Jim Fiorini and I had a recent exchange about my post on the Internet being the weapon of mass distraction. Our exchange brought to mind how often sales managers and hiring managers hire someone who is an outstanding interview only to have a different person show up for the job.

Does this story sound familiar?

The Salesperson You Interviewed

The salesperson you interviewed was delightful. They were smart and thoughtful. They asked wonderful questions. And they were supremely confident.

Their follow up skills were impeccable. They called and called and called. They asked you for the commitment to hire them. They told you that they would work tirelessly to win deals and all they needed was an opportunity to prove it to you. They assured you that you wouldn’t regret hiring them.

That was a couple of months ago.

Who Are You?

The salesperson that is now employed is a very different person than the salesperson that you interviewed.

The salesperson that now works for you doesn’t pick up the phone or prospect much, if at all. They spend more time working on administrative tasks and busy work, none of which will ever translate into sales.

Their confidence is non-existent. This employed salesperson crumbles under the push back they get from the dream clients that they should be developing into opportunities. There is no help, no coaching, and no development that seems to make any difference whatsoever.

The relentless, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer tenacity has somehow disappeared as well. The continued pursuit, the continuous request for a commitment, the “when do I start,” attitude is nowhere to be found.

If You Were That Salesperson

If the salesperson working now behaved the way they behaved while interviewing and attempting to get the job, they would be blowing out their numbers. That person would be a top 20-percenter, not a bottom 80-percenter.

If the salesperson with the new job were as smart, thoughtful, and confident as the salesperson that was interviewed, they would be developing opportunities with their dream clients. They would be opening important relationships.

If the salesperson now employed were as relentless and tenacious as the one that interviewed, their pipeline would be full of opportunities on their way to being won deals. If this salesperson knew what outcome they needed and asked for commitments again and again, promising to create value for their dream clients, they would be obtaining those commitments and advancing deals.

If the salesperson that interviewed were working to acquire clients like they worked to acquire the job, they would be setting records, instead of looking for work.


What are the behaviors that make an interviewed salesperson a desirable candidate?

How do you ensure that the salesperson you interview is the salesperson that shows up to work?

Why are some people aggressive and passionate when interviewing for a position and completely passive and impotent once hired? (please answer this one, if you know why).

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on August 4, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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