As a freelance blogger, there are many different topics that I need to cover. This is an example post for a recruiting agency for outside sales reps.
There are several different things to look for when hiring sales reps, especially commission based reps. Businesses looking for great sales reps need to realize that there are many attributes to look for and make match up in order to hire successful commission only sales reps. On the other hand, there are many attributes that are not desired in a commission only sales rep.
Whatever your niche, your product and your sales method, you need to ensure that your employees are a fit for your business and customer base. An employee who is a good fit from the start will help your business grow, provide an excellent brand and service to your customers and will be a passionate part of growing your business long term. A poor fit employee will drag business down, provide the wrong customer service, and leave after costing you more than they brought into your business.
General Things to Look For
A commission based sales rep is going to have several attributes in common no matter the industry, the product or your customers. The following is by no means all your sales people need, but is a great starting point of what you need to be sure you have before looking for warning signs in your new hires:
- A Positive Attitude – This looks different with unique individuals, but a commission based sales rep is going to need to have an attitude that overcomes the stress of payment based upon getting a yes and overcoming the many no’s involved in sales.
- Financial Desire – A sales person needs to have a drive to succeed financially because they are the deciding factor in efficiency, in planning, in customer service and more. With a passion and desire for finances driving them, your sales reps will become one of your business’s greatest assets.
- People Driven – This looks different for each industry, for your target market, and depending upon individual sales reps, but it is important that a sales rep is able to emotionally connect with potential customers, see their need and present your business as the best possible solution to fill that need. Watch your sales reps talk about your industry, your business and the potential they have to change people’s lives. If it makes you want to buy from them, this is a good thing.
7 Warning Signs
The following are 7 signs that a potential new hire is not going to be a great fit with your organization as a commission only sales rep. You may like other attributes, but any one of these can be a cause for loss of income and incredible difficulties with your sales reps.
- Financial Insecurity – This can sometimes be a positive if the individual involved is going to use the stress of not having enough to drive them to move forward, but understand that this is putting incredible stress on a sales rep that can cause them to crack, especially if it is a hard system to get started in. If your new hire has a family at home and limited savings to get started on, you may consider a limited draw to help get them started and reduce the overwhelming stress of wondering how they are going to feed their family while building their sales.
- Passivity – In any type of sales, passivity is a killer. This is especially true of commission based sales and doubly true of outdoor sales reps. Inability to overcome inertia and procrastination, to overcome the days where there seem to be 100 no’s out there will make a sales rep feel abandoned and not only be a negative job experience but can leave them with a bitter taste about your business for years after they leave. If a sales rep does not show passion and assertive action in the pursuit of this job, this is a major red flag.
- Over Aggressiveness – Everyone knows the type. The used car salesman who never takes no for an answer, never listens to customers, and always is out to get “the best deal for me.” While these salespeople often do well in commission only sales, the power of the internet makes over aggressive sales techniques a danger to your business. Between Yelp!, Angie’s List and other social sites where customers can post reviews for your business, it is extremely important that your sales reps place their best foot forward when dealing with customers and potential customers. Although this is definitely not a deal breaker, it is important to notice whether your community’s impression of your business is one of burning customers: you may need to bring some more assertive and affirming sales reps onto your team.
- The Drunk – Often sales reps have opportunities to wine and dine clients and potential clients. Other sales reps are traveling and living out of restaurants and hotels. The last thing you want is a representative of your company missing appointments, showing up a slob or otherwise damaging your reputation because they are drunk. Drinks with friends are fine, and getting sloshed on their own time is great, but do not keep a new hire who can’t control themselves enough to show up to work sober and with a smile.
- Not Comfortable with Stress – Commission only jobs are stressful. A good salesperson is going to have to overcome that stress, find what motivates them in the moment and keep going when it seems like everything they touch is a failure. On the other side of every failure is a great opportunity for success, you just have to find it. The salesperson who understands this is a great part of your team, the new hire who is constantly bringing up new issues to deal with is probably not currently cut for the stress of sales.
- Slander – Sales reps talk. They talk to everyone about everything. If sensitive information is always finding its way from your new hire to people who have no business knowing it, that is a problem. You hire them to talk about things that bring them income and you paying customers, not to pass around the gossip delicacies around the water cooler. If a new hire is talking about other employees, customers, or your business in a negative manner or giving sensitive information out generally, this is a huge warning sign: loose lips sink ships, as the saying goes.
- Shifty – If a new hire is constantly finding a way to undermine your system, this is a warning sign. They may be the type of person who will work really hard getting a customer base in your corporation, and then walk out with your customers, leaving you high and dry. Do not confuse this with people who are looking for ways to improve your system. The difference between improvement and undermining can often be subtle: uncover which is which by simply asking a complaining employee, “How would you improve _________?” This gives you tools to see whether they can think on their feet, whether they are passive and whether they have a passion for your business.
Your sales reps present the public face of your company to so many businesses and other community members. It is important that you ensure that you have quality sales reps who will be a great fit for your business.