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  • Randy

The No-Show Sales Rep

The DOA. Why do some sales applicants who appear to be gung-ho in the interviews drop out without so much as dropping you a line?

I’ve interviewed just over one quadrillion candidates for sales jobs and the vast majority will tell you what you want to hear even if they’re not really interested in the job. They’re in interview mode. If they decide they are no longer interested in the position they’ll need a convenient excuse so as not to contradict what was said during the interview process. And if no excuse is convenient, or the candidate can’t be bothered to make up one, they go dark.

How to avoid the no-show. It requires a little more work up front but will save time and limit the annoyance later.

Make it easy for the candidate to bow out early on. 1) Ask them to call you for the interview. 2) Cover the really hard questions in the initial screening interview. For example, the commission rates (commission only?) “you probably wouldn’t consider a straight commission job at this point, correct?”. Or, “I would imagine given your background and accomplishments you will require a base of at least X…. Correct?”.

Make sure they have quit their old job. Ask what made them interested in this position, then really probe to find out why. This will often reveal that they don’t really know as much about the job as they were letting on.

If you are satisfied with the candidate’s responses invite them to call you back for a second interview after completing an assignment you gave them. If they call back you’ll know they have genuine interest. If they don’t, you’ve saved some time.

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