Do Smarter People Sell Better? The Answer May Surprise You...

February 28, 2017 Nick Rini

While there is no doubt that intelligent people have an easier time processing and retaining information- does that really make them a “smarter” choice than a candidate who is their intellectual junior? Not necessarily.

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Selling Intelligence vs. Plain Old Intelligence

During the hiring process intelligence is often measured from the interviewer’s chair. Think back to the last interview you conducted with a sales candidate whom you found to be very bright. Chances are you didn’t quiz them on trigonometry, or administer an IQ test. Perhaps you posed a question and got an insightful reply, discovered they graduated from an impressive university, or found shared connections with colleagues you hold in high esteem during interview small talk.

None of the above are true measures of intelligence. They are instead a complex combination of emotional intelligence (a great small talker), work ethic (graduating from a demanding college program), and sociability (seeking out shared connections to leverage).

If the interviewee was administered an IQ test, you may find that in fact they are not as “intelligent” as you perceived. True intelligence is a combination of cognitive processing skills and memory. It does not take into account social skills, emotional intelligence, work ethic - or most importantly- selling skills.

Knowing a candidate’s IQ score will not help you predict their sales success- but knowing their Selling Intelligence will.

What defines Selling Intelligence?

Selling Intelligence is the capacity to manage the process of selling products and services by applying sales skills, selling behaviors, cognitive skills, and selling judgement. It’s a complicated form of intelligence.

Some factors of Selling Intelligence are innate- what people within the sales industry have long referred to as being a “born salesperson” - while some components of Selling Intelligence are honed through experience and training. The good news is that Selling Intelligence is measurable- and you don’t have to wait until after you have hired a candidate to discover how well they can - or can’t sell.

Want to discover how your Selling Intelligence ranks- and whether your prospective sales hire has what it takes to perform for your company? Click below to enter a simulated sales environment and go head to head with a virtual customer and see where your Selling Intelligence lands you on the leaderboard:

Test Your Selling Skills!

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