What makes a great salesperson

I was putting on an event and I needed to hire a superstar sales person in less than a week. I could of asked around but I needed someone that was hungry and willing to do whatever it takes. So I devised a strategy and put up a bunch of ads looking for a sales person.

The headline was “Superstars only” and the add finished with saying that if you’re a not a superstar or can’t prove it, don’t bother applying. You can say it set the tone for the type of person I was looking for. I received a ton of emails which narrowed down a good list of 30. The next step was a phone interview where I asked my brother if he could interview people while I worked on the event. I gave him a set of questions I wanted him to ask but the most important part was the end of the call.

At the end the call the person was to be rejected no matter how great they sounded. He would finish the call with “I’m sorry but I’m just not hearing superstar.” It was a test to see if they were going to fight back the way a superstar sales person would. Out of the 30 phone calls we were left with 13 people who fought back.

Next step was to interview them in person. To be as efficient as I could I set up a date and time where everyone came to my business at the same time. Everyone sat together in my lobby and I explained how much money there was to be made.

Next I interviewed them one-on-one where we got deeper into the questions but another curve ball was going to happen at the end. I was going to reject them again for a second time regardless of how good they were. It was the first time I had ever done anything like this and I felt like a real jerk but I was committed to my plan. They told me their life story and at the end with a straight face I finished off by saying “you seem like a very nice person but I’m sorry to say I’m not hearing superstar.” There face would drop, part of me felt bad and the other part was telling myself I was playing a character in a movie. Some got insulted, most gave in but 3 of them past the test of rejection.

One was an old car salesman and another was a door to door natural gas salesman that have probably been rejected a million times and the third was a woman that had worked in fundraising. Instead of giving in like the others, these three did something different. They didn’t flinch or seem insulted, they simply turned the table around and asked me why I thought that? They asked me what could have possibly given me such a false impression of them? Which once again I delivered my final soul crushing response with “I just know”.

At this point the two guys walked out saying I was wrong while the girl refused to take that answer. She restated her credibility and pushing backed asking how I could not see superstar.

I hired the girl and she averaged 120 phone calls a day, converted a lot of people and we all made money together.

What makes a great salesperson?


And don’t think resilience is what happens to you. Resilience is how you respond and recover to what happens to you.

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