The psychological profile of the sales assistant
12.10.2021 14225

The psychological profile of the sales assistant

If you conduct a survey of retail business executives and ask what the main problem is now, then the answer "Where to find and how to keep good sellers" will certainly be included in the top three answers. SR expert Evgeny Danchev talks about the criteria for effectively hiring people for the position of a sales assistant.

Evgeny Danchev Evgeny Danchev -

business coach, consultant, expert in increasing sales of the fashion market. Author of the book "A Practical Guide to Increasing Sales of Shoes and Accessories". Author of sales scripts "60 responses to customer objections in a retail shoe store" and "Standards for retail shoe sales." Creator of an online school for fashion market leaders.


Even 10-15 years ago, companies could select experienced sellers, relying on the attraction of ready-made, already formed specialists. And now, rather, candidates for the position of a seller, even without special work experience, choose a company. And every year competition in the labor market in fashion retail will only intensify, since the number of shopping centers and retail stores will grow in the medium term, and the working-age population of Russia will decline.

The labor market has long lacked a sufficient selection of sellers with experience, so companies have to hire people who do not always have them. Based on my practice of cooperation with various small and medium-sized businesses, where I conducted training and certification of sales personnel, I can draw the following conclusion: in fact, all the problems of companies (low sales and staff turnover) are associated with the incorrect selection of sales consultants. As a result, about 20-30% of the sales force in each company is the weak link. And it is precisely their low productivity that prevents the business from growing and developing.

The figure below shows the Low Selling Ring model.

"Ring of low sales"

It all starts with the fact that when the company does not have clear criteria for the selection of personnel, their absence leads to the hiring of people who do not correspond to the psychological profile of the position. But we will demand the result from them, as from strong sellers, and they will not be able to give it to the company. Sellers failing to achieve the desired results will experience severe stress and emotional fatigue. As a result, they will begin to show negative emotions and demotivation to work and study. And as a consequence of the entire negative exit chain - low performance (KPI) and weak sales.

Why does the model have a ring structure? Because there is no way out of it until the company re-evaluates the entire hiring system.

And the first step to get out of the ring of unsuccessful strategies, in my opinion, should be the appearance in the company of the psychological profile of the position of a sales assistant. In Russia, in contrast to Western countries, we proceed from the personality of a specific person and work according to the principle of “Business for specific people”. But it should be the other way around - a person must be taken to a position that he will correspond to from the point of view of a psychological profile.

How to profile for the sales assistant position?

First, you need to answer the following question: "What attitudes should this specialist adhere to?"

Life attitudes are our inner values, interests, goals and habitual ways of thinking that cement the personality of each person.

The list of goals and values ​​can be quite large, but if you choose the key ones, then the following will be important for the sales assistant:

  • positive attitude (optimist, not pessimist);
  • focus on the result, not the process;
  • ambitions to earn more than others, and not guaranteed to have a small but stable income;
  • focusing on achieving goals in the future, rather than striving to return to the comfort zone, as it was in the past.

How to understand whether a job seeker corresponds to a psychological profile or not?

To do this, you need to ask him the right questions and listen carefully to his answers.

1. To understand at an interview whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, offer the job seeker: "Please name all the significant turning points that have happened in your professional career in the last 3-5 years."

Optimists will talk about their successes and achievements, and pessimists will talk about failures and reasons for dismissal. Pessimists often have a “victim” position: “I'm good, it's just that there are the wrong people and inappropriate circumstances around me”.

Why is it important for a sales assistant to be optimistic? Because his emotions and energy are transmitted to customers, which creates a zone of trust in the communication process. Optimistic sellers are 25% more likely to sell than their pessimistic counterparts.

2. To calibrate the vital attitude of the process / result, it is enough to ask the following question to the job seeker: “What exactly were your functional responsibilities in your last job, and what results did you achieve?”

Process-oriented people will be more likely to talk about what they did (what they did, who they talked to, what they did). They will say almost nothing about the results. Result-oriented people will talk about their accomplishments with numbers and facts.

Result-oriented salespeople are more likely to close customers for sale by understanding the responsibility for fulfilling the sales plan and KPIs. In the process of communicating with the buyer, they focus on achieving the goal, and not on the service process itself. If a salesperson is more process-oriented, then he closes fewer sales, because he enjoys communication, and the result fades into the background.

3. To understand the financial ambitions of a job seeker, you can ask the following questions: “How much do you want to earn in your first month of work? How many - in six months? How many - in a year? "

Good ambitions - this is when the difference in wages between the first month of work and six months later will be at least 20%. Thought is material, what we believe in often happens. Therefore, the seller's belief in the ability to earn 30-50% more in a year is a very good indicator of his real potential.

If the seller cannot even verbally pronounce the figure in rubles, answering the question about earnings in six months, it means that inside he has a built-in limiter of his financial ambitions, and with a high degree of probability, the efficiency of such a seller will be lower.

4. To understand what the job seeker focuses on (future goals or past comfort), you can ask him the following questions: “Why do you want to work in our company? What is so important for yourself that you see with us? "

If the answers are more about stability, reliability, social and material guarantees, the proximity of the office to home and a convenient work schedule, then this means the orientation of the job seeker towards the comfort zone in the past. If the answers are more about self-realization, career prospects, gaining new experience and the opportunity to master a new profession, this means that the job seeker focuses more on future goals.

Of course, stability in life is important for every person, especially since we are talking about the position of a sales assistant, and not about a manager. Still, a professional salesperson must have healthy ambitions. The phrase of the great commander Alexander Suvorov "A bad soldier who does not dream of becoming a general" is just right for this case.

In this article, I talk about the ideal salesperson psychological profile that recruiting professionals can target. Of course, if you adhere to all my recommendations and hire only those sellers who are 100% consistent with the profile of the position, then with a meager choice in the labor market, you can generally be left without staff. If a job seeker matches the profile of the position by 70-80%, that's already good. This means that for the most part, his life attitudes will definitely help him become a successful seller. And the missing 20-30% must be compensated for by effective management.

If you could only recruit salespeople in the business who are 100% satisfying the profile of the position, then you would not need managers and points of control over the work of staff. But this does not happen in business. Therefore, you need to really look at the quality of labor resources in the market and understand that your main task is to screen out people who do not suit you at all, and you just need to effectively manage the rest of human resources in order to achieve the goals set for the company.

If you conduct a survey of retail business executives and ask what the main problem is now, then the answer "Where to find and how to keep good sellers" will necessarily include ...
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