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Six steps to hiring right the first time

September 14, 2004
Filed under Archives

This is the second in a series of articles that addresses the six-step hiring pyramid.
Hiring the right person the first time is extremely important. You can’t afford to waste your time making foolish mistakes. Hiring the wrong salespeople can be one of the most expensive mistakes you can make.
To build a professional sales force you must have the correct number of salespeople — most dealerships find that one salesperson is needed for every four to six daily customers — and you must have a written job description before you start the hiring process.
A good salesperson must be friendly and social, have a high energy level, and be aggressiveness without being abrasive. Combine these with qualities like honesty, good communication skills, professional appearance and common sense and you’ve got a person with the right aptitude and attitude to be a salesperson.
Friendliness And Sociability — The successful salesperson must relate well to people of all ages and economic levels. They must also be comfortable with the ethnic and cultural differences that exist.
A High Energy Level — The best salespeople have big batteries. They are what are commonly known as “A”-type personalities. They are self-motivated and possess the stamina to get through the day at a high level of activity.
Aggressiveness Without Abrasiveness — Ideal salespeople are aggressive in accomplishing their goals. They are go-getters. Yet they have the ability to control that aggression when it might turn a customer off. They know the difference between pushing and pushy.

USING THE SIX-STEP HIRING PYRAMID
The six-step hiring pyramid is a process that leads to hiring the best salespeople. It is called a pyramid because it starts with a large group of applicants and ends with the selection of the one correct person.
THE SIX-STEP HIRING PYRAMID

  • Hiring and Orientation

  • Final Interviewing
  • Checking references
  • Initial Interviewing
  • Screening
  • Recruiting

Developing a top-notch sales force begins with recruiting the best candidates. Don’t wait until you have an opening to begin recruiting. The pressure of filling the position quickly frequently leads to hiring someone who is not correct for the position.
You must be constantly building a list of potential candidates. Keep in touch with them periodically. Then, when you have an opening, you’ll already have a good selection of candidates.
Your sources for job candidates stretch from people within your own dealership to experienced salespeople outside your dealership to bright, but inexperienced trainees right out of school.
Some of your best candidates may be people who are already working at your dealership. You already know them and they’re familiar with the product line; particularly if they’re working in the parts or service departments.
The success rate for such employees is very high, particularly if they are part-timers who want full-time positions. Promoting from within the dealership also helps build morale.
The best referrals usually come from within the dealership or from your own business and social contacts. Wholesalers and suppliers can be excellent sources for referrals. Since they usually do business at most of the dealers in the area, they know who is doing a good job elsewhere. Consider offering a finder’s fee to contacts, employees and friends who refer a candidate who is eventually hired.
Recruitment advertising is dependent upon how skillfully the ad is prepared. Because of the screening time involved, this is one of the most time consuming and expensive methods of recruitment.
You may find other job candidates through various employment agencies. Don’t overlook high schools, trade schools and colleges. If you need temporary help during the summer months, consider vacationing teachers. These people are already comfortable with paperwork and performance tracking systems (such as your Customer Log, Prospect Forms, etc.).
I knew of a sales manager who had some special business cards that said “Director of Recruitment.” Wherever he went, he would keep his eyes open for good salespeople. He would sometimes spot a good salesperson in a sporting goods, department store or other business. They had that certain attitude. They were up and excited to meet new customers. They dressed and behaved like professionals. This sales manager would hand them his card and say, “I’m the Sales Manager and Director of Recruitment for our dealership. I couldn’t help but notice the kind of talent you’re exhibiting here. If you are ever interested in a better job, give me a call.” psb

Author, speaker and educator, Gart has been retained by every major powersport manufacturer/distributor. He is a frequent keynote speaker for national motorcycle conventions and state Motorcycle Dealer Association events. Visit www.gartsutton.com.

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