Video Transcript

00:02 Audience Member: My challenge is that, we're really actively looking for sales people, and we're constantly frustrated that no one gets through even the first [00:08] ____, but we have a four phase process, and it's so painful to get to like C level, let alone D level. So, my question for you is... And so, we're struggling at growing the company without having more salespeople to come in. So, my question is, how are you finding these candidates?

00:23 Vanessa Nornberg: That's really an answer that I don't have for you probably, as much as I'd like to. It's really difficult to find sales people. It's very difficult because I think that there is a big stigma about sales in society. Nobody who's smart really thinks that they wanna go into sales at first, at least because they think that that's... You know, like I said, the dirty word of the smarmy car salesman or the telemarketer that calls you during dinner and bothers you or somebody who's trying to like push things on you that you don't want. So, it's really difficult to find people that are interested and excited by sales. I would say that one of the best things that we've done is ask for recommendations from people on our staff. That sort of enlarged our pool a little bit.

01:01 Nornberg: Another thing that I do is everywhere I go, I'm looking for interesting people. Like, when I go to Whole Foods or I go to, I don't know, The Hardware Store or wherever and I look for people that are excited and motivated and doing their job with dignity. And those are the kinds of people that I may give a card to, and say, "Call me if you're interested in doing something else." And they don't always have to come from sales. That's why I was saying this sort of middle group of the two people, I think, are a lot of times much more interesting than the people that wanna do sales, that have been doing sales for their entire life, and have a shtick, so to speak. These are other people that you can look to.

01:35 Nornberg: I think also that when you're looking for people for sales, it's important to not put sales in the title, which I learned from a suggestion that somebody actually responded to my INK column about and said that basically they don't ever recruit people from sales columns, they actually recruit from business development. So they put business development instead of sales because then it takes away the dirty word 'sales'. And I have gotten much better responses since I switched and started doing that.

02:05 Audience Member: On a percentage basis, after you go through all of that, and it's pretty impressive, how many people that you hire are actually successful?

02:12 Nornberg: How many people we hire... So, how many people make it through and get hired and then remain?

02:16 Audience Member: Get hired and then remain, correct.

02:17 Nornberg: Well, okay, so, I have five sales people... I have 14 employees right now. There will be 15 as of Monday, like I said. And there are five sales people right now, full time sales people and then a couple of us that pick up the pieces, so to speak. And there will be six on Monday and the average amount of time that those people has been with my company which is only been open for, this is our eight year, have been with us for three years. So, I retain the people that I get.

02:43 Audience Member: So, that's probably 40% retention.

02:46 Nornberg: Well, no, I mean that's how long they have been with us.

02:48 Nornberg: So, they have... Most of the people that have been there, have been there for a while considering that we're a young company. We've only been in business for eight years. How many people actually make it to that point though, I mean... And we've lost bunches in our training. That's part of the process also.

03:04 Nornberg: But that was also before we started doing some of these extra things like asking them to come in and actually cold call for half an hour. That was one of the best things because I could get people all the way through and I had all the things that I wanted, and all of those other slides, and then they would get there and they still couldn't do it.

03:18 Nornberg: And I was like, "This is ridiculous." Like, "We did all the stuff. How is it possible that you can't do this now." And so, a part of it was asking them to actually call and listening, because one of the most important things I think is really what I hear when they're on the phones. That is, can they read the customer? And that's really hard to interview for. Because I mean they sort of read you cause it's an interview situation. They have read a book on interviewing. They know what to do. But they're not getting... You don't know if they're actually reading you the way that you need them to.

03:47 Audience Member: Just a question. With our sales people we find that it's always best to actually get in front of the customer. And with technology today, you could use Skype or FaceTime. So, do you use any of that technology with your telemarketers to get in front of your clients, and which one would you recommend?

04:05  Nornberg: So, we have Skype, that they could Skype us on if they wanted to chat or something. To be really honest though, my industry is kind of a strange weird niche industry, as you may imagine from what I told you our product is. And surprisingly enough, even though it's a sort of young and underground industry, our people are not very technologically advanced. So, if you look at my website, it's really basic and there's no Flash. It's because they were all on dial-up until like last year.

04:31 Nornberg: Really. So, no we don't really use those things. They like phone calls. They're phone people, and they like the hard catalogue that we actually send them versus I mean going to our website. Now, they use our website a little bit more, but they're really, you know, old-school.