Being a sales representative requires a certain type of personality, accompanied by the right set of skills and the drive to outperform themselves on a regular basis. While there is a laundry list of characteristics that the ideal staffing sales rep will possess, three traits stick out as the most important.
1) A Passion for the Staffing Industry and/or Helping People
Staffing is a tough business. If a sales rep doesn’t genuinely love the industry, he or she is going to get burned out fast. Passion breeds enthusiasm. It makes someone eager to get up in the morning and willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. A passionate sales rep is likely to be more engaged, motivated and productive than a sales rep who’s just in it for the paycheck.
In staffing, passion translates into a sincere desire to help clients find the right talent. Some sales reps derive job satisfaction from knowing how many people they are putting to work. Others get it from helping their clients to solve problems and ensuring their company delivers an awesome client experience. Regardless of what gets them going, a person who is legitimately excited about their job will give it their all, which tends to translate into success.
2) Solid Interpersonal Skills
Staffing is a relationship business, and it almost goes without saying that sales is an inherently social job. Staffing sales professionals need to be expert communicators on many different levels. They must be:
- Comfortable presenting strategic solutions to business owners and senior level decision makers.
- Confident and calm in dealing with HR managers who can be very “pushy” on pricing issues.
- Empathetic in dealing with recruiters and candidates.
Successful staffing sales reps have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills. This doesn’t mean that they need to be raging extroverts, a staffing sales rep should be able to communicate effectively and develop relationships with many different types of people.
3) Sound Organizational Capacity
Many people don’t perceive that sales and organizational skills go together. Afterall, many top sales reps are “influencer” personality styles with a natural distain for paperwork. But top staffing sales professionals are highly organized. While no one loves paperwork, real sales pros will:
- Create an organized and repeatable sales process.
- Follow company systems for managing sales leads – putting appropriate time and effort into each prospect based on their potential.
- Complete background research before calling – staffing is a highly competitive business and the most successful sales reps are also the most prepared.
- Document their work to ensure critical information is transferred from sales to recruiting and keep follow-up activities well planned.
Sales in any industry is tough. In staffing, it takes a person with just the right skills and talents. Having passion, exceptional relationship-building abilities, and strong organizational skills is essential for success. Find people with these talents, and they will have a big impact on your firm.