Personally, I've found it beneficial to assess and value candidates with tougher, nontraditional upbringings. Consider someone
who might have had a lot of responsibility in raising his or her brothers and sisters. Think about someone who had to do a
lot of work around the house before he or she went to school in the morning. The reason I value these types of experiences
in candidates as I'm building my team is that these folks often show an unusually high level of adaptability relative to other
I'm not saying that people who came from stable backgrounds are not great employees and can't make great salespeople. That's
not the case at all. But what I am saying is that when you're in a highly competitive, tough market in an industry or company
going through a lot of changes, you need people with extra flexibility, resilience, and determination. Those qualities go
a long way and make a huge difference. Some of the very best reps I know have that type of background. I think that's something
to consider as you're getting to know people in the interviewing process.
Industry Insider Reggie Smith is a division sales manager at Genentech, where he has worked for 10 years. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at
Arlington. Prior to joining Genentech, Smith worked in sales at Lederle Laboratories. He spent four years as an active member
of the US Army and one year in the National Guard.