Best Places to Recruit SalespeopleMatt Cooper
Looking to a hire a team? We’ll share the best places to recruit salespeople
Fact #1: “Across the United States, 39% of surveyed CFOs reported that lower staff morale is the biggest impact of a poor hiring decision.” —Robert Half
Fact #2: “Poor hires account for almost 80% of turnover rates in business.” — Harvard Business Review
Fact #3: “Companies increase profitability by 30% when they pick top employees.” — Gallup
Recruiting the wrong salesperson into your team is a huge gamble, and I don’t know about you, but I hate losing and that’s why we’re sharing the best places to recruit salespeople! For every bad recruiting decision you bring on board, the chance that your core sales team will feel overloaded with work tasks ups the probability that team morale will plummet and you could end up losing your existing team of productive salespeople.
SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software, confirms “good workers end up getting saddled with additional workload.”
Here’s the deal, folks. Obviously, recruiting a wrong fit will affect your profitability. This is to be expected, and is common sense. But also, poor hires are usually lousy performers who tend to carry a black cloud of excuses, negativity and sometimes, plain laziness around with them that infiltrates the whole sales team. Eventually, this wears others down, impacting the overall mood for the worst.
SAP also confirms that “eventually team spirit wears down as the group is overburdened carrying a non-contributing member.”
Once all this happens, you’ve got a huge problem on your hands. In addition to creating a high potential for loss, an underperforming salesperson on your team:
- Burns through good leads without converting them into paying customers;
- Alienates current and potential customers;
- Burdens other team members to pick up the slack to compensate for this poor recruit;
- Misses sales targets;
- Despises learning how to sale;
- Creates excuse after excuse to camouflage their underperformance.
“Ain’t NObody got time for all ‘dat!’”
(You laugh because it’s true!)
What you do need to make time for is time. Allot yourself plenty of time to find (and then recruit) the ideal salesperson for your team. So, just where are the best places to recruit salespeople?
1.) Social Media
The more popular social media platforms, the more number of active users, which is why it made our list of best places to recruit salespeople
- 1,871 million – Facebook;
- 600 million – Instagram;
- 317 million – Twitter;
- 300 million – Snapchat;
- 150 million – Pinterest, and
- 106 million – LinkedIn.
Even the less popular platforms like BBM, Kakaotalk and Viber host approximately 398 million people together. So, do you think there could possibly be at least 1 maybe 2 good recruits out there on one of these platforms?! Of course, the answer is “yes, a lot more than 1 or 2.”
The fact of the matter is that people use social media; your job as a sales manager or recruiter is to use the platforms to find the ideal sales people for your team. Once you identify who the best type of person would be to enhance your team, research all the social media platforms to determine who is more likely to be active on that platform.
For example, LinkedIn is known as a professional social network where people showcase their talents and skills hoping to find a career. This is in contrast to Facebook, which usually has a more relaxed tone and is geared more toward connecting with friends. Both platforms, however, give you 1,977 million people to connect with on your mission to finding the optimal salesperson. And, that’s just two social media platforms; you haven’t even tapped into the other 200+ social platforms, according to Wikipedia.
2.) Glassdoor profiles
Strategically use job and recruiting sites, especially Glassdoor, to research the profiles of companies in the areas you need to recruit sales reps. When a company on Glassdoor receives a slew of negative reviews, reach out to the people who are leaving the reviews.
Unhappy employees are searching for a “hero” to come rescue them from the grind of their present job. Connect with them and determine if they would be a good fit for your sales team by asking the right questions.
3.) Contact alumni
Remember Jimmy? The guy from your frat who could down a gallon of trashcan punch and it hardly phased him? Although he was a party animal during college, he had some skills and characteristics that would make him the perfect addition to your sales team. Reach out.
Maybe your best friend in high school was a master at getting all the girls. Obviously he has some sales skills. Reach out.
Spend some time reflecting on alumni from your alma maters. You spent a lot of time with these people and will probably realize that some of these past acquaintances had natural-born sales skills. And, with the help of social media, they should be fairly easy to find and connect with.
4.) Hang out where the best people are
Determine the type of person who would be your ideal sales person and think about where people with these personalities and characteristics would most likely hangout in their daily lives as well as online. Here’s some guiding questions to get you started with this thought process:
- What does this type of person do for fun?
- What motivates this type of person?
- What industry is this type of person currently employed?
- What do this person watch on TV?
- What does a typical day look like for this person?
Record the answers to these questions in a list format. Take these words and phrases, and do a Google search for online Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Join these groups and provide value inside the group on a daily basis by answering questions and posing hot topic questions within the group.
This helps establish you as an expert, and the people in each group that fit your ideal salesperson will be there. Foster a relationship with them, first, and then start the recruiting process when you identify a top candidate.
Consider attending trade shows and mingling with people on the showroom floor is a great way to identify ideal salespeople for your team. At trade shows you have a group of people who are interested in and dedicated to the theme of the show. For example, if you are trying to recruit for the insurance restoration industry, attending the Win the Storm conference may provide a beneficial avenue to interact with roofing and general contractors because this event focuses on insurance restoration.
Also, servers at restaurants often have sales talent that they may not even recognize, but you will probably recognize it immediately. Think about it…servers deal with every type of person who enjoys eating out, which is the majority of the U.S. population, so they need to master the following salesperson-type skills:
- Quick thinking with the ability to adapt;
- Analyze and resolve problems quickly and efficiently;
- Provide superior customer service;
- Hard workers; and
- Money motivated, typically. (Servers are provided with a very low salary, (I believe it’s $2.15/hour here in Dallas) if you can call it that, but they are able to be compensated by diners with tips. Because of this, most servers go out of their way to make diners’ experience exceptional.)
5.) Referrals and recommendations
Be sure to make connections with other recruiters and sales managers in your industry as well as other industries. As you build these relationships, these people will become trusted sources to reach out to and ask if they know anyone who matches your ideal salesperson.
When you ask for a referral or recommendation, give as much detail as possible about the ideal salesperson you are seeking. It helps to have a list of specific qualities and characteristics as a reference.
And, ask this qualifying question: “If you were in my position, would you hire the person you are referring to me?” And, follow up with “why or why not?” The answer to this question is very powerful and telling, which will help prevent you from recruiting the wrong type of salesperson for your team.
6.) Organize Meetups
So, Meetup.com may just become your new best friend for local recruiting! For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s an online platform in which people organize times and places to “meet up” with like-minded individuals.
According to Meetup.com’s website, “It is organized around one simple idea: when we get together and do the things that matter to us, we’re at our best.”
From this quote, we can determine the basis of a successful Meetup group:
- Get together with others.
- Do activities that matter.
- Be our best.
So, to properly utilize Meetup.com for recruiting purposes, it’s important to create a “meetup” that provides value to the people who join and attend, and that targets the type of people you want to recruit.
Start by properly naming the meetup. Even if your ultimate goal is to recruit, instead of identifying the group as “Recruiting All Interested Salespeople,” consider making it all about door to door sales, maybe “Door to Door Sales Professionals in Atlanta.” Generalizing the name of the meetup in terms of the type of person you want to recruit will seem more inviting to people, enticing them to join and attend each meetup.
Use the meetup as a time to provide a learning experience for attendees. Invite guest speakers, teach how to do a powerful close at the door or offer a time of role playing for script practice with constructive feedback on how to improve. Whatever activity you plan, make sure it provides a learning experience so that attendees receive value.
Schedule a weekly or twice-monthly meetup at the same place and time so that attendees can work the meetup into their busy lives. When people know that an event occurs at the same time and the same place, they are more likely to make it a part of their monthly activity list, if you provide value.
Also, seek places that offer a free conference room, or maybe a restaurant that has a special room or area for big groups of people. Here in the Dallas area, for example, we have a chain restaurant called La Madeleine Country French Cafe that has a big room with a door that allows people to reserve it for free. Plus, meeting at a place that serves coffee, wine and other drinks encourages people to open up as well as stay to talk to the meetup facilitator even after the meetup is over, at which time you will be able to identify some potential sales recruits.
This creates a strong-knit group who will help each other, give referrals of people to recruit and support each other because everyone is:
- Gathering for the same purpose.
- Focused on the same goals.
- Friends or at least acquaintances based on the theme of the group, so everyone has some things in common.
Perhaps the best pieces of advice: With a Meetup Group, don’t be pushy or salesy and make it all about recruiting. Just give value and the right people will be attracted to your group.
7.) Build best relationships with people already in sales.
Have you recently been through a sales funnel yourself where you’ve made a purchase? Maybe you bought a car, furniture, appliances or even a house.
Did you really enjoy the process, the way you were treated and the overall process? Become friends with the salesperson. Nurture a relationship with them and then ask for referrals. You never know who that person knows. You also never know when that person will be looking for a new opportunity and may just become your next top producer.
8.) Networking groups
Actively participate in some networking groups as well as get to know the leaders of the groups. The more leaders you know and connect with, the more referrals you will likely receive. It’s through these types of groups that you will gain professional connections, establish trust, increase your knowledge and participate in “word-of-mouth recruiting,” the ability to talk freely about your opportunity with others as a way to increase referrals and reciprocate with the same based on other members’ needs.
Here are 3 to consider joining:
- Business Networking International (BNI) – Over 211,000 members across 7,800 worldwide chapters that meet weekly to help build a strong network.
- MasterMind Groups – Offer group brainstorming, education, accountability and support. It’s a place to meet new people and develop relationships. To find these in your area, Google MasterMind groups, subject, and location, for example: “Mastermind groups door to door dallas, texas.”
- eWomen – Specifically for women, this group has approximately 118 chapters spread across North America that meet locally. This would be a great avenue for female recruiters and sales managers who recruit their sales team members.
With any group you decide to join:
- Dedicate enough time to be an active, beneficial member;
- Provide value;
- Help others; and
- Keep your ears open for possible recruits within the group as well as ask for referrals.
And there you have it, the best places to recruit salespeople!