Who to hire as your first sales rep

Michael Humblet — part 1/5

We interviewed Michael Humblet, former VP of Sales of one of the largest growing startups in Europe, on who to hire as your first sales rep.

What are the skills I need to look for?

Experience is good, but ninety percent will not be relevant, so what you need to look for is a creative builder. Somebody that actually goes out, tries to figure it out, and really tries to find ways to accelerate your sales.

How do I figure this out?

You need to find a way to find his intrinsic motivation. That means asking questions like: what if you would have 10 million, what would you do?

Those questions will teach you the real inner working of his motivation.

What are the personalities to avoid?

You should avoid the mercenaries at all costs. They are too aggressive. They will come in. They will disrupt your current customer base. They’ll be good at closing, but that will be it. The other type of personality you need to avoid are the soft guys. They’re nice, they’re sweet, everybody likes them, but they will not close your business. Stay away from both of those.

Do I need to like my first sales hire?

Well, you need to work with him day in day out, so at least you need to like him. Secondly, I would say: would you buy from him? That would be the most important criteria for me. You also know what your customers want, so if you would buy from him, he would be the right guy.