This year was my company’s WORST recruiting year! But here comes the silver lining. By summer’s end, we will have our BEST sales per rep average in my company’s 16-year history! In fact, we will have 3 sales reps on our all-time serviced accounts record board, 1 of which will set a new company record for serviced accounts!
So, for all that went wrong with recruiting numbers, it seems everything went right with recruiting talent.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another “quality versus quantity” post. On the contrary, the purpose of this article is to help recruiters ensure they are looking for the right fits for their company, and for sales reps to know if the company recruiting them is the right fit.
Reps who found the right fit
How can you find the right fit?
Having been in the door-to-door sales industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen both sides of this equation fail. Recruiters are anxious to get bodies on the doors and hire anybody willing, only to find out half of their recruits, just 2 days into the summer, can’t stand rejection and pack their bags for home.
And, sales reps enthusiastically show up day 1 to training meeting, seeing 30 other reps in the office with the manager promising, “I’ll definitely get on the doors to train with each of you at some point.” Two weeks later, with a few sales and hardly any attention from his manager, this sales rep heads back home vowing to never knock another door.
It’s too bad really, because some reps thrive in big offices, while others need an environment where they receive more attention. So if you’re recruiting a big team of reps, how do you know which reps would fit best in a big-office environment? Conversely, if you’re a sales rep wanting more personal attention, how do you know what company would provide you with the best experience?
Tips & Tricks
- Recruiters are typically good sales reps who are known for telling prospective reps exactly what they want to hear. Therefore, during the recruiting process, don’t make it easy by asking direct questions, instead, ask searching and vague questions. For example, instead of asking, “I’m really competitive and like working in big groups. Do your sales teams have a lot of reps?” Most recruiters, whether they are hiring large teams or not, will tell you they are, knowing that’s what you want to hear. Instead try asking, “How many reps do you hire per team?” Then, when the recruiter replies, “It really depends on what office you go to, we have bigger and smaller teams, what would you prefer?” See, I told you these recruiters are good! You might reply, “If I was interested in joining a big team, where would I go and who would be my manager?” and then follow up with, “And if I was interested in a smaller team where would I go and who would be my manager?” Don’t get “sold” by a recruiter who is trained to tell you everything you want to hear.
- If your company hires a lot of reps in an office, make sure you are hiring competitive sales reps who will thrive in that environment. Preseason activities are a great indicator of who will thrive in an office with a lot of sales reps. Companies who hire large sales teams, often make the mistake of hiring the wrong sales reps and experience massive fall-out, which amplifies housing and other associated costs. Make sure the reps you hire will thrive in the atmosphere you create in your offices. When hiring, tell your recruits about the competitions offered during the summer, and also how many reps they’ll get to spend time with as knocking partners. If you paint an accurate picture, you’ll find that sales rep attrition is mitigated and your program costs are kept in check.
- Managers (those who work directly with the sales team in the field) and sales reps, should get to know each other well before the summer begins. As a sales rep, your manager can directly influence (for good or for bad) your sales production. If your manager rubs you the wrong way in the preseason (conversely, if a manager has a hard time with a sales rep in the preseason), you’re certainly going to have issues with him during the grind of the summer. Managers and sales reps don’t have to get along perfectly for it to work, but they do have to respect each other, or it makes for a long summer for both of them. If you can’t stand your manager in the preseason, you’ll absolutely hate him during the summer!
No Shortage of Options
The good news for sales reps is that there is an overabundance of companies employing door-to-door sales teams. There is a perfect fit out there for you, you just need to keep looking until you find it. And fortunately for companies that employ door-to-door sales reps, there are thousands looking to strike gold in the industry. By finding the right fits for your company, and by reps finding the right fit for them, the overall door-to-door experience is enhanced as attrition decreases and positive experiences increase.
I have no issues with sales reps choosing another company over my own. Although I am confident in the experience and opportunity my company provides, there are sales reps who will have a better experience elsewhere. The door-to-door sales industry is made up of a wide variety of fascinating people, this is not a “one size fits all” industry, and I’m glad it isn’t. It’s satisfying to witness good people find the right fit for them.