Einstein famously showed the world that Energy was equal to Mass times the Speed of Light squared (E = MC ² ). So if you took a unit of mass (say, a sales guy) and accelerated him to the square of light speed, would he become pure energy?

We also know from physics that a body at rest tends to stay at rest (which is a big problem if you’re a sales manager trying to motivate your team). How do the best sales people get their mass up to speed?

How do the best sales people
get their mass up to speed?


A recent article in Selling Power suggests three ways to motivate your sales team, but in the end concludes, “Motivation is something you can’t teach . . . people either have it or they don’t. The key is to hire sales people who have their own internal motivation.” In your experience, have you been successful in transferring energy and motivation into someone who didn’t already have it or want it?

Warren Buffett won’t hire a candidate who doesn’t bring energy with her to the job. If energy truly is a make-it- or-break- it trait, and if an applicant has to bring it with him, then wouldn’t it make sense to know a candidate’s energy level before you make the hiring decision?

How do you measure an applicant’s
energy level before hiring?


1) Probe with purposeful questions in the interview.  
Buffett suggests asking about an applicant’s habits. If exercise and/or regular physical activity are not present, then energy may be lacking in other areas as well. You can also ask about what gets them excited or motivated. If they don’t demonstrate energy in their response to that question, then how much passion do you think they will bring to the job?

2) Consider how the applicant has responded to challenges in the past.
Everyone responds to challenges and roadblocks in their own way. High energy people tend to quickly test multiple solutions, use their internal motivation to avoid getting discouraged, and find ways to keep moving. Listen for clues that indicate they remain energetic when facing obstacles.

3) Assess the applicant directly.
Did you know you can accurately measure someone’s energy level with a short online assessment? Multiple pre-screening tools exist that include questions designed to gauge an applicant’s energy level during the hiring process. When hiring for sales positions, we recommend the SalesMax instrument because of its focus on traits correlated with sales success.

Think about your top performers today:
How would you rate their energy level?


Think about the top sales performers you have right now: how would you rate their energy level? Knowing them as well as you do, what indications tell you that they are high energy individuals? How could you look for those indications in your hiring process?

Keep in mind that the best sales performers bring their own energy with them. Next week we’ll look at another must-have trait for sales success.



SalesMax is an EEOC compliant pre-screening assessment that measures job applicants for eight characteristics linked to success in sales. Use SalesMax to put the odds in your favor and raise your percentage of successful hires.

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If you’d like to check out SalesMax, click here to request a sample or a demo.

Scroll down to comment and share the trait you most look for when hiring for sales.

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Dr. Shero believes that leadership can be learned and that the best organizations intentionally develop leadership at every level. Leaders have the privilege of influencing other human lives for the better. That's why Phillip cares so much about learning to lead well and helping others do the same.

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