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Recruiting Mastery: Know The Game You’re In


As I travel across three different countries working with sales managers, executives, business owners, and their sales forces, I find that sales managers and C-Level executives are very ill-equipped to recruit the type of salespeople they need to generate revenue and grow their business. Recruiting comes down to some very basic principles that I will cover in the next sequence of videos.

Here is the first principle: Know the game that you’re in.

To recruit quality sales people, you must understand the makeup of salespeople and adjust your recruiting practices accordingly. Know how they think. Know their motivations. Know their sales processes. Know their work habits. And you must remember that thought processes, motivations, sales processes, and work habits are interconnected and each affects and reflects the others. Without the right thought processes, salespeople won’t have the right motivations or work habits. Without the right motivations, salespeople won’t have the right thought processes, sales processes, or work habits.

Salespeople can be divided into three categories:

  • 3%-ers
  • 27%-ers
  • 70%-ers
In this industry, we all want 3%-ers. We want to find them, recruit them, and hire them. We want them working for us. The 3%-ers are those top-notch sales people who possess the highest levels of discipline, tenacity, and implementation skills. All you have to do is give them the highest compensation package and then get out of their way. I call them F.O.N.s—Freaks of Nature. The challenge is with the F.O.N.s is they’re already working—for someone else. You, as a sales executive, have to have a recruiting program so attractive that when they find a compelling reason to leave their company, they will think of yours first, and then you can get the benefit of their discipline, tenacity, and implementation. Immediately below the 3%-ers are the 27%-ers. This is the group that with the proper motivation, encouragement, support, and training structure, will move up to become a 3%-er. Many 3%-ers are already using their sales skills at another company, so as with the 70%-ers, you must be ready, when they start looking for work at another company, with the recruiting program that will spark their interest your company and potentially bring them and their skills to you. A very important part of recruiting is the interview, and a very important part of the interview is the question that will help you find out how the interviewee thinks: “What do you want money for?” Both the 3%-ers—the Freaks of Nature—and the 27%-ers will give answers like these: “I’m trying to build that impenetrable financial wall around my family.” “I’m trying to increase my savings account.” “I’m trying to become free of debt.” Those and similar answers will prove that the interviewee is a true 3%-ers or 27%-er. At the bottom level are the 70%-ers—the projects. These are the salespeople who are just existing from paycheck to paycheck. Their discipline and tenacity levels are low. When they implement, they don’t implement the right sales processes. They call in sick all the time, they have car issues getting to the office, and so on and so forth. With an interviewee you suspect of being a 70%-er you will also ask “What do you want money for?” And you will get the answer “Oh, I want to pay bills.” Bless that person’s heart if they need money simply for bills, but if they’re coming to your company, they need to increase their sales maturity. An increase in sales maturity means an increase in the things that will pull them out of the 70%-er range: an increase in discipline and tenacity, an increase in correct implementations, an increase in the proper motivations that will lead to those increases in other areas. With sales maturity in thought processes, motivations, sales processes, and work habits, they will move up and become a 27%-er and even 3%-er—but that improvement needs to happen before they ever arrive at your company. I work with companies here in Dallas that don’t want any 70%-ers: they will continue to recruit and recruit until they get that great mixture of 27%-ers and 3%-ers. One last thing about the seventy percenters is this: they don’t mind being a job-hopper, and even work so that will happen. All they try to do is work hard enough to where you don’t fire them, but if you do, that’s no problem—all they’ve done is to work so they will get fired on purpose so they can go to another company and start the process over. But they are not helping themselves or you—they are only perpetuating low revenue generation and not only poor work habits but poor life habits. Learning about the different types of salespeople—the F.O.N.s, the 27%-ers, and the 3%-ers—and how to recognize them is interesting and very important. Knowing which salespeople to attract and how to attract them will help you generate more revenue and continue your success. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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