“I got a good hunch about you. Okay, can you begin Monday?”
That was how I’ve landed the majority of my sales jobs. A few of the organizations asked me deeper level questions or put me through a personality assessment and a couple asked me to role play with them to insure I had the game of the sale down and could wordsmith a close together.
But in the end, they hired me on one thing: a gut feeling.
While I’m not against the power of intuition, it’s not exactly sustainable for a business model and let’s face it, not everyone is naturally intuitive.
Hiring the right salesperson can be nail-bitingly experience. You’re holding your breath, focused on the bottom line and all the drama of this launch of an on-boarding.
Will the new recruit be the hidden gem you know and love to manage? Will they be your next Super Star or spectacular failure, leaving your department in an embarrassing mess.
If you are a sales leader, you already know what pressure is. You live with it. Every. Single. Day.
If you are to win the game of sales, you must be accountable for how the ship floats, sales or sinks under your watchful eye. Success or failure, as a leader, begins and ends with you and the CEO won’t listen to excuses and will (or should) fire you immediately if you blame a subordinate. Success, is the team. Failure, is you. Period.
You have to hire, pull all the metrics together, train the systems and coach the behaviors you need and expect that will all line up with varying agendas, mindsets and motivation. To do this successfully, you need to hire sales reps who burn brighter than the sun.
Where do you find your next Sales Super Star?
This is 2016 and the largest population entering the job market since the 60’s Baby Boomer is now here. The Millennial is here to stay for the next 20 years and, guess what, Millennial's thrive on the change of growth, cutting edge innovation and rapid advancement. If they’re not constantly stimulated, they leave quickly and often.
First off, ditch the online job boards. Especially Craigslist. Really?
The truth is, hiring from a job board is like trying to get healthy food at a hot dog stand. Super starts aren’t skimming through job boards in their underwear on Monday mornings hoping to hit a home run with a job posting that thousands of others are competing for. Super stars are out in the mix, working (often for your competition) and busy with the details of life. If they happen to be unemployed between gigs, you’ll find them strategically networking, shaking hands and meeting other Influencers that need good quality people.
In other words, REFERRALS still dominate the space. The best clients, the best salespeople and the best jobs..all come from referrals.
It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.
To find and hire the real sales stars, you have to invest in sourcing and targeting them in a meaningful way. Skip the outdated recruiting methods and go into hyper-drive instead.
Do you KNOW who you’re looking for?
What skills, talents and backgrounds does your team need? If they lack them at the start, can you teach them? Before you ever begin, you must know your list of must-haves.
Whether posting, networking or seeking referrals for sales people, provide specific details about the qualifications you must have.
Are you training or coaching? Instead, certify your people.
Investing in your team is a must but here’s the thing:
Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Your team needs to be developed, and if YOU don’t your competition will, whether through mentoring, coaching or in job perks that are so attractive it will make your head spin.
People don’t succeed naturally, by chance or on their own. Personal development proceeds business development 100% of the time and our business grows at the rate we do. Do if you feel less like a Sales Manager and more like a Counselor, Pastor or Coach…this is a good thing.
Go where qualified candidates are. Get out there and intentionally network where good salespeople are going to be. I’ve hired dozens of service oriented people that I was buying products from a car salesperson, several waiters, a shoe guy and one woman that worked at the mall was superb!
If they sell YOU well and create an enjoyable experience, most likely they can do that naturally in your organization and it beats combing through ads and screening Craigslist candidates. Sales is about the proper transfer of energy from one person to the next and this can only be fully experienced live, versus on a lifeless resume.
Actively cultivate relationships by reaching into talent communities such as professional groups and education meetups. Millennial's especially are more tuned in and, if you want them, you have to court them in the same way you seek to engage your clients – using market savvy to source and recruit them.
“Hey, I got a hunch about you” is the thing you say to your new recruit with a wink in the eye, a firm handshake and a pat on the back as you’re welcoming them on-board, not as a recruiting tactic.
Now get out there and curate an amazing team by becoming the best manager well known for growing people through coaching and rapid advancement.
For coaching on hiring, on-boarding or other Super Star Salesperson related interests, book a complimentary strategy session with me in the link.