• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Peter Smith | TSE 1789 – Why 58% of Salespeople Are In the Wrong Job & How To Fix It

Don't miss our weekly sales tips!

Sign up below to get weekly tips from Donald on how to build a healthy sales pipeline and convert 2x as many deals!

The Sales Evangelist

Peter Smith on TSE Podcast

What are the key traits to becoming a successful sales representative?

Discover them in this episode of “The Sales Evangelist Podcast.” In this enlightening episode, host Donald Kelly sits down with Peter Smith, a seasoned sales leader and the author of the intriguing book “Hiring Squirrels.” 

Peter shares invaluable insights on identifying and nurturing the right talent in the sales industry. Click play to learn the critical traits of successful sales professionals and a roadmap for leaders striving to enhance their teams’ performance. 

Peter Smith’s Background

  • Over the years, Peter Smith has carved a niche in the luxury jewelry sales market, building and developing highly effective sales teams. 
  • He is not just a consultant but also an esteemed author and a columnist for industry magazines. 
  • His approach to sales training is sculpted around his published works, which focus on hiring strategies, the psychology of storytelling, and key sales techniques.

The Squirrel Hiring Philosophy

  • Peter explains the unique, attention-grabbing title of his book “Hiring Squirrels,” inspired by the concept introduced in Mac Anderson’s book “You Can’t Send a Duck to Eagle School.” 
  • The idea emphasizes hiring individuals who innately possess the necessary skills for a specific role rather than attempting to train those who do not. 
  • Peter highlights the importance of identifying salespeople who are naturally equipped for their roles, as approximately 58% of individuals in sales positions lack the essential traits necessary for success.

Identifying Key Traits in Sales Candidates

  • Peter and Donald discuss the three non-trainable traits crucial for sales success: drive, empathy, and resilience. 
  • Peter provides specific interview questions and strategies to uncover these traits in potential candidates, emphasizing the importance of honest and revealing responses to these targeted questions. 
  • He advises leaders to discern genuine talent through subtle cues and honest interactions during hiring.

The Challenge of Rejection in Sales

  • Rejection is an integral part of the sales process, and dealing with it effectively is a hallmark of a competent salesperson. 
  • Peter stresses resilience as a critical trait, as it determines how a salesperson handles rejection—whether they see it as a personal failure or a professional challenge. 
  • He underscores the need for sales professionals to embrace rejection as a stepping stone rather than a setback.

Peter’s insights provide a clear guide to enhancing sales team dynamics by focusing on intrinsic qualities that predict success. His approach challenges conventional hiring practices and encourages a more nuanced understanding of what makes a salesperson effective.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone involved in sales or team management, offering a profound look at how to approach hiring and team building with a strategic and empathetic mindset. Tune in to rethink how you assess and nurture talent within your sales.


Peter Smith on LinkedIn

The Retail Smiths

Peter Smith’s books

Sponsorship Offers

  • This episode is brought to you in part by Hubspot.

With HubSpot sales hubs, your data tools and teams join a single platform to close deals and turn prospects into pipelines. Try it for yourself at hubspot.com/sales.

  • This episode is brought to you in part by LinkedIn.

Are you tired of prospective clients not responding to your emails? Sign up for a free 60-day trial of LinkedIn Sales Navigator at linkedin.com/tse.

  • This episode is brought to you in part by the TSE Sales Foundation.

Improve your connection on LinkedIn and land three or five appointments with our LinkedIn prospecting course. Go to the salesevangelist.com/linkedin.


As one of our podcast listeners, we value your opinion and always want to improve the quality of our show. Complete our two-minute survey here: thesalesevangelist.com/survey. We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes by tuning in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or Spotify. Audio provided by Free SFX, Soundstripe, and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

LinkedIn Prospecting Made Easy!

5 Simple Ways to Landing Appointments on LinkedIn, Even If You Don’t Know Where To Start!

LinkedIn Prospecting on Laptop

TheSalesEvangelist.com needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. See our privacy policy for terms and conditions and to learn how we protect your data.