are-your-salespeople-too-cheapWhen sales managers and business owners hire salespeople, they’re typically looking for sales experience. Frequently, industry knowledge. And sometimes—although not often enough—attitude. But there’s another quality you need to be screening for: Are they cheap?

Because if they are, they’re not going to be an effective salesperson for you. In fact, a cheap salesperson costs you money. Because cheap salespeople sell cheap.

Don’t get me wrong—everyone loves a bargain. But a person who is, shall we say, “hyper-frugal” cares about spending as little money as possible in the short term above all else. They don’t value things like quality, durability, speed, accuracy, dependability, consistency, service, customization, taste, freshness, performance, and comfort. (Which you might recognize as the very elements your company is using to position your product or service.) And if they don’t value those factors, they can’t sell those factors.

Because of this, cheap salespeople resort to selling on price, with the result being they either lose the sale to a competitor who can sell on value, or they discount like crazy, eliminating most or all of your profit margin. Neither is a good outcome for your business.

So how do you determine if a current or prospective salesperson is a cheapskate? Find out a few things about them. Like:

• What kind of car do they drive?

• What kinds of clothes do they wear?

• Where do they go on vacation?

• What are their favorite brands?

• Do they buy generics/store brands or do they buy name brands?

• Are they brand loyal or do they buy whatever’s on sale?

• What is their approach to spending?

• What are their attitudes about money?

• What stores do they shop at most?

• Why do they buy what they buy?

• Why do they shop where they shop?

Learning a person’s approach to buying will tell you a lot about their approach to selling. If they value the qualities your company prides itself on, they’re potentially a good fit for your sales team. If they don’t value those items, odds are they’re not a good fit, even if they have loads of experience.

In fact, you many discover you have one or more “ultra-thrifty” people on your sales team. Evaluate their performance and—since you’ve already invested in them—train them in how to sell on value rather than price. If they can alter their sales approach, great! But if they can’t, you’ll need to reassign them or let them go. Because they’ll keep costing you sales and profits.

Cheapskates aren’t bad people—they just don’t appreciate value. And because of that, they’re not your customer. And they shouldn’t be your salespeople.