Are You Or Your Prospects Being Mushroomed?

I keep a keen eye out for the latest interview trends.

Recruiting salespeople is possibly the most hazardous part of any manager’s job.

Sadly sales managers get even less direction and preparation in how to do it well than they receive even on new and polishing selling skill.

I’ve run a series of two-hour style sessions on how to effectively interview salespeople.

At the end of many of them, there’s scope for a round-the-room on the interview clickbait of the day.

The kind of lateral thinking awkward abstract puzzle (the Americans refer to as oddball questions) for which there may well not be a ‘right’ answer, but is meant to reveal how the candidate thinks.

Many recruiters think they’re useless.

Hence seemingly suited to throwaway treatment at the end of a coaching workshop.

If I we’re delivering such right now, I’d use this one as unearthed by a BBC site.

If you were a plant, what instructions would you put on yourself?

Like many of its kind, they strike you as more suited to a first-date. Then again, perhaps not even there.

This one in particular has inglorious echoes of the classic workplace meme that is Mushroom Management.

Where underlings are;

‘kept in the dark and fed … (ahem) manure’.

I quickly skipped over the obvious ‘correct’ answer. Incorporating well-worn HR preferred themes of recognition, personal development, creativity encouraged and challenging-yet-achievable goals.

Landing instead on imagine applying this onto a deal.

If you asked (a version of) this to a prospect person, how would they respond?

Although it’d be quite the qualifier if you got a real answer from knowing what, ‘if this decision making process was a plant…’, your bravery could well be rewarded with buyer candour that puts you ahead of rivals.

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