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From the Agency New Business Front Line: The Most Important Hiring Criteria

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agency new businessHire someone internally to handle your agency new business effort or look outside to a company like RSW/US or others out there.

A tough call perhaps, the good news is you’re thinking about it. (You are, right?)

Let’s focus on that internal hire, and more specifically the hiring process for the purposes of this post.

Something we learned early in our own hiring, the individuals we bring on to lead or be a part of our agency clients’ new business team need to be able to “walk the walk” when it comes to selling agencies.

The other important trait to look for is being able to ask questions and listen, but I hadn’t really thought about that in the context of hiring the right salesperson, either for ourselves or when agencies are hiring internally.

Which brings me to Jim Keenan’s post (Hiring a Sales Guy) on his A Sales Guy blog. Per Jim,

My advice for a non-sales person hiring a sales person, hire the person who asks the most questions.

Even better, Jim’s post is advice for the situation where a non-sales person is trying to hire that sales person, which happens often at agencies.

Jim lays out 5 things to think about when trying to hire a salesperson.

1) Focus on the questions. Are they asking a lot?

2) Are they inquiring about your business, the processes, the objectives of the position, the current challenges, the team dynamics, the available tools, the skills required, the perceived barriers and more.

3) Are they digging into your business and the position?

4) Are they taking your answers and offering solutions?

5)Do you feel like you are sitting across from a business consultant?

If you’ve made the decision to hire internally, do all you can to make sure that new business hire is given the necessary resources and is made to feel and be part of the team.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.