How to Find the Best Candidates for Sales
Where do you find people who can sell - who can sell what you sell and in a way that people buy again and again? The number one frustration we hear from recruiting professionals is, “I can’t find enough people! Or, where do I find enough good people - people who can sell?”
Thousands of young sales leaders, managers, insurance agents and entrepreneurs wake up each morning looking for people to add to their sale teams. It’s important for them to find people who can prospect, sell and serve customers. They want their salespeople to find enough selling opportunities, sales and create repeat customers in order to grow their profits and brand reputation. Instead of low sales and high turnover, they want to build a high retention sales force with a tradition of amazing performance.
In today’s competitive and economic realities, to recruit the best salespeople we must overcome two major problems in order of priority. These are how to:
- Find Enough High Quality Candidates
- Make the Right Selection and Hire the Best
What Does It Mean to Source for Candidates
Prospecting and setting appointments is the hardest work activity in professional selling because it requires a salesperson to move toward people they do not know - to go out into the community and find new business. These activities do not exist in ninety-five percent of retail selling, because the reps wait for new and interested prospects to walk into a location. In nice comfortable stores, advertising and waiting until a potential customer appears becomes a habit.
Great recruiters prospect, like great salespeople, especially in today’s economy, because the best salespeople are working!
They move toward lead sources and where typical prospects work and visit, and toward centers of influence who can help them. They network. They go where they receive the highest quality leads and referrals. They move into the world and search for new candidates, and like a prospector does for gold, they search in areas most likely to produce results for them. They do not wait for and depend on good candidates to come to them.
Have you ever panned for gold or watched a miner pan for gold? With focused work, the swishing of the pan and the water caused the rocks to shift and the heavier gold settled in the pan. Some areas produced better than others. The ones that provided a nugget for the work did so like a coin flipped. At times gold appeared often, and at other times long hours crawled by between pieces. The miners that panned more hours than others, and in the right places, found the most gold.
Prospecting! It’s the same for those who recruit as it is for salespeople.
The search for good candidates never ends. It may slow down, but it should never end. With common interview to selection ratios of 6:1, it’s important to work a funnel of potential recruits. And, it’s important go into the marketplace, develop networks and centers of influence, look for referral sources and candidates and build recruitment (prospect) files. And remember, the ones who can sell are already working!