sales tips

Hiring the Right Salesperson Goes Way Beyond Just Running an Ad and Interviewing

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One of the things that have consistently intrigued me over the course of my career is the lack of effort hiring managers put into finding and grooming Sales Pros. Many companies agree that training is vital to the success of their sales team - even if they don't fully practice what they preach. But too few of those same people allocate the necessary resources to finding the right team member in the first place.

I often hear prospective clients mention that they can't "find the right people". But when I ask them what steps they take to find those people, the problem becomes evident. Filling a sales seat is not a numbers game; you will not be successful by subscribing to the old "throw 'em against the wall and see who sticks" philosophy. Here are 4 quick tips for building a dynamic sales team.

 

Don't find them, attract them!

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The easiest way to find your next sales superstar is to attract them instead of trying to hire them. Keep in mind that the top salespeople already have jobs and, if they don't, they have multiple opportunities coming after them. Establish a company culture that attracts the kind of salespeople that you are looking to bring aboard. Those that select your company will be more productive than if go hunting after them in sales ads.

 

 

Identify your ideal candidate

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Know the attributes that you are looking for in your ideal candidate. Your biggest clues are found within your current sales team. Look at your top producer and ask yourself, "Where did I find them?" "What qualities in them do I desire in potential team members?" This is what you look for again!

You can also benefit from looking at the underperforming members of your team. Make sure you don't hire another round of underperformers by neglecting to assess your current team. If you have to eventually terminate the employment of everyone who came from a specific source, stop hiring from that source!

 

 

Speak their language

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One of the biggest challenges with attracting top salespeople is not understanding what drives them. An example would be titling a sales ad "Looking for a Sales Superstar" instead of "Hiring for Salespeople". The first title suggests that you have a solid team and are looking to selectively add the right person. The latter title shows desperation and will not attract a seasoned professional

 

 

Provide support

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If you've ever had the luxury of having a superstar on your team then you know they require flexibility. That may mean anything from a different pay plan to an adjusted schedule. Think about it...why would an experienced salesperson with documented results accept the same offer as a new salesperson with no track record? Unfortunately too many companies "take a swing" and end up tarnishing their chances of bringing a producer aboard.

These are by no means an all-inclusive list to find a Sales Pro. Other important factors that need to be analyzed include the interview (both phone and in-person), past results, company vision and the opinion of the current team. If at any time you said to yourself "That's a good idea" while reading this article, then we should talk. There are several other strategies that you can implement to build a foundation for a top-tier sales team.

Tamahn Jamison is the President of opportUNITY Development LLC and has 20 years of experience attracting, hiring, training and developing Sales Pros. You can contact him at tamahn@opportunitydevelopmentllc.com.

VoyageATL Article

I recently had the pleasure of having an article written about me in VoyageATL magazine.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamahn Jamison.

Tamahn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After spending over 15 years in the automotive industry, I decided to pursue my passion of training and development. I launched my company while working a full-time job and left my employer about 2 1/2 years later to focus primarily on my business.

You can read the article in its entirety at: http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-tamahn-jamison-opportunity-development-llc-south-fulton-county/

My Review of "Car Dogs"

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While my wife and I were searching through Netflix looking to find something to watch, we stumbled across a movie title that caught my attention...Car Dogs. Of course I had to stop and read the description. On the surface its premise is about a Dealer's son who has to hit a sales target in order to get his new store. But in digging deeper, I see it as a battle between the "old way" of selling cars (numbers-focused) vs. the "new way" (personnel-focused). The son runs his team like a leader by caring about his staff but he is torn between caring and being an iron-fisted manager like his dad, who is all about the results.           

Let me start by saying that it takes place at the end of the month. We know that this is a "different" time of the month and we have trained the customers to know that as well. Tensions are flaring, deals are being skated and wives are calling at "closing time" to see how long you think it will be before you get off! 

My wife was interested in how real the movie would be. She's heard the countless stories that I have shared with her from my 18 years in the industry and I myself also wanted to see if this film would line up with reality. The first 5 minutes set the stage for attracting the attention of those who've never worked in the car business by introducing such lingo as "green pea" and "credit criminal". My initial thoughts were that this movie was going to cater to the negative stereotypes that the public views towards car salespeople.

As the story unfolds, I saw the battle of good vs. evil emerge. And that battle was between the "old way" of running a dealership vs. the "new way". The dad represented the old way. He only cared about the numbers and was callous about the effects that his antics had on his personnel. He didn't mind firing 20-year employees or even playing games with his only son, who was seeking the approval of his dad in order to get his own store. The son, on the other hand, saw his staff as his biggest asset and sought to be a leader to them.  What he wanted more than anything was to get his own store so that he could show everyone that there was a better way to run a successful dealership.  He could get tough when the lack of sales demanded it but he was more interested in having a team that was loyal to him and his leadership style. He knew that if he got his team to buy into him, he could get them to perform to their fullest potential. Like the typical General Manager, General Sales Manager or Sales Manager, he had to tread the fine line of getting his team to perform while appeasing the desires of the Dealer Principal and Manufacturer. The son battled with his dad, his wife, his team and customers all while trying to do what was best for everyone involved without neglecting his own needs.

One of my major issues I have with this film is the training aspect. Charged with hitting what seemed like an insurmountable number by the end of the day, the top sales guy was training a "green pea". Really? If the character that George Lopez played really needed 4 deals to hit his next bonus level, he would not be sitting at a desk with his feet up training some new guy. If anything, he would've had the new guy fetching cars or greeting customers for him. I agree that many dealerships do not have a real training system for new employees and they do typically have them shadow a top performer. But on the last day of the month with a big sales target to hit personally AND as a store...NOT HAPPENING!

Overall there was a lot of truth to this movie and those of us who have done this for 10-15 years or more have first-hand experience of both the "old way" and this "new way". I really liked the spin that this movie took by looking at it through the eyes of the Dealer's son. This is a pretty accurate depiction of what goes on in the minds of car salespeople as they fight to make a living. Extreme pressures from several sources just comes with the territory but that pressure valve can be released by making a sale. I recommend this as a good entertaining movie for those that have worked in dealerships. For those that haven't, my suggestion is that you watch it with someone who has lived that life!