Sales Recruitment: If you can’t sell yourself, you can’t sell.

Rob Erwood, Commercial National Sales Manager

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Rob Erwood - National Commercial Sales Manager

With 32 commercial sales professionals covering the UK and Ireland, Nuaire has one of the largest sales teams in the HVAC Industry. As with any large organisation, there is a natural turnover of staff, albeit low with 50 percent of our sales staff having more than 10 years’ experience, meaning a requirement to replace sales staff that are either internally promoted or who feel it is time to move on within the industry

Nuaire is a great place to work and offers many opportunities for people who want to succeed. So, why is it so hard to find good sales people that can follow the basic steps of the sales cycle? When we have vacancies, which can occur from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, our Regional Sales Managers will agree to meet candidates at motorway service stations, hotel receptions, McDonalds restaurants (we like the free Wi-Fi there) – practically anywhere if we think we have the opportunity of employing the next Nuaire Sales ‘Superstar’.

We arrive in anticipation after casting our eye carefully over well written CV’s that may show a great career in the industry working for some of the best known brands. This would have been pre-empted by the usual phone call from the recruitment consultant who has declared “you simply must see this guy – he’s the best around and will give your sales team gravitas”. Recruitment Consultants always use the word ‘gravitas’.

After the usual pleasantries and ordering of obligatory cappuccinos, the interview starts to take shape and you begin to find out about the person in front of you. But, and this is my problem, I want the candidate to treat the interview as a sales meeting – after all, you are supposedly “the best around”. Surely the interview candidate should be asking me questions and building some rapport, finding out what we are looking for in a sales professional? Can you reveal my needs and what is critical in my search for the next sales superstar? What can you offer me that meets my needs? Why is my best sales person my best sales person?  Treat me like your customer and find out what it is that will make my life easier and make me want to employ you. Ask me what reservations I have about employing you and deal with those reservations – surely you would do this with your customers? If not, you are not following a sales cycle and probably not suited to being a sales professional.

Finally, close the deal. Please Mr/Mrs Sales Professional that I have travelled two hours to meet at a Motorway service station and paid £5.50 for a stale sandwich, try and close me! Give me the "fear close": tell me you have two other job offers on the table and you need a decision from me or I am going to lose the “best around”. I don’t care which type of closing technique you use – but use one if you want the job. If I was a customer, would you ask for the order?

Sales is all about pinpointing the customer needs and offering them a solution to those needs, and if the candidate in front of me identifies those needs, can demonstrate how they fulfil those needs and then closes – they are hired. It’s simply a process of following the sales cycle and I only want to employ sales professionals that can identify precisely what a customer’s critical needs are for his project so that the customer can deliver the project on time and on budget. And guess what…that customer will come back the next time he needs a Sales Professional.

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