Get Our Email Newsletter

BILL LEE: Talent + Experience + Chemistry

Making TEC an integral part of your hiring process will drive your company forward.


There are three letters all owners and managers should etch in their brains anytime a decision is made to hire a new employee. The three letters are TEC, which stand for talent, experience and chemistry.

The highest odds of success when hiring a new employee is to make sure the individual you hire possesses three characteristics: the raw talent to do the job, the experience gained from having performed a similar job before and having performed it well, and the right chemistry to fit into your organization.

LBM Resources

White Paper: Catching the Digital Transformation Wave in the LBM Industry

Catching the Digital Transformation Wave in the LBM Industry Digital strategies abound in the lumber and building materials (LBM) industry. As a distributor or pro...

For the second highest odds of success, which characteristic would you eliminate: talent, experience or chemistry?

The answer is experience. Why experience? Because it’s the only thing you can teach—talent and chemistry are innate. To test your resolve with regard to talent and chemistry, ask yourself this question: what has been your track record at changing people? Most experienced owners and managers would agree that changing people is next to impossible.

Yet, owners and managers emphasize experience first, not last. They are looking first for salespeople who already possess product knowledge and knowledge of residential construction.

- Advertisement -

So often when I interview salespeople, I learn that they have worked for multiple local building supply businesses, so it’s easy to notice that a lot of local lumber dealers recycle each other’s rejects.

As many of my readers know, I majored in psychology. Since entering the business world, I have interpreted tens of thousands of psychological assessments. If there’s anything I have confidence in, it’s the psychological test scores that produce the highest odds of sales success. Testing sales candidates is a great investment.

Which is more difficult, to teach a new salesperson how to sell or to teach a new salesperson the product knowledge to service a contractor customer? In my experience, it’s a lot harder to teach a new salesperson how to sell.

- Advertisement -

There are no shortcuts to hiring.

Get our free newsletter

Join thousands of other lumber and building material industry leaders and keep up with the companies, people, products and issues shaping the industry.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a digital partner ...

Sales Comp Study

Download this 55-page, in-depth study by LBM Journal of industry trends in sales force compensation and benefits. See how your organization stacks up.


- Advertisement -

White Papers

View all ...

- Advertisement -

Partner Content

View all ...

- Advertisement -

Registration is now open for the LBM Strategies 2024 Conference