It is more important to hire a person who has good interpersonal communication skills than to find someone who knows your product inside and out. Why? Because product knowledge can be taught. Good communication skills are more difficult to find.
In today’s world where it costs more to gain a new customer than to keep a current one, and where customer service is a competitive differentiator, it is imperative that a company show customers its best side, during each and every customer interaction. Interpersonal skills are also important to the success of internal company teams, and to the effectiveness of a manager (or leader) in the organization. And each of these things is important to the success of the department and the company.
So what are a few things you can look for when interviewing and evaluating a person to join your company? Knowledge of your industry or product is great, but do not forget to look a little deeper. Things to look for:
- An interviewee that establishes eye contact
- Someone who speaks well and is able to articulate their points clearly
- A person with a team attitude (yes, even in sales…the best of the closers still understand why it is important for the whole team to succeed)
- Someone who wants to go the “extra mile” to make customers happy
- A person who understands that their individual actions impact the success of the whole company
- Someone who wants to have fun at work and enjoy what they do
When searching for the ideal candidate for your position, you may also want to use some type of profiling tool. There are a number of tools on the market that can identify what type of communicator a person is and what their workplace strengths are. These can be useful when you are trying to get a good mix of talent on a team.
Be careful however, not to base your decision solely on these types of tests. You may end up turning down a great candidate because they don’t fit the “profile” you were looking for. Just keep in mind, when you are looking for the “perfect” person to fit well into an already established group, you have to consider the whole package. Does he or she have technical knowledge? Great! Is he or she a good communicator? Even better! Does it feel like hiring him or her would create a win for you and a win for him/her? Well then, you’ve found the right person!