With unemployment down around 3-4% nationwide, there is an abundance of good jobs available, and a dearth of talent that needs employment. This is particularly hard in the car business, which carries its own stigmas for potential hires.
That being said, the car business has a lot to offer for those seeking employment, especially in the way of compensation and upward mobility. It can seem that these benefits are very hard to communicate to anyone outside of the car business, and therefore the pool of potential sales personnel seems to be limited to those within the industry.
It is also true that many sales managers feel that in order to be a good car salesperson, it is required that a candidate have automotive experience. This is definitely not the case. In fact, many top salespeople in the industry started out with a background in other industries.
With that in mind, why not widen your net and recruit candidates from other industries? Industries such as medical sales, hospitality and big-box retail offer incredible training to their employees. Much of this training is universal and applicable across many industries. If the right candidates are targeted, you can be the beneficiary of another company’s training dollars.
In addition to salespeople from other industries, personnel with other job titles can also be cultivated into great salespeople. By targeting personnel in other industries and job titles, you might just open the door to a treasure trove of new talent.
To help identify top talent in other fields, here are some insights into the universal characteristics that make up the foundation of a good salesperson:
Great Communication Skills and Affinity for People
Communication is really what sales is all about. Without the ability to understand another human being’s needs and communicate how your product or service fills those needs, you will never succeed as a salesperson. Good salespeople understand and master the skill of communication.
Great salespeople also tend to really like people. This is key, especially when you are dealing with different people all day long, and you depend upon those people to spend money in order to earn a paycheck. Recruit salespeople who like people and know how to communicate with them and you will have a solid foundation for a great salesperson.
Goal-Oriented, Driven to Achieve and Organized
Success in any job depends upon setting and achieving goals. Whether you are hiring a salesperson from another industry, or a someone with an entirely different job title, look for candidates who have proven they know how to plan their work and carry out the plan. Great salespeople are organized and driven to achieve results. This is a universal quality across industries and job titles.
Confident and Modest
It is not uncommon for sales personnel in the car business to have a lot of ego. This can be good when properly applied, but can create undue tension and division if left unchecked. When looking for candidates, you need to understand how well they get along with coworkers.
Great salespeople are confident enough to deliver results, but modest enough to work together with the rest a team to achieve common goals. It’s a delicate balance, but humility is an important quality, especially when moving to a new industry.