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Welcome to where the magic happens. Every project, class, system and process I have ever implemented started with a blog post RIGHT HERE. So dig in, there is gold in these electrons.

Hiring A Sales Superstar: The Simulation Critique

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Okay, you conduct the simulation, video tape it and have your results all laid out. Now, you have to relay the results to the candidate. You may think you have learned everything there is to know because of the thoroughness of the simulation but you haven’t.

Our friend “Gauge” tells us how the candidate accepts your critique should be a crucial factor in your overall decision.

Now a short course on how to relay critique. The better the simulation the harsher the critique, the worse the simulation the more gentle. In both cases you MUST relay the facts it is just the manner that will change.

If they did a great job but are thin skinned during the critique that should tell you that they may not take criticism well much less be able to handle adversity. Or as Alec Baldwin said in Glen Garry Glenn Ross “if you can’t take what I am saying to you how are you going to take the abuse you get on a sit?” People who perform well need a more tougher approach because you don’t want some talented prima donna who can’t take coaching. They tend to be complainers and could undermine authority and teamwork.

If they did a poor job but take the criticism well or ask for a second chance to fix their mistakes and put your suggestions in action that should tell you about their resilience. I want somebody with the attitude to try until they get it right. You may be softer in your approach but nobody likes a bad review. If they crumble well… If they are made of sterner stuff they you’ll know by their response.

These examples are the extremes. Your critiques will vary of course as will how you handle them, always based on the individual. What is important is learning more about the candidate and their viability for your position while determining the direction of the interview process.

Check back for my for my next post on Hiring a Sales Superstar!

And remember “You can either make sales or make excuses but you can’t do both!”


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It’s The Economy Stupid… Or Is It?


Say hello to CONTACT, she is the Best Practice League’s specialist in lead generation and today is all about her…

“The economy, the economy it is making my customers into tightwads” Boy oh boy I have been hearing that refrain everywhere. Believe you me, I don’t NOT think that the economy is tough right now and that some markets are tougher than others. My problem is “our” collective response to the core issue.
When things are tight prospects are going to dry up, that’s a fact Jack (shout out to my 13 month old there). That doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the game. Part of the problem is the economy but the bigger part, the most imortant part of the probelm is human nature, our human nature as salespeople. When we don’t have enough prospects in our pipeline we start to see every person who says they MAY be interested as a QUALIFIED PROSPECT and the sad truth is that is never true. When is every person who expresses interest a qualified prospect? Answer: Never!
Sales is still sales but it is the lead generation that has got tougher. The real problem is we have gotten lazy with our lead generation and our prospect qualification. You want to beat this recession then double your lead generation efforts and improve your qualification skills. More calls, send out more SIT touches, do more drop offs but also ask better and more detailed questions. Make sure whoever you are talking to is the right person with the right organization in the right industry with the right needs and wants.
The beauty of this is if we put the time in NOW to make sure we are doing the right things with the right people then when the economy turns we will be in the “cat bird’s seat” and ready to hit the ground running AHEAD of the competition.
Below are a couple of good articles on this very subject…
[button link=””>3%20ways%20to%20improve%20your%20lead%20nurturing%20strategy.pdf” color=”lightblue”]3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LEAD GEN STRATEGY[/button]

[button link=”” color=”lightblue”]WHY YOU SHOULD TOUCH A CUSTOMER[/button]

I know, I know I still have to finish my Hiring and Assessment System, I promise I will continue that thread with my next post…

Letting A Salesperson Go

A sales person who is being fired, as a general rule, know they are doing bad and their morale/self confidence is low already.



You can actually raise their opinion of themselves if you are professional and compassionate but not SOFT when you let them go.



Most co-workers are also aware of the poor performance. You can have 2 positive impacts here 1) They see the dead weight being cut away 2) they see you are adhering to at least basic standards. The downside to not letting them go right away is the potential negative impact having this person could cause. Even the most simple cause and effect griping could have a ripple effect that would at least disrupt your operation.



As the manager it is your job to contact the clients and maintaining the situation. You should facilitate/participate in the first meeting with the new rep. Again if you do this part right it is a net gain.



We are salespeople, it is our job to turn every situation to our advantage. This can be a positive teaching moment for everybody involved. The key is not being weak or apologetic. Have and know the facts so you can speak with authority. Remember one weak link will break the chain what you are doing is for the good of the customer, company and team!


Some people don’t want to be saved. Because saving

means changing and changing is always harder than

staying the same. It takes courage to face yourself in

the mirror and look beyond the reflection, to find the

you that you should have been, the you that got

derailed because of some circumstance. Events can

take your life’s natural trajectory and twist it. Changing

it into something unimaginable or even incredible,

giving you the courage to embrace your birthright,

your destiny and realize who you were always meant to


Hiring A Sales Superstar: Constructing & Conducting a Sales Simulation

“Mistakes Are Temporary But Regret… That Lasts Forever”
John C. KolencikWhen I was a kid and would get into trouble almost always my parents would find out. The next 20 minutes, after their discovery, I would spend apologizing, trying to avoid the inevitable punishment that was coming. That’s when my parents came right back everytime and said “John Christopher Kolencik your actions speak louder than your words” emphasis THEIRS!Why do we take a candidate’s word for it when they say that they can sell? Oh, right it says they can on their resume’. Yea, and their references said they can too. Well I have waited a long time to say this instead of hearing it “your actions speak louder than words”.

Sales simulations are a KEY tool in discovering the actual skill level of any potential sales hires. Think about it, what tells you more about a person besides how they actually react in a particular situation? And the beauty of the sales simulation is that you can construct it EXACTLY to the experiences you have everyday.

There are a 1o steps that must be adhered to so the simulation will yield the results and information you need to help in your hiring selection. I will detail 9 of them today and the 10th will be in my next post.

  1. Give the candidate access to any advice or resources that a currently employed sales person would have but don’t prompt them to specifics. If they ask great but if they don’t, well that tells you something right there doesn’t it?
  2. Make sure that the simulation is based in your everyday reality. Harder is better than easier but straying to either extreme garners you nothing but wasted time.
  3. Each step in YOUR actual sales process should be simulated, no short cuts!
  4. Detail out, internally, how you define success in the simulation. This gives you an un-biased road map to grade/assess the candidate.
  5. There should be multiple “actors” in any simulation. When was the last time you were involved in a sale that didn’t have multpile parties involved?
  6. Write defined roles and direction for the “actors”, don’t rely on their “acting chops”. This removes any bias or random mistakes.
  7. Include “planned interruptions” during the course of the simulation. What sale have you been a part of where your meetings were never interrupted?
  8. Always include a letter/proposal writing segment in any simulation. What a deflation it is to find your new star sales hire “don’t write too good”.
  9. Record it, minimum audio but preferably video. See my last post as to why.
  10. Conduct a Critique Session.


That’s it for today. If you have any questions or need any help constructing/conducting a Sales Simulation give me a call at 216-347-6729. Make sure to check back for my next post where I detail out Number 11; How to conduct an effective Critique Session. And believe you me if you thought the Simulation was an eye-opener just wait to see what you will learn by critiquing your candidate’s performance.