Agency owners ask me all the time, “what should I look for in hiring a salesperson?” That’s a great question.

You know, in the insurance agency business, only about 10% of the people we hire as producers succeed and make it long enough to validate. That’s a pretty poor track record. And I think it means that we really could do a much better job of thinking about who it is that we want to hire in the first place.

It’s somebody that should be able to demonstrate that they’ve been successful in the past at something, not necessarily sales, even if it was being a lifeguard, they were the best lifeguard at the pool, and they can prove it.

The other thing is that they need to be driven. Ambition is great, ambition is wanting something, but drive is the absolute determination to get it no matter what happens. Drive is the number one predictor of success in sales.

The last thing to look for is that competitive spirit. Great salespeople love to compete. They’ll compete with themselves if there’s no suitable competitor available, but you want people who want to be number one, who are driven to be number one, who have the ambition to be number one, and who’ve been number one in their life, and are scared to death of not being number one.

So you if you get drive, ambition, prior success and a competitive spirit. And you’re a long way down the road to success with a salesperson.