Agency owners ask me all the time, “What should I look for when hiring a salesperson?” And that’s a great question. You know in the insurance agency business, only about 10 percent of the people we hire as producers succeed and make it long enough to validate.
That’s a pretty poor track record, and I think it means we really could do a much better job of thinking about who we want to hire in the first place. It’s somebody who should be able to demonstrate that they’ve been successful in the past at something. Not necessarily in sales, but even if it was being a lifeguard, how are they the best lifeguard at the pool? Make them prove it.
Drive vs. Ambition
The other thing is, they need to be driven. Ambition is great. Ambition is wanting something. Drive is the absolute determination to get it, no matter what happens. Drive is the #1 predictor of success in sales.
The last thing to look for is a competitive spirit. Great sales people love to compete. They’ll compete with themselves if there’s no suitable competitor available. But you want people who want to be #1, who are driven to be #1, who have the ambition to be #1, and who have been #1 in their life and who are scared to death of not being #1.
So you get drive, ambition, prior success and a competitive spirit, and you’re a long way down the road to success with a salesperson.