How To Recruit The Best Sales People In Building Services
Great salespeople are out there, and they have the power to radically transform your business fortunes. The question that companies like you in the building sector are facing is how on earth to attract them to your business over the competition?
The difference between a great salesperson and a mediocre one is akin to comparing a professional athlete to a guy who jogs around the park on Saturdays. The Pareto Principle indicates that your top 20% of salespeople will drive an astonishing 80% of sales: this is your athlete.
The other 80% of your salesforce will drive only 20% of your sales: this is your Saturday jogger. This person may love jogging and even be passably good at it, but they’re not going to ever make the big time.
So, how do you attract the professional sales athletes?
Know what you’re looking for
Not all sales roles are alike – in fact, they can be wildly different. Where a salesperson might succeed in cold calling, they may be very poor at maintaining customer relations throughout the lifetime of the service. Know exactly what your sales role is and the skills needed to succeed, and create your job description around that.
Don’t fall for the Saturday jogger in the latest Nikes
Salespeople are often good talkers, and it can be easy to fall for a patter that doesn’t have real substance. Ask for proof. This is where we recommend competency-based interviews so that the candidate is forced to supply concrete examples of past behaviours and performance.
Ask for proof of their past sales performance.
Throw some challenging questions into the interview:
- Ask them about a time they’ve really messed up. If they make a lot of excuses rather than taking some measure of responsibility, they’re probably not going to be sufficiently self-aware to make a genuinely good salesperson.
- Ask them about a time they’ve had to approach a client or lead that they really didn’t want to, or felt uncomfortable about. How did they go about it, and what was the result?
- Ask them about a how they deal with knockbacks. Here, you’re looking for indicators of two vital traits in a salesperson: resilience, and the ability to not take rejection personally. Watch carefully for pre-rehearsed answers or discomfort.
Make your company shine
Top salespeople are a hot commodity. And they know it! You’ll need to paint a picture of your building services company which makes top performers want to work there. Highlight successes and recognisable clients, attractive incentive schemes, workplace culture and flexible work arrangements. And make sure your website and social media pages are top-notch.
Notice how they talk about customers
Is it with a sense of clever, cunning, or empathy? You don’t want salespeople who harass customers into buying your building products or services. What you need are salespeople who take the time to understand what the customer needs, and then frames your product around how it will help fulfil that customer need. The first type drives one-off sales; the second brings customers for life.
Don’t be blind to potential
It’s natural to want to hire someone who already holds building industry experience, as the training process will undeniably be quicker. But by doing so, you’re doing your company a disservice. Sales potential can hide in the most unexpected places. That waiter that somehow convinced you into a three-course lunch when you went in for a light salad? Born salesperson. Think about how sales talent can transfer to your business if the person is willing to learn about a new industry.
The standout salespeople are the ones you see everywhere. They’re at breakfast networking events and building industry seminars, handing out business cards and chatting with everyone who crosses their path. Because even if they’re hitting their targets, they’re still looking for leads. A standout seller doesn’t ever limit their potential to sell more.
Leverage your existing top salespeople to find their peers
Top salespeople are extremely aware of the others that are at the top of their game. Utilise this network to find their peers- and use referral cash bonuses to inspire them to do so!
Make your compensation scheme tough to beat
Salespeople are generally money-motivated and have a greater appetite for risk than your average employee. Make this work for both parties.
Rely on your recruiter
Your specialist building services recruiter will already know who the top sales candidates are in your industry, both active and passive. In truth, active candidates are the ones who will see your ads on job boards, but in many cases, the question must be asked: why aren’t they employed right now? Is it because they fail to hit targets?
The real gold in sales is generally found in the passive market, where you may be able to lure the top-seller away from their current role with something interesting, a great workplace culture or reputation, or a lucrative bonus scheme. Your recruiter knows who these people are in building services and can put your job offer to them.
Identifying, attracting, and retaining top salespeople takes constant work. But it’s imperative that you make an effort, or you’ll end up with a team of Saturday joggers, watching the sales athletes at competitor companies streak right past you.
A specialist building services recruiter can make the task of finding top sales talent a great deal easier, so if you’d like a friendly, no-obligation discussion about your recruitment needs, email us here or call on 01743 247774.