Hiring people and bringing them into your company carries a heavy financial and time cost. When the hiring involves filling a sales position, it carries with it an additional burden of future sales. In fact, put the wrong person in front of a loyal customer and it can cost you that valued relationship. Hiring managers are increasingly using personality profiling to gain insight into a potential hire’s ability to meet and exceed sales expectations.
Not everyone has the personality for sales. Personality is developed through environmental influences as well as some genetic factors influencing natural abilities. People who grow up in an environment where discussing “money” was considered impolite or taboo will have a difficult time talking about money with a client. However, in order to make sales, the topic of money must come up. On the other hand, people raised in a ‘money talks’ environment are more comfortable talking about pricing, deals, and budgets in a sales discussion. Personality profiling can identify if a person is comfortable speaking about money topics.
Risk-taking is another component of closing a deal. People who grew up in an athletic environment or a family of extroverts may be more inclined to approach new prospects for even calling current clients to discuss new business. Other people may be risk-takers, but just can’t bring themselves to call on others to discuss business. Personality profiling is used to identify people who are shy or have don’t like to impose themselves on others. These personality types may have a strong opinion about privacy and feel it an invasion of another’s privacy to call them on the phone at work or at home.
Another way personality profiling is used it to sort out people who won’t perform well in the workplace, but who may excel at sales. Some people who are great at sales are terrible in an in-house support role. They can be disruptive to the work processes and be considered a negative performer. For that reason, it’s good for a manager to understand what makes both sides of this equation work. A sales personality typically doesn’t do well with a static role and will quickly lose interest.
The last factor in using personality profiling for hiring is interpreting the results of a personality test. The correct interpretation of one of these tests is best left to hiring professionals with a background in choosing the proper personality test and interpreting the results.