Hiring The 21st Century Sales Person

It’s a new world out there, and what worked in sales for years just, well, just doesn’t cut it anymore. The old sales techniques like sales on the golf course, and at the bar, and friendship over common sense business, is a thing of the past. Looking for sales people today includes an entirely new set of guidelines.

When you start your search for that new sales person, you have to be certain that he or she will be fully equipped with the following characteristic and attributes.

  1. And, I’ll start with the most obvious first, so obvious, that I hesitate mentioning it. This new sales person must be computer savvy. I mean completely able to work her way around a computer including Word, especially including Excel, and whatever program, you’re using for sales from ACT! to SalesForce. The reason that this is bleeding obvious is  chances are the person you hire today, will not even remember ever learning to use a computer, it will have been there since the time he was born, and she was on some form of computer from the time she was in the crib…or at least the play pen.
  2. This 21st century sales person will be completely comfortable with all aspects of social media… all aspects. Unlike my peers, some of, who walk around saying silly things like, “I don’t believe in social media”, which is tantamount to saying that they don’t believe the earth is round. Instead the new sales person will be comfortable on all social media platforms, actually, more than comfortable, he will be able to excel at all aspects of social media including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and know how use all of it to  making his business life successful.
  3. The new sales person has to be much more open-minded. He has to know when to bob and when to weave, adapting to whatever situation occurs. The new sales person has to know how to work with all generations even the older ones. The companies he works with are made up of all ages and types and people and he has to be able to work comfortably with all of them. The added bonus of working with the 21st century sales person is that they are color blind when it comes to races and nationalities. They have grown up in a multinational environment and are not bound or limited prejudice and bias which or course is an exceptional thing when it comes to life in the 21st century.
  4. She has to be very hungry, and passionate about her work in sales. If there is no passion, there is no success, when it comes to sales, or anything else for that matter. She has to be excited about what she is doing, what she is selling, and the services and products ,she is providing to her customers,
  5. The new sales person has to have a  thirst for knowledge, especially about the products and services they he is selling. This is very important when selling a technical product. The days of the uninformed, non-technical, sales person are over. The new sales person has to know all that he can about his products, and services. He has to be able, and capable, of making sales calls by himself without the help of an engineer or other technical people.
  6. The 21st century sales person has to be creative in all aspects of the job. She has to be able to find a way to get in front of that customer, and make the sale. Obviously, she has a distinct advantage over the 20th century sales person, who has no working knowledge of how her generation communicates with one another. She will know how to get in front of the right people at the right time, because she is one of them, she speaks their language.
  7. The 21st century sales person is actually a missionary for his company and his products. He has to feel so strongly about what he is providing to his customers, that he will try to convince them to buy it from him with the apostle-like passion, of a first century Christian. The 21st century sales person believes in her mission, her story. If the product or the story or the company seems phony, she will not sell it. This new sales person has a great deal of honesty and integrity which translates in everything they do.

And finally, one more, under promise and over deliver right? The 21st century sales person is always learning, always finding ways to learn more about… well about everything. They have a passionate thirst for knowledge that drives them to search for answers to the problems that life in sales brings them.

As many of our peer group retire, and the torch is being passed to this new generation, Have faith in them. Try to understand them. They are better educated, smarter, wiser and more capable than  any generation before them. Hire them with the full confidence that they will great job for you. Even if they have to learn your product. Remember you can teach the product you can’t teach passion. It’s only common sense.

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