Your sales performers are you biggest asset, your under performers are your biggest liability. Fact. Download your FREE report using the link HERE to help you recruit the best sales talent for your business AND build a Sales Talent Pipeline you can rely on to minimise those costly recruitment mistakes that could cost you as much as 100k pure profit in the first three months of the new starter being with you…..
Every business I’ve ever worked with claims it values employees at the highest level….few do, many don’t.
Even worse, they look after the performers and the non-performers in the same way, plus, their recruitment models aren’t specifically geared towards recruiting high performers….instead they are geared towards recruiting the best person that shows up in the screening process…by default this is often the best of a finite bunch.
Here’s what to do if you are serious about recruiting high performers in your business:
Recruiting high sales performers is about you having focus, knowing what sort of person you want, and what sort of person you need to avoid…and sticking to your plan.
It’s worth waiting for the high sales performers, they will help you in creating a solid sales foundation and giving your customers and prospects the best version of your business….
First of all, don’t leave the search of a high performer until just before you want them to join you…you should always be (or always have someone else) scouting for high sales performers for your business…I could talk to you about why that’s a must, but trust me, this post is long enough!
Here’s how you remain ‘on alert’ for high performers, people who you can nurture until you are ready to make an offer:
Start creating a list of 10-20 high performing sales people who you would love to employ…maybe you can’t employ them now because of the stage your business is at, costs of engagement or simply you just don’t have available positions because or territory or markets…start that list now – scan your industry, your local area, the UK, competing and associate industries, your network of contacts and their contacts, the industry press, the movers and shakers list in your industry or area, competitors, suppliers…just start the list
Develop a ‘get to know’ strategy. Now you have that list, you need a proactive but gentle, get to know contact strategy. This might involve you inviting them individually to initially have a coffee with you, a quick lunch, or even invite them to an industry event or seminar you’re running…remember to start this ‘get to know’ process of gently so that no false expectations are created since not all of your ‘selected’ list will move forward to the next stage, for any number of reasons.
Deselect and add to this list on an ongoing basis, keep it current. You will inevitable discount some of your ‘dream team’ at the coffee stage, the rest may get invited to a semi infrequent lunch with you, a corporate event perhaps, or something that is a little more extended, and perhaps, on occasion in the company of other senior members of your team…
Create a scouting team. Make sure you put your senior team members, colleagues and associates on alert that you are looking for introductions to anyone that impresses them highly, be very specific in your criteria so your contacts know when they have found exactly what you are looking for.
Look to introducers. Make friends with local recruitment and placement agencies, again being very specific about who you are looking for, be upfront in that it’s not an immediate placement it’s a get to know process at this stage…depending on your industry you could also do the same with local colleagues, universities, trainings school and academies.
Open days. Consider having 1 day per quarter where you invite people in if they want to talk to you about career opportunities
Student intake. Think about offering graduate placements that start while the person is still a student – that’s a great way to test and a great way to screen in and screen out at a very low cost…you also get the individual before they’ve had the chance to learn any bad habits.
Competitors. Keep an eye out on ANYONE who you are losing business to on a consistent basis, or even inconsistent basis.
Now you have a basic talent scouting system, or at least the start of one.
These steps should give you a very good system for continually scanning the market and selecting your team of prospective high performers who you can approach for your business when the time is right for you and them…you may have a High Performers Reserve list of 5, maybe 10, maybe more…that will depend on the future plans of your business, and something for you and your HR Director to discuss and plan for…remember, no one makes good decisions in panic mode so don’t let your hiring process be a panic process, it’s costly and it’s dangerous.
Now let’s look at the type of person you want to attract…when you are going through all of the stages above what are you actually looking for evidence of?
This should feed into your competency based interviewing, however much of this should have been screened out by you during your get to know phase, however for fairness and completeness you may also want to make this part of the formal interview and screening process.
Competency – is the person competent at a high level, do they have the personal skills, positive attributes, manners, ideas, knowledge/information, insight, personality, communication skills, presentation, grooming, presence and kudos to make things happen. Look at it this way, would you send this person into a room full of your best clients, prospects and colleagues and be totally confident that they would build bigger, strong, more commercially sound relationships as a result of being there? If you don’t see great things in this person’s future for you and your business, then they are probably not for you yet…
Hunger – are they thirsty for information, committed life long learners, curious about the world, industry, problem solvers, perfectionists? Are they seeking to be what others in their field are not and can not be? Do they consume the industry press, latest trend information, self-development books, industry skills via YouTube, audio, newsletters, mentors and associates?
Ethics – is this person of a strong ethical foundation? Can you trust them to do the right thing? A top performer that sees a very thin line between the truth and a lie is not an asset, that’s a huge liability and will come at a cost sooner or later. High performers have integrity at every level – with colleagues, with customers, with prospects and with themselves…they are honest, live by acceptable standards, are transparent and direct – and they visibly live to those traits in all circumstances.
Team Player – can they mix well and be part of the team for the greater good of themselves and the business? A high performer who is a lone wolf is a potential danger to everyone. Team work in today’s business world is a must. Sectors and industries change overnight, customers are more demanding than every which means that everyone must be contributing to information sharing, peer group development and enhancing every level of the customer experience…a lone wolf will be anti every aspect of this, can destroy a team and put in jeopardy relationships where they don’t benefit.
Communicative – are they happy to remain in open communication with all parties at all times, can they remain positive under stress, skilled persuader and negotiator both internally and externally, able to ask for help, feedback and guidance when needed, great listener, intuitive regarding the difference between words, body language, emotions and actions? Can they build rapport quickly, appropriately and comfortably across any communication medium? Can they present complex ideas very simply, logically and with compelling language and positioning? Can they display empathy to another person’s position? Do they ask appropriate questions? Apply focussed listening? Are they skill at problem solving, creative solution finding and conflict resolution and prevention? Can they motivate others ethically, professionally and compassionately?
Staying Power – have they got it? A high performer who is a flash in the pan, hit and run type sales person is a loser of the highest order…they create false expectation in clients and can manipulate to get short-term gains at the cost of long-term relationships…avoid at all costs. You must be looking for staying power and resilience in a high performer to give you a sense of stability, security and continuity. High performers with staying power embrace problems head on and see them as an opportunity to learn and grow, balance risk with accurate and calculated mitigation. Adopt a positive and can do attitude with a focussed commitment to not let any opportunity go to waste, nor any problem unresolved. Their dedication serves to motivate and to give courage to others. They are often seen as the guiding light in many instances, they help others see what is possible with effort, dedication, targeted focus and drive. They deliver comfort and security to clients and prospects alike.
Just a quick summary here but it might act as a great check list for you next time you are thinking about adding an addition expensive asset to your sales team…don’t settle for anything less than a high performer.
To your success – happy selling Carol Carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885