In my extensive travels in three different countries working with sales executives, I find that many don’t have a plan. When you don’t have a plan, you are subjected to taking the path of least resistance. In recruiting salespeople, taking the path of least resistance typically means that you know somebody who knows somebody… and they refer that somebody to you. You look at their resume and it looks good… but you’re busy so you say “Okay, we’ll give this person a shot…” and you hire them. Typically that is a recipe for disaster.
Have A Systematic Approach To Recruiting Salespeople!
Relying on the path of least resistance is also like taking a person who is good at customer service, or another aspect of business, and hoping that person will turn out to be a salesperson. However, this usually does not work. Having a systematic approach that will help you find salespeople—good salespeople—does work. With a systematic approach, sooner rather than later you will recruit the top people, build a sales force that does exactly what you want it to, and receive so much revenue that you won’t have to recruit.
Don’t allow 70%-ers to pierce the corporate veil!
They should never walk into the office. They should never even call into the office. To recruit the right people—the 3%-ers and the 27%-ers— you need to learn some important facts about the recruiting process. Write the numbers down from this graphic. These are the exact numbers that work well in the sales industry for hiring top-notch salespeople. You will have to go through 30 resumes to find 10 qualified people. Then you will have to do phone interviews. From the phone interviews, you will bring the top three candidates into your office for a formal interview. After you interview those three top candidates, you find the number one person for that position and now the leverage is in your favor. You’ve done the right things to bring the right person on and avoided hoping that somebody is going to make it in your sales department.
Here are a couple of things that will help you with this:
- A recruiting flyer. Don’t date stamp the flyer. Don’t time stamp it. Use it for everything! It should be done in pdf and jpg formats, high-resolution or low-resolution depending on the application. It’s a tool you can use over and over again.
- A career package. The career package is the first step to finding the 3%-ers and the 27%-ers. When you find the résumés that look good, send the prospective applicants an email with the editable PDF career package attached and have them fill it out and return it.
The career package will include information about the company (more information than in the recruiting flyer) and a bit about compensation, but the bulk of the package will be made up of questions, including “landmine questions,” that will help you prevent the 70%-ers from ever applying or being in communication with you—identifying them now will make sure they don’t pierce the corporate veil.
One of the best landmine questions is “Would you take a drug test?” That will eliminate all the people who are on drugs. Another question is “During an interview, will you be able to give us examples of your high-level closing skills?” If they don’t have closing skills, they’re not going to apply. The fill-in-the blank landmine “Write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you took more than five sick days off last year” will let you know if someone has the habit of taking a lot of sick days—whether they need to or not. And then you will know that you won’t be bringing that person into the recruiting process.
It’s very important. You have to have a plan, a systematic plan, that will work 24/7, and one where the infrastructure, once it’s laid out, will work for you. Remember: take control of your destiny and your company’s destiny. Stop hoping, and go out and find those right people. If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.