Successfully Recruiting Top Sales People

Michael Hepworth

Hiring effective salespeople is one of the most important growth steps a small business can take, yet most have very little success in this activity and consequently slow their growth with costly miss-hires and avoidable performance issues.

As a small business you can't afford to make these kinds of mistakes.

The Chinese apparently have a proverb; "When is the best time to plant a tree?" The answer is of course "now". If you wait until you need a tree, it's too late. In this respect hiring sales people is a lot like marketing. If you wait until you need customers or a sales person, it's too late.

When selecting salespeople, probably in excess of 90% of the people who send you resumes, will be mediocre at best. So if you hire under duress, you'll likely select somebody who is less than what you would want.

The way around this is to continuously be on the look out for high potential sales people. Of course you need to be clear about the qualities this ideal person will have.

As you go about your day, you'll meet all kinds of people; waiters in restaurants, contacts at networking meetings, people at parties etc. It doesn't matter where you are, you never know who you'll meet. When you do make sure you give them your business card.

This card however will be a little different than your regular card. Instead of having a marketing message on the back, you should have the following; "You impressed me today, if ever you are looking for a job, please give me a call."

You should also verbally reinforce the message on the card and tell them that even if they aren't looking now, they may be later.

People will be flattered you felt that way and almost all will keep your card. Most won't contact you, but some will. When they do, you should interview them and if they still meet your requirements, you should hire them, even if you don't need anyone right now.

If you only hire top people, they inevitably pay for themselves and you build an unbeatable team.

Recruiting this way you'll always have a flow of top quality prospects and will be able to select only those that fully meet your criteria.

An added benefit of this process is that some of the people you left your business card with will refer other potential candidates to you. Hopefully some will be just like the person you gave the card to or perhaps they'll be even better.

Next time we'll discuss how to assess some of the qualities you'll need in a top rate salesperson and how to afford them.

Michael Hepworth is the StreetSmart Marketer.
Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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