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Top 5 things to look for when hiring a sales rep with no experience

Posted on 08 June 2023

Hiring for some positions can feel like you’re sitting down to gamble – will it be a win or a total loss? Such is the feeling one feels when recruiting for entry-level sales positions. 

But while hiring sales reps with no experience may raise doubts in your mind, it’s time to bust those aside and focus on the potential they may bring. 

Not sure what to look out for? We’ve got you covered with this quick checklist of positive traits to look out for. 

1. Possess a natural sense of curiosity.

Questions on post it notes on a blackboard

Working in sales requires ongoing learning – this requires intellectual curiosity. The candidate must have the ability to ask unexpected questions and show they think out-of-the-box and have done their research. They must also demonstrate a talent for troubleshooting and figuring things out. So, how do you know if they have these skills? Ask them questions such as 

  • How do you figure out what to prioritise and what not to? 

  • What’s your learning style? 


2. Be coachable and have the willingness to learn.

medical devices sales training

As we’ve discovered, being a sales rep involves continuous learning and improvement to keep their skills up to date and to stay ahead of the game. The good news is working with a sales rep with no experience gives you the opportunity to train them from the ground up. But before that, you need to know if they’re going to be coachable or not. There are a couple of ways to do this. 

  • Ask questions such as:Can you tell us your process for learning new skills? Or Can you give us an example of when you received feedback on a task and how you put that feedback into action?

  • Test them: provide the candidate with feedback for areas of improvement they can work on for the following interviews. Then call them back for a second interview and assess whether they implement the feedback. 


3. Have competitive hunger and grit.

competitive race

Without a doubt, sales is a competitive field! And the top-performing sales professionals are constantly striving to do better. For this, a deep-seated hunger for success and grit to overcome all challenges is vital. 

Now while you can’t go and set up a hundred-metre obstacle race, you can ask questions about how they overcame career challenges and investigate past experiences that will give you your answer. For instance, an ambitious candidate may have participated in

the school debate team or a competitive sport. Asking what motivates them is also one way to gauge the candidate’s level of ambition. 

4. Strong storytelling skills.

a group of people listening to a sales person

Sales professionals possess enchanting storytelling skills that make the listener want to know more and persuade them to the point of purchase. But while you want a good storyteller, you don’t want a dull rambler. 

So, here’s a little tip: while the candidate talks about their skills and experiences, listen to them carefully. Are you feeling engaged and drawn into the conversation, or are you trying to hold in a yawn? How long do they talk for – are they clear and concise, or have they lost you amongst all the waffling? 

If they’ve caught your attention, they’ll do the same to a prospective customer!


5. Be a good listener.

Hear what people are saying written in a notebook

Last but not least - Listening. When we talk about sales, the first thing to come to mind is a lot of talking. But it’s essential to note that the best reps in the business are equally good listeners. Therefore, when you’re assessing them on all of the above, watch and listen out for their listening skills. Do they interrupt you while you’re talking? Are they asking you to repeat the question? And what’s their body language like? Do they appear to be attentive and absorbing what you’re saying? 

Remember – if they’re not listening to you, they won’t listen to the customer. 


Get it right the first time with DukeMed.

right the first time reminder note on board

You want to find the best medical device specialists to help your business thrive. But you want way more than a fancy CV. You want the right blend of talent, ability, and style.

Our candidates have been through a rigorous screening process to ensure they’re at the top of their game. They undergo in-depth interviews, networking, and careful reference checks.

So, when we put a candidate forward, you know they have the qualifications, abilities, and focus to fit the bill. 

If you’re on the hunt for the top MedTech talent the industry has to offer, connect with DukeMed today. We’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work, knowing who you need and when.

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