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Customized Training, Coaching and Consultation for High Value Employees and High Impact Issues

Learning 4 Performance

August 11, 2010

Volume III, Issue XIV

Effective Interviewing

Approximate reading time: 2 minutes

In This issue:

  1. Effective Interviewing: Two Tips
  2. Lessons from Sales, IV
  3. More FSTD Content: Blog Posts
  4. Upcoming Public Workshops

When it comes to hiring, it’s a “buyer’s market”…right?

Let’s face it. Eventually we’ll start to hire people again. With all the people out of work, that’ll be a breeze. Stop! Let’s assume for just a minute that the people doing the lay-off’s did the right thing and got rid of their “dead wood”. If that’s even partially true (logic tells me it is), we’ll have to sort through a lot of dead wood to find truly qualified people.

With that in mind, here are 2 tips that will dramatically, immediately improve your chances of finding a winner.

Tip #1: Never describe the job specifics to the applicant until you have the information you require to make a quality evaluation.

The rationale is quite straightforward. Let’s say you describe the job as, “This job requires good interpersonal skills, good problem solving skills and the ability to work alone in the bottom of a cold, dark, damp hole.” Then you ask the applicant, “What are your job strengths?” Chances are you will get the answer, “I have good interpersonal skills, good problem solving skills and I love to work alone in the bottom of a cold, dark, damp hole.”

If the person you are interviewing truly wants the job (…there are a lot of hungry people out there …) they will present themselves in the very best light relative to the job. For you to make an accurate assessment of the person relative to the job, you need to know what they offer, not just what they want you to know.

Tip #2: Never tour the work place and/or specific workstation until you have the information you require to make a quality evaluation.

The rationale here is similar to the rationale above. For some jobs, it is important to assess the applicant’s compatibility to the work environment. If the work environment is that “cold, dark, damp hole” and the applicant sees or hears about it, what kind of response do you thing you will get when you ask, “What kind of a work space is best for you?”

Typical questions to assess the applicant’s compatibility to the workspace are:

  • Let’s say you are offered the job. It is your first day and you walk up to your workspace for the first time. You have never seen your workspace up to now. What would you like to see?
  • What type of workspace is best for you?
  • When you look up from your work area, what do you want to see?
  • In what physical conditions do you work best? (If you have already told the applicant that the workspace is at the bottom of a cold, dark, damp hole, guess what answer you will get to this question?)

Conclusion: It is a buyers market ... if you ask the right questions when hiring!

How well does your company bring on new talent? Contact us to learn more about Effective Interviewing Skills.

Lead On!

George Loyer George

George posts regularly to the blog at


Lessons in Sales, IV:
Managing the Process

New Customers Don't Just "Magic Up"

You've been really thinking about this.  You want to get everyone on board around sales.  You are committed to leading by example.  Now what?

Define Success.   More revenue, of course, but for this to be a real win, a long-term win, you must instill new expectations, new systems and new habits.  You want, I think, for this to be your last taste of up-and-down sales.  Maybe it's just me, but I think that you want a stable pipeline.

A Stable Pipeline.  That is, to experience more closed deals at the end of the process, we are going to have to implement systematic approaches to

  1. Generate More Leads
  2. Quickly and Correctly Qualify those Leads
  3. Pitch and Close those Leads
  4. Learn from our Experience so that we get better over time.

Successful pipeline management requires both a Macro- and a Micro-view.  That is, you must have the capability to see the big picture of the pipeline as a whole, as well as the individual prospect and where he or she is in their buying process.

In Macro- terms, we want to see the classic funnel shape, with a LOT of initial prospects, people who fit your customer profile, at the very top of the funnel.  Handled well, a certain percentage of these prospects should be converting into confirmed leads.  A number of those should be converting into Requests for Proposals.  A certain percentage of these RFPs should be going in the "Win" column.  If we're experiencing poor sales at the end, we are improperly managing one or more segments of our pipeline.  Our sales process must flag this to us and provide clear "Next Steps" to address the shortcoming.

In terms of the Micro- view, we also need the capability to track where we are in the relationship building and mutual education process with each individual prospect.  Unless you wish to compete solely on the basis of price, you will need to be proactively building a mutually respectful relationship with your prospect so that, when "bid time" comes, he or she is (almost) already sold.  Wherever your prospect "is" at the moment, your sales teams needs to have concrete steps to take to move the relationship forward.

Outstanding Pipeline Management = More Sales. A totally learnable process and skill set.  Simple but not simplistic.  In upcoming issues, we will be sharing concrete strategies and tips for guiding each phase of the sales pipeline.  

All the Best,

RobRob Benson

PS. Some of you may be saying "we already do this."  Do you do it well?  Do you have a healthy funnel?  Does each person on the sales team know their role to move the prospect(s) forward?  Are there hard measures?  Is there real accountability?  If you answer "no" or "maybe" to any of these questions, you have room for improvement.  Stay tuned to these newsletters.  Check out our blog or give us a call.

PPS. I will be presenting two workshops on the CODE sales process at the upcoming National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Conference in Louisville, KY on September 2, 2010. If you are in the area, please consider joining us at that event. Email me if you'd like further details.

Our Current Blog Posts

In Other Publications

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Register for an Upcoming Public Workshop

  • Trouble Shooting Logic
    • August 24-26, 2010, Atlanta, GA
    • September 20-22, 2010, Atlanta, GA
    • October 25-27, 2010, Atlanta, G
  • The Sales CODE, September 14-15, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Performance Coaching, September 23-24, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Mastering Involvement, October 28, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Trouble Shooting Logic Train-the-Trainer (T3), November 8-19, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) -  Openers, Initiatives and Low Elements - November 30-December 1, 2010, Utica, MS
  • Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Trust, Low Ropes, High Ropes and AlpineTower - December 2-3, 2010, Utica, MS


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