How To Hire Salespeople (Even If It’s Your First Time)
If you can’t figure out how to hire sales people, in most industries most businesses won’t be able to grow successfully. You need to be able to master this as a skill because this is the most important skills to grow almost any kind of business. Even if you get leads online, even if you have sales letters, sales pages, sales videos and so on, salespeople have the highest conversion rate out of anything else potentially you can do to get sales.
How do you actually find salespeople? Where do you find them and how do you hire them?
This strategy I am going to teach you does not apply to corporate sales. If you are going to sell to really big companies or you want to hire people who have really high contacts in the industry, I am not going to be discussing that. This is for smaller companies selling to smaller companies mostly.
Where to hire
First I’m going to tell you where to get sales people. Most of my other videos about hiring I talk a lot about UpWork, Freelancer.com, and other freelancing websites. For sales people, these websites are not that great because there are not a lot of good sales people that I have found on these websites – I have hired hundreds of people.
Basically, you are looking to hire people who don’t have too much experience. I know this is very counter-intuitive and probably the opposite of what you have heard in other videos and other books and so on, but based on my experience when you hire sales people, they need to do things exactly as you are doing. You were doing sales before you started hiring salespeople, (I hope) so what you need to do is transfer all that knowledge onto the sales person.
What I like to do is train them from scratch because I know that I have the skills and I can train them very quickly to close sales. If it is a sales person with five years sales experience, they won’t learn. They will adhere and stick to their existing methods and habits that are very hard to unlearn. Maybe there are other people out there that are better at teaching, coaching, or whatever, but for me it is always easier to hire people who are a blank sheet but have what it takes to learn. These people have the basic “talent” to learn.
How do you actually find them if it is not on UpWork or Freelancer?
I go look in Facebook groups that are related to the industry that I am interested in. For example, if I am looking to sell services online to companies for inbound leads, I go looking into Facebook groups like the one I run, Daily Business Hustle Open, where there are a lot of young people who want to become entrepreneurs. They want to become entrepreneurs and they know they need to learn sales and they are already in the industry. They do not necessarily already have sales skills but I can teach them that and they are very eager to learn and make some money. That is a good lead. I am looking for a person who wants to get out there every single day in the early morning, make shit happen, and get the money into a bank account.
I am looking for someone who is quick to talk, whose brain works quickly, can make decisions quickly and who can control his emotions somehow. With someone who is all over the place and has a voice with a weird upward tonality where it sounds like they are lying all the time, I would have to teach them much more than someone who is already baseline confident, has a nice deep voice, and who knows what they’re talking about. I am looking for those kinds of people and I make it hard for them to apply.
Give a tough job application
As a sales person the primary thing they are going to be doing is getting rejected because most sales calls result in rejection. If they can’t handle some rejections from me while I am processing their application, then how are they going to do it on a sales call? When I get them from the Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and local listings and websites of students looking for jobs, I get them to apply and follow my rules for application.
This includes making a video for me, call me as if you are selling something to me, and so on. It’s a job application but it is also actually a sales call. They don’t have experience with sales but it is a sales call. I just want to see what happens when they don’t necessarily know what is going on and they are put in a new situation where they are under a lot of pressure. It is not just them and me, but it is them via Skype or phone call, and me with a business partner of mine.
We are constantly interrupting them, constantly talking to each other and making it super hard for them to do anything on the call because I just want to see how they will react naturally. If their reactions are totally off it is going to be pretty tough to teach them how to have the right reaction. It is possible, but I want to make it as easy as possible for me to teach the person. If that person has a strong frame and won’t be interrupted if we are just messing with him, then that is good. If he insists on, “Look guys I want to do this for you, I have 30 minutes, I want to talk to you and make it happen, but if you’re going to talk to each other maybe we should book another time,” they are very strong in their beliefs and how they communicate, that is what I’m looking for.
Notice their behavior through their application process
The questions that I ask of them aren’t that important but what is important is how to behave on an interview and how they are responding to me and how they react emotionally, or an unemotionally. That is actually one of those very important things on a sales call. If they are reacting emotionally they are not going to be as consistent in my experience. I am looking for people who are grounded, have a baseline of confident and good emotions, and are able to deliver every single time. I am looking for people who don’t lie. If they lie to me they will lie to my customers. If they are going to lie to my customers, my business is going to suffer. That is super important and that applies to almost any business – actually every business.
Find the people who may lie
Ask them questions to where they will be very motivated to lie like, “What are some bad things that your boss could say about you from your previous job or one of your previous jobs?” If they try to make it sound good, that is a bad sign because that means they are very eager to please you and to lie. That is not a good trait in a salesperson. There are many more things like that that you can do, but the best thing you can do to hire sales people is instead of just relying on this interview process to hire, make the entry process very short and give them a 24 hour and a one-week test.
Give a 24-hour and a one-week trial
Hire three people and get them to take the calls, emails or whatever they need to do for you. In the first 24 hours, the way they deliver, the way they communicate with each other, and the way they communicate with you are all the ways they generally communicate and behave. It is very hard to change people’s behaviors. It does not have to be perfect, but the baseline has to be there. They have to be able to write an email without huge grammar and spelling mistakes. They need to be able to get there on time and do the work on time while doing the correct amount of work. They need to be eager to learn and ask questions without being afraid to sound stupid. They also cannot be butt hurt when they get rejected by prospects.
I need to see that in the first 24 hours, and of course if there is some result like if they set up a meeting, or God forbid if they close a sale in the first 24 hours, that is actually a very good thing. Out of the three first hires most likely, if I get a little bit lucky, one of the three is going to be pretty good and that is the person I will give a one week assignment to. After one week, I know a lot about these people because they are communicating with other people in my company, if they aren’t that is a bad sign. Potentially they are even closing a sale or two, and so on. In fact, if they can’t close a sale in a week, that is actually a bad sign unless you are selling a really high ticket complicated thing.
How do you train them?
You need to base their training off your own experiences. You need to be good at sales first before you hire sales people. Otherwise, you do not really know what they are doing. It is like a black box and you do not know what they are promising and it is very messy.
You should know exactly every word they should be saying if you give them a script with at least bullet points, with the sales process, what they can promise, what they can’t promise, delivery, the contracts, and so on. You can teach someone very quickly how to do that. You can replicate this process and replace salespeople quite quickly because they are not going to stick with you for five years, generally speaking, as most sales people quit after 3 to 6 months. This also depends on the Industry and how good you are at managing people and other factors of course.
Standardize the training process
What you are looking to do is you are looking to have a standardized training process where they become a “carbon copy” of you so they can replicate your results. That is the best way to train sales people. That way you can grow your business quite quickly because how fast could your business grow if there were five of you? How about they were only focused on sales? That is the kind of people you are looking for. Then you need to make sure you are paying them a high commission and a very low salary, if any salary at all. The lower you pay them base salary, the better. The higher your commission is, up to 30%, depending on the industry of course, the better – up to a certain point. In services with high margins like delivering digital services, 30% is a high margin. That means they can make a lot of money.
If they make a lot of money, they will be quite eager to stay with you. One thing about hiring sales people is do not give them your whole sales funnel and do not teach them everything about how to get leads. Get them to get the sales only. Everything else is done by other people. That way they are less likely to leave and start their own company. Make no mistake, these people are going to be ambitious and capable so you want to keep them in that sales position and not have them take over the whole business or go off and start their own company.
How do you hire salespeople?