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What Employers Look for In a Sales Rep

Sales representation is perhaps one of the most challenging and stressful careers available today. Salesmanship is about the bottom line, which, being cut and dry, tends to make the salesman a very cutanddryprofession.Thereislittle room for flowery extras or excuses in a sales position – a salesman either makes money for the company or he doesn’t.

As the truth of salesmanship is very bare, it takes a specific type of personality to be a salesman. Employers have found many ways of testing potential employees for this personality type; however, what an employer finally looks for in a sales representative tends to be the same across the board.

Here are someofthe more common traits that employers look for in a sales rep.

1. Experience.

The catch 22 of all salesmanship is that the number one way to choose a successful salesman is to pick the person with the most knowledge about the product. But then how can you gain knowledge about the product until you get picked? Well, some employers have found a way around this quandary, and it is simply this:

They will vet for product knowledge during the interview process.

The experienced salesman knows that his job begins the second he walks into the dooratthe first interview – the first thing that he has to sell is himself. The easiest way to do that is to study the product and company before the initial interview and express this knowledge by asking insightful, detailed questions to the interviewer about the product and company.Employers have learned to screen for this trait with a simple, “Do you have any questions for me?” at the end of the direct vetting portion of the interview. Note to the potential salesman: The longer that the interview lasts beyond this point, the better chance you have of landing the job. Study beforehand and show experience by asking questions about the company and having an in depth conversation with the interviewer about the product.2. Emotional stability.

Salesmen must learn not to take “no” for an answer. Many times, “no” is more of a knee jerk reaction by potential customers to solicitation in general. The best salesmen know how to work around initial resistance and open up the customer to reveal his or her problems and allow the salesman to solve them.

Opening up to someone requires that that person have emotional stability. No one wants to open up with a problem to someone that has more problems than they do.

Employers have learned to vet for this quality by asking “What do you like least about yourself?” or “What are your worst traits?” They are not looking for you to actually rattle off a list of your weaknesses; what they want are stories of how you quickly overcome shortcomings.

Employers also use personality tests such as Jung and Briggs Myers, The Big Five Personality test, and Rorschach tests to determine emotional stability. No matter which test is used, a potential salesman should know to always choose the answer which exudes calmness through calamity and clear thinking.

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