Wanted: Salespeople with Character

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There is a better way to select salespeople and sales managers than the traditional interview.

June 01, 2004

There is a better way to select salespeople and sales managers than the traditional interview, says Gary Denning, vice president of sales for Oster Homes in Lorain, Ohio. Denning has borrowed a recruiting procedure recommended by New Home Specialist Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla., that he says has been "a savior for our company."

For the past three years, Denning has sent a written questionnaire and personal profile to candidates who answer a classified ad. Recruiters make eliminations after reviewing the profiles and call the strongest ones for a phone interview.

The next step consists of a group interview where 11 or 12 candidates are invited to compete for four positions. Half of this session is a seminar-type presentation where company principals explain the company's procedures. The other half is an interview session. "It's a way of seeing how serious and dedicated the candidates are," says Denning.

Denning reports that since implementing the program, his salespeople have fewer interpersonal issues, and sales volume has increased. Last year, Oster Homes was the largest local builder in the greater Cleveland area for the first time.

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