HUMAN RESOURCES

Hiring Resellers: Separating the Best from the Rest

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It's easy to dread the hiring process. You don't know if you'll find theright resellers you're looking for -- if your investment in time and money willpay off for your company in the long run. To improve your return on the hiringprocess investment, start with the following four steps.

1. Develop your ideal of a reseller
Before you can separate the best from the rest, you need to know: What isthe "best" for your company? Here are some guidelines:

  • Define your company's needs in searching for a reseller. Do you need someone to cover a new area or someone familiar with a certain product category you're just beginning to sell?
  • Then think about what the person you hire will need to know. Will the reseller require a particular attitude or background?
  • Next, specify the tasks the reseller will do for your company. How often will these tasks have to be done?

By thinking these things through, you will develop an objective for yourhiring process: Hire this kind of person.

2. Use the process of elimination
When reviewing your reseller applicants, disqualify those who:

  • Have sloppy, unprofessional resumes or appearances
  • Boast about the business they'll bring even before meeting you in person or learning about your company
  • Are vague about their experience

Then remove those who don't match the profile of the ideal reseller for yourcompany.

3. Ask the right questions
During interviews with the remaining candidates, ask questions that will helpyou get to know how they work, such as:

"How long have you been in the business?"

    "What area do you cover?"

    "How many product lines do you carry?"

    "What kinds of customers do you have?"

    "What are your plans for improving sales?"

These questions will uncover a reseller's current work capacity, businessattitude and level of ambition. They will also serve as points to launch relatedquestions so you can learn even more about your candidates.

4. Watch for them to ask you the right questions
Good resellers will want to learn as much as possible about your business andthe product lines they might carry for you. They should ask you:

"Is this a new position? If not, what happened to the previous reseller?"

"How did you come to do business in the area, or why are you seeking business here?"

"Are there other resellers in the company and, if so, how many?"

There also will be other questions specific to your company or industry thatyou'll want to look for your candidates to ask. You might consider writing alist of those types of questions and taking it to the interviews. By thinkingbeforehand about questions your candidates should ask, it also will help youdevelop appropriate responses.

Interviews with your candidates will hopefully uncover the few who mostclosely match your ideal reseller. Review your ideal again, compare yourcandidates in light of your ideal and hire the best reseller for your company.

Copyright © 1999, SalesDoctors Magazine and the Author. All Rights Reserved.

Last updated: Jan 1, 1999




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