How to ask a candidate to sell their soul or Evaluating the skills of a sales manager on the first interview differently

That's it. Enough. Stop.
Stop asking people to sell you a pen, snow, and mythical creatures.
No need for sand. No need for pencils.
It's not even funny anymore (although maybe it's still a bit funny).
But seriously.

How can we assess a candidate's abilities without asking them to sell unnecessary stationery?
There's nothing easier.
To solve the problem, there are three simple steps. Remember them.

First step:
Ask the candidate to tell about themselves.
Let them share their sales experience that they enjoyed.
What is the essence of the product, solution, service, or goods? What did the candidate sell, where, and how?

This will only take two to three minutes, but the benefit is immense.
During the process, throw objections at them:
"Well, why should we buy this product/service?"
"I see. Is it still relevant in 2023? Is it still a necessary product/service?"
Offer simple objections and listen to how the candidate responds to them.
If they brilliantly counter, it means they can sell.
But if they respond reluctantly, unskillfully, or agree with everything... there might be a problem: there's a high probability that the candidate didn't handle objections well in the past.

Second step:
Determine the candidate's level (and filter out harmful chatterers, but pay attention to overqualified candidates).
See how they describe a complex product. If they have B2B experience, find out who they interacted with within the company and whom they sold to.
Is the candidate capable of communicating with large businesses, or is their limit small companies?

If we're looking for someone to sell billion-ruble machinery to factories, but the candidate previously sold twenty-thousand-ruble fasteners, it's logical that they will struggle in such a situation, and they most likely won't cope.
It's important to discuss this beforehand, before spending time building a semi-relevant candidate pipeline.

Third step (secret):
In a subtle way, inquire about why the candidate left their previous places of work.
Were they disappointed in the product? Or was the management not great? Perhaps in the previous company, nobody did anything except for them? Listen carefully and note the toxicity or its absence.

An angel? Proceed to obtain independent references that will confirm it.
The employer is interested in learning as much as possible about the candidate.
We're not looking for someone who has worked in one company their whole life, but we need to understand the reason for their departure.

Knowing the reasons, we can understand what the candidate is seeking. If it turns out they're looking for a "pot of gold," but we generally lack precious metals, then there's no point in starting the journey together.
Otherwise, we'll "park" the candidate for two to three months, and then they'll adjust their bangs and leave our company with a brisk stride.
In the end, we'll spend more resources and effort than the candidate will bring results. ????

Today, the secrets have run out.
But these three simple steps will significantly enhance the evaluation of a sales manager's skills right on the first interview.
Not all those stationery, sediment, grass on the meadow...
Wish you baskets filled with ripe and fresh candidates for everyone!

Team Senior Pomidor
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All the materials above have been redirected to the community of agronomists
in order to remove the status of a vegetable from our tomato