One of the questions Tony and I are asked all the time is what makes an ideal candidate for a sales job here at Legion. It’s taken us pretty much the entire eight years we’ve been in business, but I feel like we finally have a firm grasp on what it takes to be a successful Problem Solver. Tony and I look for different, but complimentary, attributes in potential employees; that separation in focus helps us find the best of the best to add to our staff.
Here are the most important criteria Legion values:
- A positive attitude. Sales is hard. Logistics is hard. Selling logistics is really hard. And frustrating. And stressful. A good Problem Solver will be resilient and have a great deal of emotional maturity. To weather the storms (sometimes quite literally) of this business, you have to be able to take a bad day and – rather than letting it turn into two bad days, or a bad week, or a bad month – turn it into an opportunity to reset, recharge, and refit. Come back the next day with a better attitude. Our folks must be able to “feed the machine” of their minds, and their co-workers minds, with positive messages and reinforcement.
- A sense of urgency. Our business is all about timing. Freight needs to get to where it is going on time, every time. Our customers count on us to understand that. There is nothing in our industry that happens slowly, and anyone working in a sales capacity for us needs to move with urgency and speed. Every morning, we have to come in ready to attack the day, and when problems arise, as they inevitably do, we have to problem-solve with a sense of purpose. Someone who cannot do that will never be successful at Legion or anywhere else in logistics.
- Culture fit. For years, we’ve worked diligently to create an environment where people are comfortable being themselves. Our team members understand that we, as leaders, care about them as humans, and they know we won’t tolerate people treating others badly. This goes for gossip, or general poor ethics as well. In the past, we’ve had people on the staff who violated those tenets. Only once we got rid of all the toxic, negative people were we able to feel like our culture had finally jelled. Now that we have what (and who) we want, nothing and no one is going to poison the well. We only hire people we believe will contribute to the positive atmosphere at Legion. No matter how good a salesperson is, we’ll cut them loose the minute we feel they are a threat to what we’ve built and the foundation it sits on.
- I immediately reject any candidate who appears to be a know-it-all. One of the most important aspects of being a successful salesperson is the ability to take, and incorporate, feedback into your performance. I meet with all the Problem Solvers on a weekly basis, and in order for those sessions to be useful, informative and motivational, the Problem Solvers must be open-minded. If someone comes in defensive and walled-off, I’m not going to be able to help them improve, and they aren’t going to be successful. Prospective employees must show me that they are open to suggestion, constructive criticism, and able to learn from those who have come before.
Now, obviously, there are other factors we look at in interviews – like, can a person actually SELL. But once the fundamentals are covered, it is these intangible factors that make all the difference in the world. Lots of people can sell. Not many can do it for Legion. Not many will.