By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Real Estate Sales Coach of Home Builders Edge® and Vortex Sales Solutions™ ©2012
Many of the resumes that cross my desk are pieces of paper that list education, experiences, and skills. Many are professional prepared, many are not, I have found, though it may be easier on the eye, how it is prepared doesn’t assure I am hiring a Winner. You get so many, they all start off with so much hope, then comes the interview and all the right answers are given, there is some interview enthusiasm, once on the job… bam, wrong hire!
Here is one of the biggest mysteries of the hiring: How can you attract and identify, Top Producers, in the application and interview process?
Well first of all, being a bit particular about your resume submissions details and asking for proven track record of production will weed out low producers. It will at least reduce the volume somewhat.
So how do you weed out the top producers from the masses? And how can you distinguish them from the rest? Naturally you want an intelligent, energetic employee with enthusiasm and integrity, one whose values are in line with those of your organization. Finding a Top Producing thinker also means looking for a professional resume, with writing that is impressive and to the point with confidence.
The interview is where you can really get a sense of top producer… Here are some things I look for.
- Have them sell you something. Did they ask you a lot of great questions or try to cram the product down your throat.
- A top producer will sell you and you won’t know you have been sold.
- They Listen very well and talk less.
- They have confidence.
- They have an aura about them, where you want to be around them.
- They don’t hesitate when asked a direct question because they know what they’re talking about.
- They are normally polished, self-motivated and self-taught.
Here are a few useful interview questions to ask to identify Top Producers
When a sales quota is a month away, how do you plan to meet it?
A top producer will reply quickly and with confidence something like, “First, I call all my immediate prospects that I expect to buy soon and create urgency of some sort to get them in for a second time. I get my quick closings on a board so I have something to talk about with walk in’s and talk about the same quick closes by making calls to my Realtors. Then I work with my marketing department to come up with ideas for a campaign I can target. I do so many hours of prospecting each day to achieve my goals. This system has worked well for me in the past.
Tell me about your Goals, monetary and otherwise.
Most Top Producers take days, sometimes weeks to lay out their goals for the year. If you have one sitting in front of you, they will not hesitate to pop off not only their goals for work, but home, health, family and other important topics. They like nice things, cars, real estate, you name it, if you have someone who is hungry to achieve their own goals, and you can bet your company goals are going to get met.
How do you handle a problem with a client?
A top producer will usually not only put the fire out but access how they can learn from the problem. What things can they change in their sales routine so that problem doesn’t happen again. Because Top Producers are interested in a streamlined process, they know their sales process and live by it! They work hard for referrals and don’t want any client to be unhappy with their service level.
An applicant’s behaviors are also important to understand, ask yourself…Are they a team player? Will they fit in with my team? Will I work well with this person? Are they talking too much? Because if you can’t get a word in edgewise neither will your client. Because even though someone may be a Top Producer, they can also be full of themselves, which can be a problem with the rest of the team. Keep in mind, sometimes you can take a newbie and with the right hunger, attitude, training and environment shift them into a Top Producer.
In addition, Top Producer job applicants will most likely ask you where you expect your company to be in ten years. They may ask how many products or communities you have introduced, whether or not you have awards for Top Producers and will want to know those thresholds, benefits, compensation and bonuses will probably be on their question list. They also may ask if they can talk to other management and employees about the quality of the company. All of which you should be ready for.
If you want a top producing Sales Force, to surface in your company, it is your job to cultivate an atmosphere in which they are valued and can thrive. Before you hire your perfect candidate, make sure your organization is truly ready to receive them with competitive compensation packages, benefits, systems and an aggressive “Sales Come First” attitude.