In this episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown speaks with Stephen Rhyne, the founder and CEO of ConveYour, about how to recruit, train, and retain sales representatives at mass scale. They go in-depth on the mindset of treating your sales representatives like clients, the importance of moderation with automation, hiring top talent, and much more.
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Stephen Rhyne is the CEO of ConveYour.com. Stephen has 20 years experience in direct sales, and for the last 10 years, he has been helping companies like LGCY Power, Vivint, and CUTCO recruit, onboard, train, and retain more reps.
Visit his website: www.ConveYour.com
We’re going to have a great guest for you. His name is Mr. Stephen Rhyne. He has a company where they do recruiting on a mass scale. We’re going to talk about how you recruit, onboard, train, and retain all types of reps that are going to come either individually through your company as a 1099. It means that they’re independent and/or whether you’re going to hire them on as a W-2. We’re going to talk about how to do this the right way and look at this as they are a customer. It’s a very unique view and it’s extremely powerful when you do this.
I did want to tell everybody that if you’re interested in joining our 1% academy on how to think and act and be a 1% sales earner, please reach out to us. You can do that you matter YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. We answer all inquiries. If you’re a company and you’re looking to raise your revenue or you’re an independent salesperson looking to raise your sales revenue and you know in your heart of hearts that some things there that you want to achieve. Whether you’re sure how to do it or you’re not quite sure how to do it, reach out to me directly. You can send it to YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. That is the email address. We will go from there. Let’s go talk to the man of the hour. You’re going to enjoy this interview.
Stephen, welcome to the show. I’m grateful that you’re here.
Thank you for having me, Doug.
Why don’t you tell everybody what you do? We’ll set the frame for this. We’re going to talk about how to hire independent sales reps at a mass scale on this call. Why don’t you give people what you do and some of the background to set the frame?
My company is ConveYour. I’m the Founder and CEO. We help recruit, onboard, train, and retain more reps if you’re trying to scale up your team. Typically, 1099-based or independent reps where they’re field-based technicians or salespeople. If you want to grow in a territory and you want to do that in a way where you’re not pulling your hair out and it is streamlined, we help you do that.
We help in all aspects and I break those down into four verbs which are recruit and onboard, specifically the nitty-gritty of doing the documentation and all that stuff, getting them to sign their agreement, the training, and the retention of that rep so that you’re not churning out all of your reps and starting from scratch every season.
Those four components, recruit, onboard, train, and retain are so important. I’d like to get your feedback on this. You and I have known each other for a bit now. Stephen and I were talking. We were like, “Let’s do this as two buddies hanging out on the beach in a bar having a good time.” Here’s my experience. I have talked to thousands and thousands of business owners. They seem to bring in salespeople. They get the recruitment side done but I see them breaking down on the onboarding, training, and retaining side. Do you see that as well?
Definitely. There are different ways to look at it, but they think they have a recruiting issue so they go recruit. What they realize is they just have terrible systems out of the backend to produce a salesperson. Did you ever see the movie Boiler Room? “You pass me wood.” It’s like recruiting. You’re passing me wood. You’re passing a potential recruit, but is a recruit really a recruit when you’re sending potential recruits? What I mean is you didn’t operationalize your onboarding and your training to fulfill the promise of a good recruit.
I call it back pressure, which is a nerdy tech term, which is your system is getting pushback on your recruiting experience because you’re like, “Time out.” You’re starting the recruiting process over and you don’t want to go back to the recruiting process because of how awful it was in terms of how much time it took to get the person onboarded, and how much time it took to get them up to speed and ready to sell and do the job.
Yes, to answer your question. That’s where we like to start. When we built our product, we started with training and then onboarding. We left recruiting to be last because we knew that if we could help our customers do those things better, while there is a lot there, recruiting is just going to be much more of a sustainable thing.
The recruit, onboard, train, and retain maps directly to attract a customer. Do the procurement of a customer. Train and educate the customer on your features so they get to the a-ha moment of your product and then do renewals, retention, sales enablement, and customer success stuff. It’s the same stuff when you’re doing it like adding people to your team.
I love the word back pressure because it’s analogous to pumping water into a pipe, but it has nowhere to go. It’s going to back feed out of the pipe just to the law of gravity. What’s going to happen? The reason I brought that up is because I wanted to shock people to realize that they’re not preparing to bring reps on a mass scale. That’s what we’re talking about, even to bring on top 1% earners, if they don’t have this onboarding and training down, they’re not going to retain them very long because they’re going to come in and go, “I can’t make money here.”
This is a mess if this is the type of experience I’m going to have as a rep, insert customer. If you just treat them like customers, would you ever give your customers an experience like that where they don’t know who their point of contact is? They don’t know when the next time they’re going to meet and all those things. I use the customer relationship a lot because I think it is a good anchor for people to realize what they’re doing to their recruits.
You have to realize the expectations you put on recruits, especially with W-2. This is why 1099 is so radically different. With W-2, I think there’s this expectation that the people that you’re bringing on should be lucky to work for me. They should be lucky to work for my company. I went through a crappy experience as a customer. It’s almost like a hazing. I went through a crappy experience as an employee. They’ll be fine.
They don’t think of it as a customer experience, onboarding, and training. Maybe the best ones do. I’m not saying that there aren’t groups of people that aren’t doing it exquisitely, but that’s what I see a lot. If you think of the recruiting experience elongated all the way to the point where the rep is doing the thing that’s valuable to the business, then you realize the recruiting experience, the initial hook of like, “I’ll take the time to onboard in this company.” That’s sale one. Sale two is, “I’m bought in hook, line, and sinker. I’m bought in. I will take the time to go through training and not click through it as fast as I possibly can and leave it on in a tab and walk away to see if I’m still bought in.” That’s a second sale.
What you’re describing is a long-term successful marriage when it comes down to it. We go out. We date. That’s the recruiting process and once an agreement is reached, a little bit of onboarding. That’s the marital process. You’ve got training going on all throughout especially if she’s smart. She’s going to train us men one way or another.
Yes, I’ve gotten a lot of that. I’m still working on the training part.
I don’t think this is probably a personal thing that someone else can’t relate to, which is getting married and then going, “I didn’t expect that.” That’s the lack of training now coming in after the fact. I want to come back to that because it’s imperative for people to get this right and then the retainment part is the long-term relationship, the ups and downs that happen in a business. The ups and downs that happen in a marriage.
Early in my life, I was a professional DJ. I used to do a lot of 50 or 60-year anniversaries. I would always walk up to the men and I’d go, “How did you do it?” I always wanted to be that guy so I figured I’d get their advice. Almost universally, they would say this to me. I’d say, “What’s the secret here?” He would look at her and he goes, “She’s always right.” Here’s the thing. They’re not onboarding and training them correctly. You brought up a great point, which is 1099. They’re self-employed and they’re working for you on full commission, or a W-2 where they’re getting maybe a full commission or maybe a salary plus commission.
It’s pretty outcome-based. When you say 1099 or W-2, you say outcome-based. These types of people that you’re recruiting, have opportunities elsewhere, believe in themselves, and aren’t just looking for the easiest way to hide in a role. They are outcome-based and they’re looking to purchase an opportunity. That’s why I think about it like you got to sell them. You got to make them feel like they made the right decision or they’re going to nope out in the process. They have the opportunity to do that, especially in a 1099 role. This is not for me.
Let’s say the 1099 are not star performers, but they’re average-performing salespeople. 1099s will opt out earlier, W-2s will hang in there for the salary if it’s large enough, and then find a new opportunity. That is ridiculously expensive when people are turning people over in mass.
When you have the silent quit for a period of time. It’s like, “I’ll stay here while I figure out the next thing to try this again.”
I love that silent quit. That is an amazing way of saying it. Those of you who are running your own company, what will happen is those sales reps will then use your salary to go out and have interviews with other companies so you’re going to be paying for that not only through that but through the loss.
It gets super expensive to turn people over and worse yet, they may have clients that they would have closed for you but now, they’re going to go to the new company so they’re going to drag that client to that new company so that they can compensate themselves and maybe get a front-end compensation plan that’s bonused out.
I can give you an anecdote about that. The best recruiters I’ve seen in the space, especially in outcome-driven roles whether that be like we just talked about, are not doing this. They’re not throwing out a wide blanket. They are throwing a wide net, but they are not pushing people directly from Indeed, JobBoard, or the people who are interested in the role and putting those on interviews right away.
They’re treating inbound leads, a.k.a. recruit potential candidates just like you would a great sales funnel where you’re going to qualify. You’re going to find out if this person is good for the role or if they’re super qualified and immediately take them directly. What they do is build out a workflow or a marketing automation flow for those potential recruits. This is where we’re getting recruiting theory but the best the best ones are doing good social media recruiting for personas that are conducive to the right type of people.
Those who maybe have an athletic background or exhibit other examples of outcome-based work or whatever. They do a personalized touch to meet with them on social media, and then they say, “Let me tell you more about the role.” They pop them into a workflow. They go into a workflow where they watch a good sales pitch video about the opportunity but the video is pretty in-your-face. Meaning it’s focused on, “This is outcome-based. This is commission-based.”
This isn’t a matter of whether or not you can do it. It’s a matter if you’re willing to do it. You have to have grit here. It’s signaling to that type of person that you’re looking for, which is someone who’s absolutely looking for someone who’s not willing to trade time but look for the best outcome container that they can find. They use that as the barrier. They do qualification questions and only then do they let them schedule for an interview after they go through those questions.
In some ways, it’s scary for people who have typically only had a few candidates come through the door. It’s like, “I would never do that. I’d lose every candidate.” The problem is that you don’t have enough in the funnel before that point. If you have a much higher or bigger funnel to that point, then you’re doing the filtering and then you’re scheduling them. You’re only getting people that are in the right mindset before you even get to an appointment.
This is analogous to when we’re doing super high-end accounts. We’re going to use the same philosophy. Those of you are selling or want to sell very high-end accounts, usually, that’s multi-person accounts that are making multi-decision makers. However, instead of the funnel, a lot of people think about a funnel as going wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. What I’m hearing is we’re going to go narrow at the top and we’re going to let all these filter mechanisms only let through the people that we want through the funnel. We’re going to scare off all the weak. Perhaps that wasn’t the right word to use.
It’s like a choke point because they can scale up high up and they can make a good guess on the type of people with a personal touch that come into this and then they do they like the, “I had the needle,” so to speak. From there, that’s when they start scheduling and they dispatch. There’s always a point where this person’s answering all the questions. I don’t want to waste time with this person. They immediately take them to a point where they can schedule.
We’ve done that with sales where you’re doing a whole business, a chili piper or whatever is that scheduling where if they have all these signals, take them to this account executive versus take them to this BDR or whatever. It’s the same stuff. It’s just with recruiting. That’s where people end up going back to the problem we’re trying to solve with those silent quitters or the people who aren’t fully bought in and waiting to see what happens.
We’re qualifying and segmenting the traffic that’s coming through is what I’m hearing. We’re speaking with Mr. Stephen Rhyne. He owns a company called ConveYour. You can find information about him at ConveYour.com. Listen up, all of you, and lean in on this because he’s bringing forth a point, which I have seen over the years. Stephen, this is so exasperating when people tell me this over and over because it’s so simple.
It’s like, “I’m recruiting all these people and I’m not getting what I want.” I say, “What do you want?” They go, “I want a body.” It’s like, “Why don’t we go to the morgue and get a cadaver or go get a mannequin and paint it up?” They’re like, “No.” How important is it for them to know what they want in detail before they ever even run out on the recruiting process?
It’s so important. If you can’t articulate your product in a way that’s going to say who you’re not for and who you are for, drawing a line in the sand on your product and saying, “We’re not for everyone.” It’s the positioning of your product. I love April Dunford in the SaaS world. She talks about the imperfect positioning of your product.
If you can’t do that around your role, you shouldn’t come here and you shouldn’t work with us if you don’t care about these things or if you aren’t willing to risk time. If you can’t say those things and be confident about it, then you’re going to just recruit whoever is willing to raise their hand and say, “I’m willing to do it because I don’t have anything else going right now.”
What will happen is a mismatch coming in on the front end and a lot of time and energy wasted. What I’m hearing you doing is with the video, you’re doing that as almost as a screening interview and the questions is a screening interview and your lead scoring this basically in some capacity and you’re saying, “This person makes the bar. This person doesn’t make the bar.”
I spent twelve years in the military. I’m going to say this. Why don’t you just do what the military does? That’s exactly what they do. They screen you in or screen you out right in the beginning. They make you take a test, a physical, and all of that stuff. I’m hearing a lot of parallels to the success process. Whether you like the military or not, it’s a successful organization.
Back to the saying about inefficiencies of the onboarding training. I think subliminally, the idea, this is the jump that I made in my head. If I’m too selective, that means I’m going to do more interviewing and more going through the suck of my interview onboard training experience. If I lower the bar a little bit, it means I’m not having to spend as much time on these other processes.
I’ll just settle for this because that’s the best my back end can handle because I got to get the horse off my foot. I have eleven hires I need to make and I can’t spend this much time on each hire. If I lower the bar, then I don’t have to worry about it. What’s cool about these D2D companies is they’ll come into a territory and they’ll grow a team quickly because they think about the team first. It’s the team and getting the right team and the people. They think about it more than their offer.
You have whole businesses that are just dealers and sellers for example where they don’t have to make a product, but it’s wild to see what happens when they only have to focus on team building and selling and not doing the operational side. You get to see what that looks like at an exquisite level when their whole product is bringing on people quickly who are going to do the thing.
Let’s talk about that because some people will be like, “If I scale a mass team and the operations can’t handle it, it’s not a good day.” How are they doing this and fulfilling at the same time?
After the recruiting phase, they are completely automating and streamlining the entire onboarding process so they’re in one platform. I’m not trying to get too specific on our product but whatever you’re using, if you can get it so that the rep doesn’t have to think. This is what happens in most companies when they scale up. I’m going to back up a little bit. The recruiting department is separate from HR. The onboarding experience is separate from the training manager person. It is separate from the person who does comms.
They’re all separate and they’re all optimizing for their goals but as they scale up and they make what makes them work, the experience for the rep sucks. That’s why enterprise companies that we do business with, the new guy, the new startup shows up and they’re like, “The service is so great. They’re so fast to respond,” because they’re nimble and quick. Later on, you’re like, “Why can’t I get an email from Oracle?”
If you flip it around and say, “This rep is my customer,” and you realize that you’re getting an email from this new contact and then you’re getting this request to onboard, you get this other software over here. They’re all coming in different order and the rep is getting bombarded. They don’t know what to do first. What these companies do is they completely streamline it so it’s a linear process and they put it all in one place.
With our product, we call it a rep portal where the same place where the rep is doing the recruiting is learning about the opportunity, saying yes, and scheduling this interview. It’s the same place where they’re doing the onboarding, uploading their I-9, putting in their badge photo, and all the nitty-gritty. Also, pop up the eSign agreement, sign the agreement right there, and get a nudge via text message if they stop in any process and don’t do it. It’s the same texting line for the training. This is the best way I can describe it. Do you remember the first time you ever used Uber?
You were like, “This is crazy. They thought of everything. I don’t have to think about who the driver is. There’s no anxiety like, ‘What’s this person’s name?’ I know when the car is going to show up. They made no assumptions about who I was. It was easy to use. I got in. I got to review them. It was wild and really good. It’s like a concierge experience that was through this little periscope we have of a mobile device.
That’s what you’re trying to create, a good streamlined rep experience, which is building confidence all the way through their process. You’re selling that rep on you and your brand all the way until they do the first call with the prospect or you make the first door knock. What I’ve seen is people get so worried about training. They are like, “How is my training?” I have to say all these things and everything else. You have great training. You don’t have a single testimonial video from a rep on the first day that talks about two objections that this rep might have in the back of their head that’s causing them to be halfway on the fence about this role.
I’ll give an example of a manufacturing company where they were recruiting entry-level people to come in to do manufacturing. They’re a tier-one car part manufacturer. Their line is moving fast. They’re recruiting entry-level people. They had a huge attrition after the first day on the job because it’s so high intensity on how fast it’s moving and they were getting forearms that were sore. They’re literally sore after the first day. What they did is they created testimonial videos of like, “I was stressed out the first day,” and it’s not even high production. It’s pulling out your phone and they’re like, “Tell me about what your day was like.” It’s like, “This is what happened, but they were cool about it. They understood I was going to be a little bit slower. Nobody was mad at me. It was great. I then got over and then I’m fine.”
The soreness went away in two days and they sent that out as a campaign after the offer date. They have that going out to that person, lowering their turn, and setting expectations. This is how these companies do it. They blur the lines between what is a recruit, what is an onboardee, and what is training. It’s one big experience.
Everybody, if you didn’t catch this, write this down. “No bait and switch.” You don’t like it when people bait and switch you on a sale. Your reps are not going to like it when you bait and switch them in your company. It’s going to be that simple and your top performers won’t take it. They’ll leave. They’ll do everything we talked about. They’ll use your money. They’ll use your relationships because in their mind you baited and switched them. If they’re going to lose, they’re going to take what they can. That’s human nature. All salespeople do it. I love how you shamelessly promote your own product. That was awesome.
You can do it in any product. You could just build a site that does that.
You did that so seamlessly. Our audience knows we don’t just do a direct pitch on this stuff. Let’s sprinkle here. I think people who are recruiting should absolutely be interested in what you have because I’ve done this for a long time. I’ve been doing this for decades and decades. Some of you weren’t alive when I started doing this and hiring salespeople. The reality is that back then we didn’t have a software process. We didn’t have something. If you don’t mind, take 30 seconds and give the users a point of view on what it is and what it does.
I’m going to do it in a way that doesn’t sound very sexy because the point is to help people anchor on what the heck this thing is. Our products are like if you took a streamlined applicant tracking system and onboarding HRIS where you’re onboarding the rapid getting all of their information that is necessary. A great microlearning training platform that’s conducive to field-based sales reps and a group/individual real-time chat texting system for communicating with the field, communicating with your recruits where you’re supporting them.
You put all that together where each part works together seamlessly, and you focused on the style of the product being about the mass growth of a team. That’s what our product is. The whole thing is around the idea of, “I need to grow my team. I need to keep a team. I have to recreate it all the time having all these turn reps and everything. It’s the rep experience platform, if you want to bundle it together.
It sounds like a consistent pathway though. It’s duplicatable. Anybody who has had this experience or Stephen, have you ever had this experience where you’re going to go on a vacation or you going to this hotel? You think it’s going to be amazing. You walk in there and you get in the room and they haven’t updated the room in three years or something.
“These are not the photos that I saw.”
Now, you’re stuck on the island. You are having these awful experiences. I know a lot of people can relate to that. That’s what it feels like to a rep who comes into a company without what we’re talking about. As you said, you wouldn’t do that to a customer but if someone would, they’re not going to hang around unless it’s some high need like a hospital. And it’s the only hospital within 300 miles.
Do you know what the big lagging factor is on why these experiences suck? It is because of what tenure used to be? Tenure used to be great. It’s not too bad, especially W-2. Growing up, it was common for people to be at Boeing for 35 years. It’s not that way anymore especially if you don’t have the buy-in with remote or people being remote. You don’t get the psychological buy-in and have all the friendships being created all the time. All in all, tenure is going down.
If tenure is going down, companies need to invest in a faster and more streamlined onboarding process to bring them on. For example, if your lifetime value on a customer went down from $100,000 to $25,000 or something, you know you’re going to change your cost of acquisition. You know you’re going to figure out ways to be more efficient at acquiring customers.
You’re not going to do the red carpet support. You’re not going to do the five customer success calls. You just can’t because you don’t benefit but companies are still lagging on having old tenured position thinking. They’re not updating to realize like, “This is going be more gig in the future.” Not a gig but somewhere in between.
We’re talking about how to bring reps on the right way and keep them on board because we all know that turning personnel over is expensive and turning over sales personnel is as expensive if not more than other positions. You brought up Uber early on. When I first started the show, I had one of the initial people from Uber on the show, and it was fascinating. She told me something about Uber which goes back to what we were originally talking about.
When Uber first started, no one knew what Uber was but what they used to do was they would go into the bars just before closing time and they would find people who have been drinking too much and they would offer them Uber rides. This is how Uber got traction. It’s in the pubs, the bars, and things like that.
It’s great at acquisition. They probably knew the product. They’re probably willing to say yes very easily.
Yeah, because driving and getting pulled over, never mind that, but if we could hurt or kill someone it’s also very costly and painful. They knew who their client was right in the beginning on who to go after. They knew what their target was which is what our first point was. I think this tenure thing is so interesting and important because companies now are like, if you want to get ahold of somebody, it’s like trying to reach your state senator on a Sunday morning sometimes.
It’s basic customer service stuff. I see companies going, “Let’s go that route. Let’s not talk to people. Your call is very important to us. Please remain on the line for 47 minutes while we wait and listen to our ridiculous music.” The thing is if we take that same concept and employ that in the recruiting, onboarding, training, and retention model, we’re treating that person who’s going to be a huge asset to our company just like we’re treating a very poor client experience.
You are setting the culture for how they’re going to treat their account.
Now, it’s like, “My company is mediocre. My company doesn’t care. The heck with it. I’m going to sell at any cost.” I just sold three products that we don’t even have but it’s not my problem. I’m going to collect my commission. Let these operations and engineering people figure all this out. They’ll do stuff like this. I know this because I’ve done it in my career over time. It’s one of those things. Yes, folks, even 1% earners do these things in the selling capacity. What you are saying is to make sure this is just like you would treat a customer and take it through that process. I’ve never heard it put this way before. It’s not necessarily a unique concept but it’s such a powerful concept.
It’s what I need to hear and not just some novel thing. I’m big on these ideas of anchoring on things we already do or behaviors we already do, and how in the real world that is so weird. For example, the guys from Drift. It’s an online marketing platform competing with HubSpot and stuff. I remember the owner saying, “The way we do internet sales right now is as if you were walking down retail stores.”
You wanted to go into a retail store and they said, “Write out a little letter and stick it through the mailbox slot, and then we’ll get back to you in a couple of days. We can then open the door and we’ll set up a time to look at shirts.” It’s that skeuomorphic format of what it’s like for a customer online like, “That is what we do.” What I’m trying to explain to people is to look at the customer experience and how bad it’s playing out if this rep was a customer.
That is so critical. I love what you just brought up on the online thing because years ago, the buying decision in the person’s mind used to go value, service, selection, and price convenience. It was in that order. Now, it is going to value and convenience is second. It went from almost bottom up to the second criterion. That is because of the shift you’re talking about. If we want to stand out in a business, all we have to do is treat our customers like they should be treated anyway and train our sales teams to do that.
If something goes wrong and we don’t ever pick up our phone, we just send a message constantly to the person and they’re all frustrated, we’re like, “We lost one, but we gained three.” It is a way to operate but if you picked up the phone and you called that person and now they’re super happy, now you can get 4, 5, or 6 because you can ask them for referrals, so why not train our sales teams to do the exact same thing?
The way to think about the mix between convenience and another way to think about convenience is to think about the fine line between automation, personalization, and being a human. What should I automate and what should I do that is human? We get this question a lot, which is, “Our people are scared of automation. If I do a lot of automation, I’m going to lose recruits. I’m going to lose them in the process or they’re going to feel not connected.”
I always ask, “When was the last time you submitted a support ticket to Amazon?” Never. I haven’t. I still continue using them even though I never talked to anybody. Do I feel unsupported by Amazon? No, I feel pretty well supported because everything pretty much works exactly the way I wanted it to. When I purchase things, it’s super good. In a company, I know it’s not the same premise. The problem is people throw the baby out with the bathwater and say, “I don’t want to automate things because they’ll think that we’re not interested in taking time to be with them.”
That’s not true. They don’t want to take your time. Young people don’t want to call and talk to the banker. They want to do it on their phone. They want to do it in two seconds and not talk to anyone. They want to get scheduled for an interview if it makes sense to them, and they want to move forward. I don’t want to wait two days for a recruiter to call me and then hem and haw about the time to recruit or to get on your calendar. I just want to get on your calendar if it makes sense to me.
Are you providing convenience by being personal? Sometimes, you’re not. It’s better to put automation in. The worst is when automation breaks or isn’t doing the thing is supposed to and you don’t have an outlet for it to get ahold of you. You have to have that way to keep yourself accountable by being able to reply and respond to them via messaging. You have to give them a call.
Even Amazon will pick up the phone when you call them.
Yeah, and I haven’t done it so that’s cool.
I’ve done it. I think this all goes back to exactly what we were talking about which is to know what your target is. If you’re going after people in their twenties, and that’s who you want to recruit, then you’re putting them through the system that a 60-year-old will be going, “This is amazing.” They’re not going to feel that it’s so amazing just as you described. What they are looking for though, even if they’re in their twenties, is if there’s a problem for them to be able to get a resolution. Just like if you’re in your 60s, you want a resolution as well.
That convenience factor if something is broken or something isn’t working is important. My two daughters in their twenties talk all the time. They’re waiting on the phone for an insurance company that’s not picking up or T-Mobile, which isn’t too bad like other carriers. They’re like, “We got a higher call volume than normal.” My daughters are like, “We’re going to be on the phone for 1 hour and 20 minutes.” They are thinking this automatically.
That is not a good positioning for any company to be in when they’re dealing with clients. If we’re trying to recruit people into our companies as you’re saying, we’ve got to treat it like the customer experience. We’re coming real close to our time but I love this subject. I want to go for a couple of more minutes.
A big question that comes up is, “What training should I do in person in our initial training experience in person and what should I do? Do you think I should make a video about that or should I just do virtual training for this?” We used to do that in person. You should set an expectation that most basic training is going to be done virtually. When you have them in person, buy back all of your time to spend on building relationships with them.
Also, learn about what makes them tick so you can use those as key drivers when you have a phone call with them. Drill for skill. Get a sense of, “Do they get this role?” Do some scenario-based stuff that’s human. Take all the human stuff and put it into that. If you’re still so worried about automation not being personal, do you think that they care about how personalized your reminder for their interview was? No. They’d rather you take that time and put it towards building relationships and having some free time to connect with the people. I can take that hour-long call with a rep who’s struggling but has major potential because I bought back all my time. I’m not sending text messages on my mobile device trying to make sure that people show up for interviews.
A lot of this skill-based training, you can do remotely but as you said, when the rubber meets the road scenario-based conversations and things like that where we’ve got to give coaching and feedback. If you’re live, it’s great because it’s much more effective. I think this goes back to retaining them as well as if you can make this a seamless process that is like a customer experience that goes, “This is awesome.”
In an awesome world with a client, they’re going to want to spawn referrals and say great things. They give testimonies and endorsements. For those of you who are hiring people, if you haven’t looked at your Glassdoor rating lately, you might want to do that because that’s a place where high performers will go first and look at your company. You have all these great employees saying great things about your seamless onboarding and the way things have happened. It’s going to be a lot easier to recruit top performers into your company.
It’s because they’re looking. They’re doing all the research. The thing I was going to say about recruiting is when you said, “What do I want to look for?” You’re talking about, “How do I get the message of what I’m looking for?” That whole story of the planes that came back to the UK after the Luftwaffe shot them all up. Do you know the story?
It’s the availability bias of all the bullet holes. It’s like, “Let’s patch up all the bullet holes.” “What about the planes that didn’t come back? Let’s talk about the planes that didn’t come back.” Typically, I don’t see a lot. I can see more of this. I don’t see a lot of exit interviews for recruits that leave. I also don’t see as many of our customers going to recruits that are doing great and not the ones that are super veteran, crusty, and stuff. Go to the ones that are doing pretty great. By crusty, I mean they’ve been tenured.
Go to the ones that are doing great in your role and have been around for a median amount of time. Ask them questions like, “Where were you at in space and time that caused you to be attracted to our role and why?” It’s like what you do with your customer. “Why did you choose us at the point you chose us? What’s going on in your world when you chose us?” What they say is the messaging you want to use in what type of recruits you’re looking for. It’s the psychographic type of stuff.
It’s not just their past experience of like, “I was looking for something that was going to challenge me,” or, “I was looking for something that was going to give me the flexibility to be with my family,” and stuff like that. You can try different messaging like doing A/B testing on the ads and the messaging. To the reps though, to go back to the tenured part, keeping them for longer. It’s retention. You could ask reps, “What were the most challenging bottlenecks?” What were the points in the time where you were like, “I’m almost going to quit tomorrow,” whether that be an onboarding or a training process?
Just ask them. Go back to your customers and ask them, “What were the points where you were so close that if we had not somehow cut you off in the past, you would have left?” Where were they like, “I don’t get this. I’m confused. I don’t understand how the commission structure works. I don’t feel like I have enough leads,” or whatever. “Tell us about those.”
“You stuck around but three others didn’t.” Use that to figure out points in your rep journey where you can cut them off in the path and get in front of that stuff before it ever happens. It’s where you do one of those videos where you talk about the problem. “I understand our commission structure is pretty complicated. We’re working on it. Let me explain. Let me break it down for you. Here are some resources.” Put that further out in their journey.
It’s amazing to me that you’re saying this because this is good salesmanship all the way through. You’re making it easy and you’re heading off objections before they become objections or any bait and switch before they become bait and switch. When I consult for a company a lot of times I’ll go in and I’ll do interviews with the people. I’ll put a list together of the things the CEO doesn’t want to hear type of thing.
I’ll present that to them and it’s like, “Those are all the things internally that are impeding revenue growth and employee retention. They’re very much the same things. That’s what I’m hearing you say is like, “Let’s do this.” It never ceases to amaze me with salespeople. A lot of times they don’t do exit interviews as well. “Why are you leaving?” The salesperson is leaving the company to go somewhere else.
Why did I lose you?
They go, “This person offered me more money.” That’s not the reason. What’s the real reason?
You then do virtual selling on the exit so you say, “Had we not had that happen, would you have stayed with us?” “No.” What would have been the next step if you had stayed with us?” You keep going down the funnel. It’s like, “What was the gorilla dust and what was the real reason?”
It’s the five whys. You keep why. It’s not even annoying when a two-year-old does it. Stephen, I’m grateful you’re here. Thanks for bringing you’re A-game. I know people who are tuning in to this are going, “Dang.” How do they reach out to you and your company to get more acquainted or learn more about you and what you do?
There are two ways. The first one is at ConveYour.com. You can head out there and click on Get Demo or watch our video gallery there. We also have a podcast called The Rep’s Journey. It’s all about how to recruit, onboard, train, and retain more people.
A sign of a good salesperson is they do these things. They’re planting seeds, but they’re not seeming sleazy about it. Thanks for spending time in the Tiki bar together. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me. I love it.
Did you write down that your sales recruit or the person that you’re trying to bring into the company is that person that you want to treat like your best customer journey? In other words, you would not ever or you should not ever want to have a customer going, “This is terrible. I don’t ever want to do business here again.” You certainly don’t want employees who think that way. You don’t want your sales teams to be thinking that way because that will be a representation of how they go after your clientele.
When you’re treating somebody like your top customer, you’re getting to know that person. You’ll all begin by starting at the point just as Stephen and I discussed. Start at the point of getting clear on who the target buyer is, first, in your company and then in your recruiting process. I’m going to say that again. Who’s the target buyer in your company and then in your recruiting process? You want to match those two up.
If you don’t know who the target buyer is and you want help with that, we do something here, which we call CORE. It is a training process that we take you through and you get very clear on who that ideal target buyer is as well as the ideal target influencers. If you don’t know that, you want to know that information because you have to be able to train your sales team in that information. Please don’t just send them out in the world for them to find them because it’s going to take them longer and cost you a lot of money. It’s not going to be good for you in general.
Remember, treat them as if they are the customer and have a process as Stephen was saying. Use software like his. Use a process that you can measure and score against on an even basis. You haven’t noticed this in certain times when people are trying to recruit salespeople and they go off a gut feeling like, “I think this person can sell. I think this person will be a great fit for our company. I like this person.” They hire them and it’s like, “That didn’t work out.”
It’s because hiring on the gut only works a small percentage of the time. When you have a standardized process, when you have that in place, then what you can do is you can lead score against that. Now, it’s an equal playing field and you can look objectively at the data versus looking subjectively at it and you will fare far better. When you look at the statistics, it goes up by about 45% or so when you have a process in place handling that.
Now, if you utilize the right type of sale-specific assessments on top of that, then it even goes up higher and higher. The reality is everything Stephen and I talked about, I absolutely subscribe to including using that process that is helping you screen out those who should not be there in the first place.
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As always if you want a copy of our self-audit checklist where you can go in and rate your own sales and marketing that’s happening in either your individual sales or your company, you could go to CEOSalesStrategies.com/checklist. If you want a copy of our Non-Stop 1% Earners eBook, go to CEOSalesStrategies.com/1PE and you can download that and the checklist for free. Until next time, go out and sell something. Sell a lot of it.
Help them reach their goals and you reach your goals. That is the best sale in the world. Some people call that a win-win. I always say, “Let’s try win-win-win.” Get three or four people in there who are winning at the time that will spawn more referrals. It will increase buying frequency and it will expand your sale at the time of sale and then later on. That rapport and trust meter goes up precipitously. That’s what we want. We want to go straight up. Have a great rest of your day and as always, go out and sell something now and make somebody’s life much better. To your success.
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