Hunting Big Sales with Tom Searcy

Hunt Big Sales Blog

Insights for Finding, Landing and Harvesting Whale-Size Accounts

Latest "Hiring/Firing/Paying" Posts

How to avoid hiring a ‘walking lawsuit’

A law firm offers six tips for screening out job applicants who may be itching to sue you

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying, Leadership, MoneyWatch.

A cure for toxic salesperson syndrome

The sales world is full of jerks, but psychologist Dr. Bruce Heller says they can be rehabilitated

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying, MoneyWatch, Personal Development, Sales Strategy.

When Not to Let the Freak Flag Fly

Personal expression shouldn’t trump an employer’s brand expression. Do your employees know the ground rules?

The siren song of self-expression is loud and strong in today’s culture. For those who don’t know what a “freak flag” is, I offer this definition from the Urban Dictionary:

A characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.

Of course, nonconformity has its own conformity. Look at all of the groups of unconventional people dressing and talking alike.

But even so, there is a line that is constantly being sorted out between personal messaging and company messaging. It has become a bit of a battleground: As a company owner, how can you balance your people’s need for self-expression with your desire for your company to present a consistent brand message to your customers?

Freak Flag Rules

This may be a controversial notion, but I believe employees need to understand that their personal expression doesn’t trump their employer’s brand expression.

By the same token, however, employees deserve to be told clearly what the expectations are, in advance of employment–so that each individual can determine whether he or she can fly that company flag.

I recently had an interesting conversation with a coffee-shop employee named John. John has large gauges in his ears–those circular inserts that open up holes in the ears of the wearer–but he doesn’t wear them at work.

I asked him why not. His answer was: “Their house, their rules. It’s a cool place to work and I get benefits, so I leave the gauges in the car and put on their hat when I come in.

Posted by Tom Searcy in Hiring/Firing/Paying,, Leadership.

You have one week to save your job — go!

You’re fired! You heard me, terminated. Read my CBS MoneyWatch blog “You Have One Week to Save Your Job — go!

Posted by Tom Searcy in Hiring/Firing/Paying, Leadership.

What Employers Look for in Hiring Salespeople

Salespeople are hired to be fired. So when it comes time to find that next sales job, just what is the person doing the hiring looking for in a new salesperson? Read my CBS MoneyWatch blog here: What Employers Look for in Hiring Salespeople

Posted by Tom Searcy in Hiring/Firing/Paying, MoneyWatch.

Best Type of Sales Pro to Hire

Great sales people do more than sell; they challenge their clients. That’s a person you want on your team.

What does it take to win the sale in today’s increasingly competitive environment? In The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, authors Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson set out to discover the key characteristics of a star sales rep.

Their research graded more than 6,000 sales reps on 44 attributes, classifying them into five distinct profiles. The most successful and high-performing profile, by a landslide, was one they called the “challenger.”

The challenger, they found, had the ability to

  • Teach the customer a new way to look at his or her own market and business issues.
  • Tailor the solution to the specific issues that the customer faces.
  • Take control of the conversation, thus leading the customer through the application of the insight to the customer’s problem and the steps to transition from the current approach.

Here are three reasons you need to hire a “challenger” for your own team:

1. Customers seek out these salespeople. The most effective salespeople are in fact sources of information and guides to the buyer’s own business performance. Customers crave tailored insight and a guide who can intelligently direct them to make the most effective decision for their company.

2. Buyers are smarter about you (and dumber about themselves). Crazy talk? The explosion of information access has made buyers feel more knowledgeable about the pricing, features, benefits and vendor options in their purchasing decisions.

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying.

Recruiting & Hiring: When to Break the Rules

If you’re going to ignore conventional wisdom, make sure you have a good reason–and a plan to address potential fallout.

Early on I learned a list of hiring “nevers” that were passed on to me by mentors and bosses. They were aimed at helping me navigate the treacherous waters of interviewing by pointing out some very obvious explosive mines.

  • Never hire family
  • Never hire friends
  • Never hire someone right out of school
  • Never hire a felon
  • Never hire someone you are sleeping with, have slept with or want to sleep with

But as I started businesses of my own, I violated a few of these rules–and lived to tell the tale. Here are two that I have violated and what I learned.

Hiring Family

It’s fraught with all sorts of danger, but I still know many companies that have hired family. Potential problems are manifold:

  • Being taken advantage of … either as employee or employer.
  • Favoritism in the workplace that brings back the pain of favoritism felt in the home.
  • Nepotism is another obvious one. The real danger is the diminished respect a supervisor or employee receives because he or she is “the boss’s kid.”

That all said, I know few small start-ups that have not violated this rule at some point.

The great thing about family is that they “get you.” There is a shorthand of shared understanding that can be efficient. Expectations of quality, service, work ethic, and value are taught in the home and naturally carry over to the business.

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying,, Leadership.

4 Ways to Hire Better Sales Personalities

Check out today’s blog on MoneyWatch.  Enjoy!

(image courtesy of iStockphoto)

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying, MoneyWatch.

Cracking the sales hiring code

Check out today’s blog on CBS MoneyWatch on cracking the sales hiring code.  Enjoy!

(image courtesy of public domain image)


Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying, MoneyWatch.

Increase Sales: Time to Kill Your Commissions?

Your compensation structure may not be motivating your sales team the way it should be. Here’s how to tell whether you need a change.

The idea that commissions drive more sales is a foundational belief about selling. It is as elemental as supply and demand is to economics.

But it’s often wrong. (I know, I hear you already: Sacrilege! Blasphemy! Hear me out.)

The idea of commissions is based upon the pain/pleasure principles of behavior change. By giving rewards, we get people to change their behavior. The same goes for taking away things: Penalties also lead to behavior change.

But in complex sales–indeed, in some very common sales situations–the research shows that these principles don’t hold up. Because of this research, you may want to consider changing the way you compensate your sales team in order to improve your sales performance.

The truth is, commissions work sometimes–but only sometimes. Here’s how to understand the difference.

When to Skip the Commission

1. When it takes many parties to close a sale: In complex sales that require subject matter experts, studies and design, as well as many meetings with the buying company’s experts, commission has less of an impact on sales performance. Commissions work better when one individual’s single efforts have a direct impact on the closing of a sale.

2. When the sales cycle is very long: The longer the sales cycle, the less the commission structure drives actual behavioral change or lift in performance. What sustains the focus of the sales people is the actual achievement of the sale.

Posted by admin in Hiring/Firing/Paying,, Sales Strategy.