4 Tips for Hiring an Inside Sales Agent
When you need to hire an inside sales agent (ISA), or really any sales person, it can be difficult to know where to start. Nowadays there are tons of online resources for finding candidates, but you still have a process in place, know which questions to ask, know what to look for in a good candidate, know how to conduct interviews, and the list goes on.
In a previous article of mine I discuss the correct structure of the ISA hiring process and how best to evaluate someone BEFORE you hire them as an inside sales agent for your real estate team. In that article, I touched on how the hiring process should be: performance, interview, hire, train.
In other words, the first step in the new hire process should be testing whether or not this person is actually capable of the job you need done. Learn that before you invest tons of time and effort in an interview.
What to Look for When Hiring an ISA
In any industry and every business, sales people are the foundation of profit and success. And make no mistake, inside sales agents need to be top notch sales people. Although the most important skill for a potential ISA hire to have is to be able to speak well on the phone and have meaningful and productive sales conversations, I would argue that equally as important in an inside sales candidate is teachability and the drive to learn and improve.
You want at least some base phone and sales skills, but what you also want is a past history of tangible value creation. I would say don’t get caught up on whether or not the candidate has tons of real estate experience—you want them to prove to you that they know what it means to create value for a business, that they’ve created value in the past, and that they are motivated to create value for you.
Now, it’s easy to say all that. But how do you actually determine those things throughout the hiring and interview process?
Here are some tips of things to look for when hiring an inside sales agent for your real estate company.
Four Things to Look for When Hiring an Inside Sales Agent
- Pay less attention to the type of company they worked for in the past or what their title was and more to how they describe their role and the work they did. In the interview are they just giving you a job description of their role? Or are they telling you a story of their day to day, how they developed the role, how they took on new things, or how they helped grow the business by X amount? You want someone who frames their past experience in a way that highlights what they created and what they tangibly improved.
- You want an ISA candidate who can prove they spent a good deal of time looking into your business and your particular market. Someone who did some research and so has a grasp on the type of clients your business typically works with, what types of properties you guys work with clients to buy and sell, the size of your company, how much business you do, who your largest competitors are, etc. They should be able to ask good clarifying questions based on the information they found before the interview.
- Keep an eye out if the candidate reaches out to you before the interview. Reaching out before the interview shows a high level of confidence and engagement. It’s a sign of a great potential candidate if, beforehand, they ask you if there is anything specific they should prepare, if they present a few topics they would like to touch on in the interview, if they ask about the dress code, or even if they just ask the names of the different people they will be interviewing or speaking with throughout the process. It shows they are serious about the position.
- Hard questions. If the candidate has the nerve to ask you difficult or potentially uncomfortable questions, they are demonstrating a high level of confidence that is sure to pay dividends down the road during their sales conversations. You want someone who knows when to say what, but who isn’t afraid to say what they are thinking or ask hard questions.
When hiring an inside sales agent, if you come across a candidate who is both good on the phone in your initial evaluation and then demonstrates a few or all of the above tips, they are definitely a candidate worth considering for the ISA position.
Just remember, each part of the hiring process should be framed within a context of creating value. You need them to bring more money in to your real estate business then you pay them, it’s as simple as that. And they should show that they know that too.