This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).

From Chapter 1 – Good impression

A sales candidate you are considering should make a good impression on you. Period. The job interview for a sales position is a sales call, and if the candidate doesn’t look good to you, then you can’t expect that person to look good to their prospects. If the job is an inside sales job, apply this same criteria to phone presence. I’ve got nothing against an employer having a desire that their sales candidates make a good impression…..

but….

a good impression is one of four common criteria that most managers and executives say they look for in a salesperson [Education level; connections; industry experience and making a good impression]. So the problem is not that “good impression” is a bad thing to look for, but rather that it is so very basic that it can’t really be counted as criteria. It is included in the list because there is no real substantial list to begin with, so it gets thrown in to round out the list and make it sound more robust.

“Making a good impression” is fine as hiring criteria. However, it would be better to have enough substantive criteria for hiring that it goes without saying. When it needs to be said, there are probably not enough real criteria to work with. This is the problem!

The next section explores the core attributes of sales success and how to spot them in your salespeople and sales candidates. Once the sales criteria list is filled with meaningful attributes, there will be no need to rely only on such things as a good impression. That is a binary attribute; they have it or they don’t. If they don’t, don’t hire them, but if they do, it is just a starting point. Here are some other things that need to be there as well.

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David