How to Deal With the "Trump Effect" in Sales Hiring

May 15, 2017 Nick Rini

There was a time when it was understood that in order to be considered for a job, you had to have direct experience. That all changed November 8th when Donald Trump was elected.

His qualifications for the job were not typical. He did not have a long history of working his way up the chain of elected government positions. However, this lack of experience was not an obstacle to the presidency. Trump’s unique personality, take no prisoners philosophy, and aggressive approach took the place of government experience and won him the highest job in the land.

Good, bad, or otherwise, job seekers are taking the same approach. Those with the confidence and desire, but not the required experience, are applying for positions that would traditionally be out of their league. A manager on Quora has seen the Trump effect on job applicants first hand: “So thanks to Trump and what he has accomplished, he has brought on a new way of job candidates seeking unique positions - hire me because… “I say I can do it, not prove it until I get there” type of thing.”

In sales, there are a number of qualities to look for beyond job experience.

  • To what degree is this person is a self-starter?
  • Does the applicant process information quickly?
  • Can they form and maintain relationships?

If you have an outgoing, emotionally intelligent applicant with a high level of drive and a can-do attitude - you may have a potential sales superstar, even if they don’t have experience. However, no sales manager wants to risk missing department sales goals because of a bad hire.

It is essential that sales management distinguish between applicants for a position who are simply aiming high and lack the cognitive, and emotional skills necessary to succeed in sales, from those who are worthy of an hiring investment.


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