What Sales Attitudes Do You Seek When Hiring?

You want top sales performers. From your own past selling experience, you know top sales performers have the right sales attitudes reinforced by certain sales skills.

Yet, how do you find if those sales skills really exist beyond the standard hiring interview?  And more importantly, how accurate is the assessment or assessments you may have given to determine those sales attitudes?


Credit Gratisography

Attitude Defined

Years ago I read in one of Zig Ziglar’s books this definition of attitude:

An attitude is a habit of thought.

This definition is simple and quite on target.  Our repetitive thoughts are our attitudes. A combination of those attitudes turn into the beliefs we have about people and life in general.

Additionally it is also important to note that the majority of our 20,00 to 50,000 daily thoughts are subconscious.  Even though these thoughts are hidden, they are involved in our decision making process.

Sales Attitudes Are Talents

Sales attitudes are talents because the talents are the observations by others of the attitudes.  For example, top sales performers relate well to people because people buy from people.  This relating well may also extend into having an “empathetic attitude.”

Would you consider these as attitudes or sales talents or both?

  • Handling rejection
  • Persistence
  • Persuading Others
  • Self Confidence
  • Self-Starting Ability

Attitudes Reflect Temperament


Credit: Gratisography

People have two types of temperament:

  • External – How one views the outside world
  • Internal – How one views oneself and one’s life

Both temperaments can have one of these three biases:

  • Positive – Optimistic
  • Negative – Pessimistic
  • Neutral

What is interesting according to the Attribute Index (published by Innermetrix based on the works of Dr. Hartman and the science of Axiology) is these biases can also be defined through the three dimensions of thought within each temperament.

What Is Missing In Many Sales Hiring Assessments

When hiring assessments fail to separate the external from the internal decision making process as well as not recognize the impact of biases, these assessments miss key attitudes and consequently key behaviors needed for top sales performers. This lack of clarity dramatically impacts performance as it relates to sales attitudes.

Another critical missing element is statistical reliability and validity.There are very few hiring assessments that are constructed from an objective, deductive perspective.  The Attribute Index is one of those and why as trained and degreed instructional designer I have chosen this particular assessment after reviewing well over 100 other hiring assessments.  Most of those other sales hiring assessments are constructed from a subjective, inductive perspective.  What all this means boils down to this question:

Would you prefer a sales hiring assessment with a .92 statistical co-efficient (meaning out of 100 people you will miss read 8 people) or one with a .85 statistical co-efficient (meaning out of 100 people you will miss read 15 people)?

Actually have delivering hundreds of these “sales attitudes” assessments, I can report that 98.6% state the accuracy is at least an eight on a scale of one to 10 with one being low and 10 being high.

If you truly want to confirm you have hired for the right sales attitude, then invest the time to confirm that knowledge and provide a solid foundation from which to further develop those top sales performers.

The Attribute Index is the best hiring and talent assessment because in less than 12 minutes, you will know the following:

  • External and internal decision making styles
  • Basic motivation
  • Preferred work environment (external only)
  • External and internal temperaments
  • External and internal biases
  • 78 Key Talents

* * * * * * * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals in the key areas of strategic growth, people development and process improvement. She speaks and writes specifically to small businesses under 50 employees whose challenges are more unique and resources more limited. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.


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