Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran shares her strategies for hiring managers and salespeople. Her latest book is Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business.
Barbara Corcoran: I am very good at hiring, because I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned to look at the specific individual and look for the most important traits and then ignore everything else, especially the resume. It sends you in the wrong direction. I learned through trial and error what makes a great manager, what makes a great salesperson, and that’s who I always hire.
If you’re going to hire a lot of salespeople for your organization I found that I look for the same three things in every single person I hired. I wanted someone who was insecure with something to prove. If somebody walks in there cocky, they never become your great salespeople. My top ten salespeople making millions of dollars a year, every year came to my office in December swearing they would never have another good year. Why? It was ridiculous. But they were insecure enough to think it could never happen again. You want an insecure person if you’re hiring a salesperson with something to prove.
You also want someone who has a positive attitude in every way, because you know what happens? A positive person when they get hit – and sales is all about getting hit and knocked down. They spend very little time feeling sorry for themselves. They get right back up. They’re back at it. You almost need a low IQ – like hit me again, hit me again, hit me again. That’s a great salesperson. And then you need the work ethic to go with it. Nobody is great in sales unless they work like crazy. So those are the three traits I look for in every great salesperson.
What I look for in a manager is someone who’s gonna be loyal. I mean heck, if I’m gonna build a giant house, which is my business, on a shaky foundation, how far am I gonna get? I need a structure with a footing as loyal as can be that’s gonna stand there through the thick and thin. I also need someone who believes that we’re gonna succeed. I need someone with a positive attitude. Always a positive attitude, because you know what I find? I find a manager with a positive attitude is always gonna find a way to get to where you want them to go.
A mark of a good manager is someone who’s organized. I always ask everyone I’m interviewing in an interview on a scale of one to ten how would you rate yourself as an organized person? I never hire anyone who says nine or ten. I want the guy who says oh, I’m about a 12. A manager without follow-through is useless. You’ve got to be able to give the command, they get it done and they don’t forget about it when something distracts them. A manager always follows through.
Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton