How to identify a natural salesperson

How many of your customer-facing staff are truly sales-oriented? If you wish there were more active salespeople in your team, consider what could be done during your recruitment and selection process to identify candidates who have a positive attitude towards selling. After all, the job of a front of house person is to provide a positive service experience, while actively selling your products at every possible opportunity.

The challenge experienced by many of the hospitality owners and managers I meet with is that they are not sure how to check, or test for people’s attitudes towards selling during the hiring process. As a result, they end up hiring people for sales roles who are too passive, so the chances of meeting acceptable sales targets are slim, meanwhile your customers suffer because their needs aren’t met.

Whenever you fill a vacant position in your team, you have the chance to find someone better suited to the job than the person they replace. So, next time you interview a candidate for a customer-facing sales position, try these interview questions. You’ll learn something about their attitude towards selling, which will inform how much effort will be required to train and lead that person to be a happy, stable, productive member of your sales team. Good luck!

Behavioral interview questions:

  1. Describe your approach to active selling and how you incorporate it into your sales interactions?
  2. How do you view the role of active selling in driving revenue and achieving sales targets?
  3. Tell me about a time when you proactively sought opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to customers. How did you identify those opportunities, and what strategies did you employ?
  4. How do you handle customer objections or resistance during the active selling process? Provide an example of how you successfully managed such a situation?
  5. Give an example of where you went beyond the standard sales pitch to actively engage customers and create a memorable experience. What was the outcome, and how did it impact sales or customer satisfaction?
  6. In your opinion, what are the key attributes or skills required for effective active selling? How do you demonstrate those qualities in your work?
  7. What specific tactics or techniques do you use to initiate conversations and engage customers in a sales context?
  8. How do you ensure a customer-centric approach while actively selling? Give an example of how you tailored your approach to meet the specific needs and preferences of a customer.
  9. Tell me about a time when you faced a challenging selling situation, such as a hesitant or indecisive customer. How did you use active selling techniques to build trust and close the sale?
  10. How do you measure the success of your active selling efforts? Share an example of how you tracked and evaluated the impact of your active selling strategies on sales performance.

To learn more about effective recruitment and selection methods for your hospitality business, consider our How to Choose workshop, hosted regularly in Melbourne.

Chris Lambert