How To Hire The Best Salesperson:
A Guide to Finders, Minders, and Grinders
As a small business owner, you know a successful salesperson is worth his or her weight in gold. You also know that finding such a person is no easy task.
What factors do you look at when evaluating potential sales people? If you're like most employers, you weigh the candidate's experience, track record, and industry contacts. But no matter how carefully you analyze these criteria, sales hiring often remains hit-or-miss. Why?
A number of our PRO discussions have revolved around this hiring conundrum. After all, PRO groups are made up of small business owners who meet each month to discuss such problems and brainstorm solutions.
One of the ideas to emerge from our PRO meetings is the concept of hiring salespeople on the basis of their sales "type" or personality, rather than experience alone. This means matching the person's sales personality to the requirements of a particular sales job.
As one PRO member tells his new salespeople, "I can't give you what your mother didn't give you!" If someone doesn't have the right personality, no amount of training will make him a star.
To this end, we have identified three types of sales personalities:
The Finder is the one you want when your priority is bringing in new accounts-not servicing them long term. Don't expect the Finder to follow through on service issues; he'll leave that to others. If you're hiring Finders, you'd better have a strong support staff in place.Typically, the Finder is terrific on the road, but may have few allies in-house. If team-building is important to you, think carefully about hiring a Finder. However, what you need is a no-holds barred rainmaker, the Finder is your best choice.
The Minder's goal is not the conquest of a single sale, but rather the forging of mutually beneficial long-term relationships. The Minder is committed to client satisfaction and considers ongoing service part of the sale.
If acquiring continued business from existing clients is a large part of your operation, The Minder is the one for you. She will not generate the dazzling production numbers of the Finder, but her persistency ratios tend to be high-and she's a team player.
The Grinder has neither the Finder's flair nor the Minder's service standards. However, when it comes to high-volume sales calls-such as grueling door-to-door sales-he is the one who will get the job done.
What "Type" is Right For You?
Training Your New Hire
Successful, sales-driven companies have proven sales presentations that work. New salespeople are taught how to give this presentation and answer anticipated objectives. They rehearse until its second nature.
Trainees should accompany experienced salespeople on calls, to observe and learn. Eventually, the trainees should begin presenting, while the veteran observes and critiques their performance.
Remember: your salesperson represents you and your company. Choose wisely, train thoroughly-and don't send salespeople into the field until you're sure they're read to represent you well.