About Dave

Dave Kurlan's Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award three years running and this year this article earned Gold. Read more about Dave.

Subscribe to the Blog

Your email:

Subscribe on Kindle 
Email me  


 Top 30 on Kindle
Top 100 on Amazon 

Top Sales World - Summer Reading 2014

Inbound 2014


Scroll for Awards

2013 Bronze Medal Top Sales & Marketing Blog2013 Gold Medal Top Sales & Marketing Article2013 Finalist Medal Top Sales & Marketing Thought Leader2013 Gold Medal Top Sales & Marketing Assessment Tool

Scroll for Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator


FREE Recruiting Process Grader

Other Great Sites

top sales world  Evan Elite Promotion New  alltop

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Sales Hiring Chronicles: The Doctor, The Drug Dealer and The User


Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

drug dealerGot you on that title, didn't I?

Did you ever find yourself in a position where you needed to hire salespeople?  Of course you did.

Did you use Objective Management Group's (OMG) incredibly accurate and predictive sales candidate assessments as part of your filtering and selection process?  Perhaps you did.

Did you decide to augment the candidates whom you were finding and hire a recruiter?  Perhaps you did that too.

That's when all the fun starts!

Recruiters think that all of their candidates walk on water.  Clients think that because of our assessment, quality advice and guidance that we walk on water.

So the recruiter sends 5 of the best candidates ever to the client, who has them assessed, and 3 are not recommended.  The recruiter is upset, "Why are you using that stupid assessment? You don't need that! I know these candidates and they're awesome."  

We simply explain to our client why the recruiter has such a high opinion of the candidate (they represent a commission) and why we don't share that opinion.  There are always excellent reasons why a candidate may not be recommended for a particular client, and in some cases, for any client.  

The client feels stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It's just like the title of this article.

You hurt your back and feel tremendous pain.  Your doctor tells you that you'll require surgery to repair a bulging disc.  He suggests bed rest until the following month's surgery.  A friend introduces you to his brother-in-law's, girlfriend's, cousin's nutritionist, who has a yellow pill that will make all of your pain go away.  Today.  Right now.  Decisions, decisions.  Do you listen to your doctor who knows what's best or go for the drug dealer's quick fix? 

To complete this sales analogy, OMG is the doctor, the recruiter is the drug dealer and the client is the user.  It's so easy to get and take the drug for temporary relief.  It's only money.  But the surgery provides the proper long-term solution.  If you take the drug (recruiter's candidate) which wasn't recommended by the doctor (OMG), you'll be back for more when the euphoria wears off, realizing that you still have the disc problem (ineffective salesperson) and ultimately need the surgery (be selective and listen to the expert advice).

I don't mean to upset recruiters, but let's face it.  They don't go nearly as wide and deep on their candidates as we do.  Most aren't sales experts, and really don't know if the salesperson who succeeded at XYZ can succeed at ABC.  We, on the other hand, do know and can show you why, explain the science and provide accurate advice 95% of the time.

The doctor or the drug dealer?  The choice is always yours!

Use this free tool to calculate the cost of your sales hiring mistakes.  If you aren't already an OMG client, you can get a free 72-hour trial of our award-winning sales candidate assesment.  OMG was awarded the Gold Medal for Top Sales Assessment Tool in 2011 and 2012.  And if you'd like to see what hiring salespeople looks like when you work with us, compared with doing it the traditional way, check out this infographic.


© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:32 PM


I guess there are some folks who use both forms of medicine - the doctor and the dealer. I have a client who loves the OMG process (they have hired over 30 sales reps using it), yet where their recruiter is concerned, they frequently skip the OMG Express Screen because those candidates consistently fail to be recommended. And as you state, people know better than any test! This is a case where "it costs more, so it must be better" definitely comes in to play. 
All that in spite of millions of dollars wasted on failed recruiter-candidates who were hired, paid big salaries (not to mention the almost six-figure recruiter fee), yet never earned enough to cover their direct cost to the company. 
Very nice job on the graphic, too!

posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 4:52 AM by Mike Shannon

Hi Dave, 
A great article that really hits at the heart of one of the biggest problems facing sales organisations today. So many are prepared to take a chance on a salesperson just to fill a gap and "Hope" that the results will be different this time. They are generally disappointed but instead of spending the time and some money screening sales candidates with OMG, they do the same thing they did before, again in the hope things will be different this time and they will find that gem. It's the definition of insanity, doing everything the same and expecting things to change.  

posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 3:37 PM by Gary Delbridge

Post Comment
Website (optional)

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics