handshakeRecently I was doing training session for a group of sales managers and we got on the topic of hiring and what are the qualifications of a good hire.

For years I’ve always said hire on attitude not on skill.  Too many sales managers think they can take shortcuts to making their number.

They think if they suddenly hire a couple of salespeople who have great skills and knowledge of the marketplace, then everything will be great.

Far too many times, this short-cut approach to making a number winds up being a huge disaster, because yes, the person might have skills and knowledge, but their attitude is terrible.   Sure, there are some sales positions where having a strong skill set and knowledge from the beginning is what is needed, but these position are more the exception than the rule.

Hire on attitude and train the skill.

Reason is simple. I can’t train on attitude. It simply can’t be done.  Far too many times, the person who has the bad attitude is also dealing with things outside the company.  The outside things you can’t control, so there is no reason for you to invite those problems into your company.

An argument is made by sales managers how they know the person they’re hiring has a bad attitude, but it’s only because of the place where they work.  The reasoning is because they have so much knowledge, they will work out for sure because they’ll like working for you and thus they will have a good attitude.

Let’s get real.

This just isn’t the case about 80-85% of the time.   People who have a bad attitude because they’re working in a bad environment will almost always find a way to develop another bad attitude even if they’re in a great environment.  I don’t know the answer as to why, but I firmly believe there are some people who just like having a bad attitude.

Do yourself a favor. Use attitude as your first criteria in hiring and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.


Share This