The fastest ways to grow your business is to add a super salesperson to your staff — but take your time and do it slowly to make sure you find a professional, high achiever. On the other hand, the quickest way to anger clients and harm your business is to hire a sales misfit.

What can a super salesperson do for you?

  • High-performing salespeople pay for themselves 10 times over; they make you and the company money.
  • They will positively impact other parts of the organization, raising the bar on everyone.
  • Building a team of three or more high-achieving salespeople creates positive peer pressure that lifts your company higher.

Here are some proven tools to help you understand the difference and hire smart. The most important tool is your patience.

When you promote someone internally to a level of incompetence, you lose a good employee and sales opportunities. You ultimately lose clients and goodwill when you cycle through (hire, fire and hire) incompetent salespeople. The easy decision is not always the best.

The following eight mistakes will help you slow down and hire right. Avoid these eight mistakes when recruiting your next super salesperson:

1. Hiring or promoting someone for their technical skills, gift of gab, or nice personality their sales skills matter most. Look for signs in their resume for past sales success.

2. Not tying them into profit margins. Most salespeople impact profits in a significant fashion, and their commission should reflect this.

3. Asking them to do too many things. Just because their resume reflects a wealth of experience doesn't mean you should expect them to juggle too many balls. It is more profitable to have them focus.

4. Assuming they are driven by money. Even salespeople on 100 percent commission are not wholly driven by money. Take time to discover the key that unlocks their motivation, and you will become a better sales manager.

5. Not managing and mentoring them. Even if they are a sales superstar, they need accountability, (positive and corrective) reinforcement and proper onboarding. When you hire a thoroughbred, you give him/her more attention, not less.

6. Not using a personality profile when hiring; this mistake will kill your business. After years of making hiring mistakes, I have found my favorite personality profile, and you need to find yours. Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish; invest in a good one.

7. Setting low sales goals. A good salesperson should sell enough to grow your company, cover full overhead including the owner's salary, pay for themselves and add ample profit to the bottom line.

8. Hiring a salesperson who is not a breadwinner. Ideally, your salespeople have financial aspirations and needs. If they are sitting on a trust fund (I have seen that) or don't need to work because they are taken care of at home (I have seen that, too), then they will not be driven. They may still make a good employee, even a great employee, but they won't be a super salesperson.

Super salespeople are a special breed it is worth the patience and perseverance it takes to find them. Assess the ROI of each of your salespeople and make sure their goals and commissions align.

Do you have the right salespeople in the right sales positions? Shifting them to a better sales position might help you get the most of their potential.

If you (as owner) are the best salesperson on your team, then you may be missing out. Time to reflect: Where do you want to take your firm?