The Riskiest Hire? Your First Sales Rep.

Killing Mistakes Sales Rep

For most entrepreneurs, the first sales rep is their riskiest hire, especially if it’s a bad one. According to SalesPeak Recruiting, the cost of a bad hire can be over $500,000.

This came home to me recently during a meeting I had with a business owner in my Vistage group. Her name is Marla, and she knew she needed to hire a sales rep in order to grow her business.

Her decision to hire her first sales rep was a good one. However, the hiring process Marla was following was clearly flawed. She had interviewed a candidate known to a couple of people she knew, and she was ready to make him an offer. That was her process, if you can call it one!

I started having flashbacks back to when I was running my own company and had my own lack of process for hiring my first sales rep. My process had been just as flawed as Marla’s and had actually led to several bad hires, costing the company time and a lot of money.

So, to keep Marla from repeating my mistakes, I started asking her questions, many of which she hadn’t yet asked herself; and, just as I expected, she didn’t have the answers. At the end of our conversation, she said she realized that, before moving forward, she had a lot more work to do.

Here are the seven steps I recommended to her, and recommend to you, to decrease the risks in hiring your first sales rep.

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