The 12 Immutable Laws for Hiring Salespeople

The cost of a mishire is seldom an item on your balance sheet.  When you take into consideration advertising, basic training, the time of the trainer, the expenses attendant to the trainee’s early development, the cost of developing prospects, and the administrative support which attends these costs, the investment in the recruit becomes sizable.

A sales force may be subject to turnover due to the retirement, burn-out, or relocation of salespeople.  While that is a given, a large majority of salespeople “turn-over” because they were a mishire.  A home improvement sales force operates in a complicated environment with the need to sell customers on a short cycle.  In-home selling requires that a salesperson competes with others selling what is often perceived as the same product or service at lower prices.  So how do you grow a sales organization while reducing mishires?

Let’s take a look at the 12 Immutable Laws for Hiring Salespeople.

  1. Hiring the right salesperson takes twice the time you expected and much more time than you have.
  2. Self-starters — seldom do.
  3. After numerous interviews or few applicants, less qualified candidates look better
  4. The ideal candidate — usually isn’t.
  5. The majority of resumes received seldom match the job description in your ad.  The best resumes are frequently a product of creative writing and vivid imagination.
  6. The best candidate for your job is probably already working for someone else.
  7. “What ever happened to what’s-his-name?” is the sequel to last year’s great hiring story.
  8. The true cost of “mishires” doesn’t show up on your P&L.
  9. Your “gut feelings” work best when they indicate it’s time for lunch, and seldom when it comes to choosing the best candidate.
  10. Unless the interviewer has been trained in the recruiting process – mishires become the rule rather than the exception.
  11. Poor performers seem to surface soon after the draw or training guarantee expires.
  12. A candidate’s true behavior is usually masked during an interview and can be discovered either by a behavioral profile or by disappointment after training has been completed.

Eliminating mishires is next to impossible, but you can reduce them significantly by following a sound, structured hiring system.

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