taken. Look for a person that was able to problem solve quickly.

 

3. How do you sell a product you’ve just learned about? This one is important. Why? You’ll want to find out if the person you’re interviewing needs a lot of handholding. You don’t want to be forced into babysitting a salesperson that’s unsure of how to sell.

 

4. What makes a good salesperson? This question will be hard for most salespeople to answer because it means telling you why they are a good fit. However, the clever salesperson will let you know what their best attributes are by answering this question the right way.

 

5. Are you comfortable with cold calling? You may need your new hire to call a few prospective customers (the ones that leave a name and number). Find someone that has experience making cold calls.

 

6. Describe your favorite sales manager or boss. Here, you’re looking for someone that’s a good fit and knows how to be self-sufficient. The answer you don’t want to hear is: “someone that tells me exactly what to do every day.”

 

7. Why do you want to leave the current job that you have? Find out why a person is leaving a current position. You don’t want to hire someone that simply didn’t like his former boss (in most cases).

 

8. Do you have trade show experience? Selling at a trade show means approaching random strangers, demonstrating products, and standing for hours per day. A person with experience is ideal. If you can’t find that person, though, keep in mind that someone with skills can be trained.

 

9. Have you ever demonstrated products in front of a crowd? Sales demonstrations can be really hard to do. Some people might be great at cold calling, but actually demonstrating a product can be a lot tougher. During a second interview, ask the person you’re interviewing to demonstrate your product in-person.

 

10. Why do you want this job? Find someone that really loves your product, your culture, and wants to work with you. A person that’s motivated by money isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a person that’s motivated by your product is better.

 

Putting the Pieces Together

 

Don’t make a decision right away. If you interview enough candidates, some will stand out more than others. You can then call those people into your office for a second interview. Keep in mind that the person you choose should be someone that you’re comfortable with. If you find that a person makes you uncomfortable in person, it’s likely that other people will feel this discomfort as well.

 

Once you have the right salesperson, the only other part that you have to put together is your tradeshow booths. For that, you can count on Blazer to help you out. We have the best tradeshow display booths around, and we also have the right price for your budget (since you’ve spent most of it on that perfect salesperson!). If you need help putting your booth together, give us a call or come in and see us. Finding the ideal salesperson to sell your product is more than half the battle. Finish that battle with the right display.

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