Imagine if your first direct contact with a business was with an uninspiring sales person who was simply going through the motions of their 9-5 existence. Your impression of this individual is likely to be very negative, but what about your impression of the company they are representing? Equally poor? Or worse than that, your vision of the company behind the individual is skewed to an extent where you rule them out in just a few seconds. What’s more, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs) So your one poor sales person could be turning away up to 15 business prospects in just one interaction. However magnificent your brand identity may be, it can’t always compete with the spoken word.
Underperforming sales people will cause key elements of your business to suffer: sales, brand image, even team morale. Negativity spreads like wild fire and the last thing you want is one individual infecting the entire sales team and affecting their performance.
There comes a time when you realise that ultimately, the job is just not right for them and no matter how much you focus on their training and development, their values are not suited to the role. Once all avenues for improvement have been pursued, you owe it to yourself, and the individual, to help them find something more suitable.
What you must ensure is that when you come to recruit someone to fill their shoes, you don’t end up with the same problem.
It is my belief that all recruitment should be values based. Hiring individuals on skill alone when their values are not congruent with those of the hiring organisation just does not work. At best it ends with dysfunctional teams and toxic behaviour which can have a truly damaging impact on your culture and your image.
No matter how pressed for time you are to recruit a new sales person, if you want to get the right person for the job, make sure your processes are thorough. Spending the time now will save you an abundance of time when you find you have made a good recruitment choice and don’t need to find another replacement just two months later. Good recruitment is far more than scanning a CV and having someone turn up on day one. In the profession of sales today, you need trusted advisors who have analytical skills as well as strong selling skills and good commercial acumen. Armed with these skills, along with the right attitude, your sales people will not poison your brand but enrich it.
In today’s always connected world where claims about your business can have global reach in just seconds, it is absolutely crucial that your employees are on brand and are representing your business flawlessly. And that starts with recruiting the right people, whose values match your company’s to a tee.
It’s a fine art, but with just a little time and effort spent in the right way, you will certainly reap the benefits.