Hiring salespeople is vital for all organizations. With that said, ALL people sell. I don’t care what your role is, you sell. Even if you’re a one person company that only operates online, you still have to sell your product. In fact, until you sell something, you don’t have a business.
For me, hiring the right salespeople can make your company. NOT hiring the right ones can do just the oposite. Therefore getting the right person(s) onboard is crucial. And while everyone is in sales, not everyone is great at it.
I recently received this question from some of my Facebook followers:
My wife & I operate a tutoring company in Charlotte, NC. We’re ramping up for our summer day camps and have begun to consider hiring a sales person for the team. In hiring a sales person, do you have any tips and pointers that specifically would help in hiring for sales?
1. What to look for?
2. Reasonable compensation models?
3. What to expect?
4. What questions do we not know?
Thanks in advance!
~Pete & Rebekah Goode
Goode question Pete and Rebekah. (Sorry for that) One-on-one I would give you the long answer. But here goes the blog post length answer:
- What to look for? – Since you will be selling to all personality styles, I would look for someone with an I/D personality in the DISC profile. In layman’s terms, someone who is very personable and loves people, is able to leave the cave kill something and drag it home, and doesn’t struggle with the conflict of closing a sale. The parents need to trust them, get a sense of trust for your product, and understand WHY they need to purchase your tutoring. Also, find someone who is passionate about what you do. I would take passion over education everyday and twice on Sunday.
- Reasonable compensation models? – I would try to do the draw against commission if at all possible. Read Setting Up Commission Structures for more info on that. Also know that it may take a bit to get the pipeline full. Therefore, you may need to pay them a base salary for a bit until they do. In other words, if it will take three months before they can put food on the table, then you may just pay the first three months as a base instead of a draw.
- What to expect? – You are going to have to spend a lot of time “tutoring” your salesperson. They have to completely understand the WHY behind your product, not the way. You also have to make sure that you are inspiring, recognizing, and rewarding your salesperson…just like you do with your students.
- What questions do we not know? – Scale out what the sales and compensation will look like for three months, six months, a year, and five years. Salespeople need to see how they are going to prosper by working for you. Will my kids be really skinny? If so, that’s a problem. Ask them about successes they have had at past jobs and how they got them. What were the toughest issues they’ve had in the past and how did they handle them? This will help you to see how they process and solve problems.
There ya go, the short answer.
Question: What tips do you have for hiring salespeople?