Hiring Quality Salespeople: Make it Personal | Spencer James Group

We’ve talked in recent blog articles about the importance of selling your company during the recruiting process. The old-style approach that focused strictly on “what can you do for us” is out of date, because it misses the point: today’s top salespeople have a choice. Telling your story can inspire them to choose you.

Two people smiling and talking with each other in a well lit room

Telling stories about your company and what it’s like to work there personalizes your firm. The stories give candidates (or your desired target in another company) a real-life glimpse into your culture; what sales success looks and feels like with your company. This makes it much easier for them to see how well they would fit in, and whether they could reach their personal goals working with you.

Once they’ve started seeing themselves in your picture, you’re that much closer to winning them over. Isn’t it a tried-and-true sales technique to get your prospect started by saying “yes?”

What Kind of Stories Should You Tell?

Start at the top. Your C-level execs are seasoned entrepreneurs. Visionaries. Innovators. Of course they have stories you can relate about their business philosophy or plans for the future. How changes in the production plant (or proposed new products) will affect the sales department. Working for your firm is about more than making cold calls and selling widgets.

Talk to members of your current sales team. The veterans and also the newest one or two, to get different perspectives. What do they like most about their job? Your company?

Beyond the personal, look for stories that relate:

  • Your organization’s values and future vision
  • What daily life is like in your working environment
  • Why your most-desired sales candidates would be happy coming over to your team
  • Other points you as a recruiter are often asked about

People relate best to other real people, rather than abstracts. So stories that feature people are more compelling and memorable. Use these anecdotes to underscore key recruiting points or as examples to answer specific candidate questions. You might even consider a story or two about a candidate you hired who didn’t work out, and why – anonymously, of course.

Keep Your Stories Short

You want to offer snippets – “proofs” – not recount your corporate history or your sales team’s personal life stories. Focus on making a single point or two. And practice telling the tales a few times, so you can stay on point without wandering. (But don’t practice so much you sound canned! That will obliterate the entire effect.)

Short stories lend themselves best to virtually all types of recruiting, from piquing interest to closing the deal:

  • Website “blurbs”
  • Social media posts relevant to recruiting
  • Networking events where you have little time to chat with any one person
  • One-on-one interviews

You can turbo-boost their power by adding visuals. You know what they say a picture’s worth. Did one of your sales pros just purchase his dream car? Or boat? If your candidate has a similar goal, show them the picture. Even better, turn your stories into videos. You don’t need more than 60 seconds. With video, you can let your people tell their own stories.

Savvy marketers know that 72% of people would rather watch a video to learn about a new product or company as opposed to reading about it. Recruiting and “company lifestyle” videos tell your stories when you can’t be there in person.

Stories make your company more interesting. They reveal “insider” details that are especially meaningful to potential new salespeople. And they help candidates make an immediate emotional connection. That’s a lot of value packed into one simple concept.

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