This subject is one of my favorites. How do we identify and hire good sales producers for our team? Hiring great salespeople is an extremely difficult task. We can scour over resumes, interview for hours and check numerous references. Sure, these are all good things to do. But are they enough?
You probably have hired people in all types of positions. In my experience, I always left the interview process wondering, “what am I really getting in this candidate?” There are just too many unknowns, as we humans are complicated creatures. The candidate said all the right things. The background looks great and the references check out. Everyone loves him/her and is ready to hire. But how many times has this backfired on you? It has for me many times.
So, I started to wonder, how can I discover the real person I’m considering for this all important sales position? How can I increase my hiring success rate?
Enter modern science. Actually, modern psychology. Many years ago, I began a quest to find a tool to help me evaluate job candidates and discover that real person. After a lot of searching, I found the answer. The tool I discovered is the Trego Personnel Survey (www.gotrego.com) developed by industrial psychologist, Ron Trego, PhD. He was referred by the spouse of an employee. That spouse worked for the Sewell Automotive Group in Dallas. Mr. Sewell runs a vast and highly respected automotive empire. He discovered Dr. Ron Trego and his assessment tool a few years before we did.
In Mr. Sewell’s book, Customers for Life, he credits Dr. Trego’s hiring assessment tool with significant contributions to the success of his business. I was intrigued, so I contacted Dr. Trego’s office. It turns out, Dr. Trego personally took the time to explain his process to me. Essentially, he has dedicated his career (which started at NASA) to developing teams which work well together. His personnel assessment tool has been administered tens of thousands of times. He has honed and proven his tool over four decades. In addition, his hands-on approach and availability is second to none.
Still, I was a bit skeptical, so he made an offer I couldn’t refuse. He asked me to pick six current employees I knew well, and he would administer his assessment to them for free. Then, he would provide the results to help us understand the accuracy of his assessment.
I was absolutely floored by the accuracy of his evaluation. I thought that he must have met them before, or had some kind of inside information! As he went through all six evaluations, I was impressed by the full picture I received of each person. Mental ability, judgment, energy, manageability, emotional toughness and many other results were spot on. He went six for six. It was absolutely uncanny and I was more than sold.
Since then, we have always administered the Trego Personnel Survey to our finalist candidates. Our hiring results immediately improved, significantly! Every year, we would evaluate our new hires and their fit for the job, as we wanted to track how we were doing as hiring managers. It is no exaggeration to say that our success rate for hiring was between 85 and 90 percent every year. And this was over almost a ten-year period.
I should mention that Dr. Trego has no idea I’m writing this article. There are no business arrangements between us. I’m just a highly satisfied client. Thanks, Dr. Trego for being a big part of our success.
PS. In my next post, I will tell you about Dr. Trego’s top five characteristics for successful sales people.