George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
If you're not going to handle sales yourself, having the right person doing the job is a critical part of your success as a Canadian franchisee. Before you hire your first marketer, here's what you need to know.
Traits to look for
A common mistake people make when hiring a salesperson is basing the decision on resumes and interviews only. As noted by Harvard Business Review, natural aptitude is an important part of sales success (https://hbr.org/2011/08/are-top-salespeople-born-or-ma). You can use a personality assessment to suss out personal traits in your candidates or conduct your interviews with questions that help showcase the traits you're looking for or a lack thereof. What you'll need to see in a salesperson will vary depending on your business, but in general, drive, high levels of intensity, independence and assertiveness are common shared characteristics among successful salespeople.
On the other side of the coin, what you don't want to see are traits like a strong desire to analyze. While this is an excellent trait in a technical employee, it could make a salesperson less likely to make necessary decisions because he or she will get "stuck" in analysis mode. A need to serve is another trait you'll want to avoid. You want your staff to have a customer service focus, but a salesperson who is spending too much time on this area will not generate the revenue you're after. Last but certainly not least, you don't want a salesperson with low optimism. Sales can be tough and your salesperson may have to fight many rejections before getting a yes, so an enthusiastic person with a positive outlook will have more success than someone who is easily discouraged.
Growing your sales
You can help develop sales growth on your end by taking the right steps from the beginning. Make sure your salesperson knows your customers, market space, products or services and the competitive landscape. Give them the tools and technology they can use to boost sales whenever you can, and support best practices in your marketing and sales processes so your staff can work together more effectively. Encourage an "everyone is in sales" culture so your other staff members support the efforts of your salesperson. This can translate into both better sales and a higher level of morale as it will keep your salesperson more connected to your other workers.
Having a strong salesperson in your franchise can make an incredible difference in your growth and bottom line. Take the time you need to find the right person for the job to set yourself up for success.