Hiring Process Recruiting

The “Weed Out Course” for the Subpar Sales Person -John Crowley

Ask anyone with a professional degree about the “weed out” class in college and you’re bound to hear…

  • Med School – Organic Chemistry
  • Engineering – Calculus II or Intro to Mechanical Engineering
  • Law School – Civil Procedure or Contracts

Weed out courses are unofficially designed to be ridiculously difficult and force students to reconsider advancing within a specific degree track.  They are a sneak peek of the effort required to receive a degree in a desired field.

So what’s the weed out course for the subpar sales person?

In a profession with misconceived prerequisites of having a “good personality” or being “well spoken”, there’s nothing designed to help people understand the level of skill and effort that goes into being a true sales professional.

The weed out course for the subpar sales person.

Sales doesn’t require an advanced degree or a professional certification – (I hope to change that in the future).


Rarely do training programs force candidates through the psychological rigors required to be successful in sales.


No college class can prepare you for the day your manager says, “I like you, but if you don’t hit quota next month- you need to find a different job.”


“Everyone wants to be in sales, until they get slapped with a quota.” -Jeff Lovesy


Of the 479 accredited business programs in the US – only 101 have sales based curriculum.  Until universities recognize the need for intensive programs build to find the strongest candidates, The Joshua Principle is the best alternative to a “weed out” class for the subpar sales person.


Author Tony Hughes masterfully weaves a fictional storyline about a struggling rookie salesman and his secret mentor with concepts behind the RSVP SellingTM framework:

Relationships:  Do you have the right business relationships with the right people at the right level of the organization?  Do your relationships garner the intelligence and insight that your competition lacks?

Strategy:  Do you have an effective strategy building the right relationships and understanding the competition (both internal and external).  The scariest competitor is often the threat of complacency – the customer doing nothing.

Value:  Features and benefits are not value.  Have you utilized the intelligence gleaned from your relationships with the right people to create compelling business value?  Have you demonstrated the cost of doing nothing?  Have you convinced the customer that lowest price is not best value?

Process:  Do you know the customers buying process?  What is their process for evaluating, selecting, approving and procuring the ideal product?  How do they asses risk with your product/service?  Has the customer validated your implementation process?

selling, customer


These concepts are far from novel but are often overlooked or skipped by even the most senior of sales professionals.

The barrier to entry for sales jobs is almost nonexistent.  Yet the skills, effort and mental fortitude needed to become an elite sales professional is unmatched by any other profession. The storyline of The Joshua Principle holds your undivided attention while articulating the energy required to become a Sales Master.


This book is my default book recommendation for anyone thinking about a career in sales. And if you’re wondering, I don’t have any affiliation nor receive any compensation for The Joshua Principle.  It’s truly just a great book for sales people!

The Joshua Principle

 This post was originally published at www.justjohncrowley.com.

John Crowley



I am John Crowley and my passion is helping engaged sales people become remarkable. My purpose is to mentor motivated healthcare sales people so they move into the top 4% of sales rankings. I do this by providing unique tools, anecdotal insight and a safe place to communicate with like-minded individuals through my blog, www.justjohncrowley.com .  I am the Vice President of Inside Sales and Sales Operations at Cardinal Health (a Fortune 26 company) and have enjoyed a rewarding 18-year career in healthcare sales.