Video Transcript

00:03 Vanessa Nornberg: So my company is Metal Mafia. And, for those of you who are wondering what our interesting product must be since we have such an interesting name, we actually are a wholesaler of body piercing jewelry. So we... For us, sales is very important because we're selling to 5000 mom and pop shops across the country, small independent retailers which could be anything from underground skate shops to tattoo and piercing parlors to kiosks at malls, to people that service merch tables at traveling concerts like Lollapalooza and things like that. And we also work with large retail chains. And just to give you an idea of why sales is important for my company, beyond the fact that we're selling to all of these stores, ultimately, most of our products range between the price of $0.21 and $1, and we sold $6 million worth of those products last year. So the people that sell for my company are the most important people at my company because they make happen what needs to happen.

01:00 Nornberg: And so for me, it was really important to build an amazing sales force. And I come from this from a sales perspective, I've always been a salesperson. I love selling. I think selling is one of the most engaging and challenging opportunities that one can really do. And so I wanted to make sure that that translated to the people that were selling from my company because they represent my company every time they speak our name, talk to a customer, or answer the phone, etcetera. And just to put it in context as well, the people that sell for my company do most of what they do over the phones. We barely ever see our customers. They're all across the country and they really come visit us in our showrooms. If anything, they might see us out at the trade shows that we do in Las Vegas a couple of times a year or in London. But other than that, they basically talk to our people over the phones. So we're a catalog-based company and we're selling over the phones. So, sales is equally important in the sense that we need to have people on the phones who are really conveying the message accurately. And that's, I think, harder to do over the phone than it is sometimes in person. So.

01:57 Nornberg: So I'm gonna talk a little bit about the process that we use to hire the salespeople that we hire for our team, and it's a very specific sales process or hiring process rather that we go through to get these salespeople. And I think that, hopefully you'll find some of it interesting and some of it you might raise some eyebrows at. So finding potentially great salespeople, for me, there are three types of prospective candidates that are gonna apply. There are people who are... People that love to do sales, that have done sales all their lives supposedly and they are great salespeople. Then there's this middle category of people who might be good at sales, but probably haven't tried it. Usually, they're in the younger set. They might just be out of college and maybe don't have huge experience on their resume, and maybe they have no experience whatsoever, but they're open to the idea of doing sales.

02:41 Nornberg: And then there are the people who tell you that they can do sales, okay? The people in the third category, the people who can do sales, are the people that I don't ever wanna talk to because they can't do sales. They won't be good at sales no matter what they try to do. So they don't get hired and they don't get interviews at my company. The people in the first group, those who want to sell, who've been doing it for a really long time, to be honest, they're not that interesting to me either. And the reason why is because they've probably already learned the way that they sell from some other company, and I don't really think that most other companies teach sales or school their salespeople in the way that I want mine to be schooled. So it's much easier for me to really take people that are sort of in group two, which are people that have never sold but have the potential to sell and who don't look at sales as a dirty word and it doesn't call up the idea of being a smarmy used car salesman or a telemarketer who calls you during dinner and pisses you off.

03:35 Nornberg: So the qualities that I'm looking for when I'm looking for a salesperson are basically somebody who listens carefully, which a lot of people that are hiring for sales think that that person should be a people person or somebody who loves to talk with everybody. I don't want that kind of person. If you tell me you're a people person or you tell me that you love talking, you can talk with anybody, to me that's already like a black mark on your resume. And the second thing that I look for is somebody who asks good questions. Because good salespeople, they probe. They don't come out with a pitch and they're not just trying to say the same thing to every person. They actually are asking questions and they're engaging, and they're doing it in a way that can be both subtle and deep at the same time. So I want people that ask good questions.

04:16 Nornberg: Three, I wanna find somebody who is seeking approbation, usually with a good outward presentation, meaning that they come off as fairly confident but not completely confident. Not one of those people that sits down and is like, "I'm awesome, I'm amazing, just wait till you see what I can do for your company." Okay? Because those kinds of people generally number one are not very awesome, and number two, are not very hungry if they are that awesome, right? Because the people that are really good are the people that really think that they're good, they hope that they're good, they're really trying to be good, and they're trying over and over again because good isn't good enough, okay? That's the kind of person that I want to sell because they're hungry and they wanna make it happen and they wanna make it happen bigger and better and over and over again.

04:59 Nornberg: Then the last two are a little bit more subjective. I want somebody who has the desire to make connections in a way that puts others at ease. So I want somebody who's able to talk to anybody, who's able to be a chameleon, who's able to kind of play up and play down different aspects of their personality depending on who they're talking to and who's able to find quickly what they need to do in terms of playing up and playing down those aspects of their personality. Somebody who's able to sort of make conversation in a lot of different ways, about a lot of different things with different people from different walks of life. And then the last thing is, someone whose every move has a purpose. I'm not gonna talk very much about that right now, but you'll find out more about it as we go.