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Episode 023 How To Hire The Next Great Salesperson-Interview with John Kolencik

I interview John Kolencik who owns Matrix Impact about how to hire the next great salesperson. John encourages us to use simulations in our interviews to improve our hiring process.

John’s first recommendation is make the simulation as real as possible. He insists that the interview must be taped. We are trying to determine if this candidate is coachable. Multiple simulations should be used to determine coachability and aptitude.

Here are John’s Top 3 Items to focus on in the interview.

1. Learn what the candidate thinks the most important thing in selling is. The three A answers that John is looking for are:

  1. Listening
  2. Questioning
  3. Building Relationships

2. What is their commitment to customer satisfaction? Is it in sync with yours?

3. Find out about their work ethic. There is no one question for this. There are many layers to the questions and they are peppered throughout the interview. Here are some of the questions:

  1. Tell me about high school and what activities you were in?
  2. Did you have a job in high school?
  3. If they went to college ask them how did you pay for college?
  4. What activities were you in college?
  5. Can you tell me about your first job?

I talk about my old boss from Serta’s favorite question to ask in an interview. John shares a story about how one of his customers almost hires a professional bass fisherman who was gone eight to ten weeks a year!

I ask John, “How do we get our salespeople off to a good start?” John’s answers are enlightening and at times surprising. Don’t miss this interview! If you have questions for John call him at 216-347-6729 or go to his website at

Wishing You Success!


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