When it’s your job to hire salespeople, your primary concern is attracting the right types of applicants: the top producers, the A players. If you’ve been depending on someone else, someone in HR, for instance, to write your ads, you may find that the candidates that answer your ad may be something short of the answer to your wildest dreams. After all, HR people don’t really understand salespeople. Their ad is probably some kind of generic summons that top producers will ignore, if they even give it more than a glance.
According to some sources, only one person in thirty has all the necessary elements to make a good salesman. When you hire salespeople, these few are the types you want to attract, and a generic ad is not going to do the trick. While you want to attract applicants who will be suited for the job, you also want to discourage any applicants who don’t in any way fit a salesperson profile. After all, if they can’t do the job, you’ll be unhappy, they’ll be unhappy, and eventually they’ll be gone. Then you have to start again at square one.
If you find that you’ve been experiencing an excessive degree of turnover because of bad hires, consider the starting place—the ad you use to hire salespeople. It has to be personal; there’s someone out there who will feel it’s calling to him. Look at this example: “Wanted. Men for hazardous journey. Low wages. Bitter cold. Long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in the event of success.”
Admittedly, there is some question as to whether the explorer Ernest Shackleton actually placed this ad in the London Times. But authentic or not, whatever he did to recruit the crew that would accompany him on his South Pole expedition, he got the right team, as they all made it back alive. In any case, it’s an excellent illustration of a targeted ad.
Of course, if you want to hire salespeople, you don’t want to make your ad completely unappealing to everyone. And you don’t want to alienate anyone, either; for example, including the statement, “Losers need not apply” would be considered bad form, and it might actually attract some belligerent losers.
Instead, focus on the tried and true methods of ad writing as demonstrated in the AHS sales hiring system: Create a compelling headline—one that says (in effect), “Hey you! Want to get in on something great?” Once your headline has attracted their attention, you’ve enticed them to read the rest of your ad, where you have included targeted keywords that continue to speak directly to the prospect. Words such as Energetic, Creative, Determined, etc. will let the prospect know that he’s the perfect fit for your company. The AHS ad writing module provides you with the kinds of keywords that get you the results you need.
Once you’ve created the perfect ad for your sales hiring purposes, follow the recommendations in the AHS ad placement module to ensure that your perfect ad will be seen by the perfect eyes. Once you’ve attracted the right prospects, the rest of the process to hire salespeople should be smooth sailing.