“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
I am in my 26th year of working with TV sales staffs, plus a career at stations prior to that. And today, more than at any time, I realize I have never motivated anyone. People are either motivated or they’re not. If they’re motivated, a good manager can help them, cajole them, and lead them to the next level. But if they’re not self motivated, the world’s greatest managers can’t do much.
So, where should that lead you? Spend your time looking for and recruiting motivated people, and spend that time every single week because there isn’t anything more important than having a great team.
That statement is really hard to argue with. But here’s the problem. We’re all pretty crazy busy. We’re being bombarded with emails, client problems, and all the rest. So, because of that, recruiting… one of the most important things you do…. always gets pushed aside.
And you know what? Ten to fifteen years ago that didn’t cost us because we had an almost endless supply of great applicants. But today, it’s different. We’re not the prettiest girl at the dance. We have to be in charge of our recruiting. Hoping that a great applicant walks through the door is a prescription for disaster. It’s like “hoping” your biggest car dealer account doesn’t slash their TV budget. Unless you take action you don’t really have a lot of control over what’s going to happen.
Each time I write these posts, I always want to offer ideas that can help you solve the problem. Here’s how to be a great recruiter… put time on your schedule every week to engage in recruiting activities.
In Brian Moran’s great book, The 12 Week Year, he talks about the power of stopping the use of a to-do list and putting everything you need to do on your calendar. I’ve been doing that consistently now for almost three years and I can tell you I have never been more productive.
So if you want to be a better recruiter, take out your smartphone and put 1 hour each week on the schedule. Make it a recurring event so it shows up every week. Then when it shows up on your calendar, treat it like it was a meeting with your largest account.
What do you do with that hour? That’s probably another article. But why not start by dialing the phone and talking to old reps, competitors who you’ve heard are good and clients, and keep asking “who’s impressed you?” Then start meeting people!!
Don’t be afraid to kiss a few frogs. I remember researching Disney World a few years ago to determine why they were so good at providing customer service. I discovered that while most people interview 6-7 people for an opening, Disney would talk to 70. Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and interview 70, but obviously the more people you talk to the greater the odds are that you’ll find your stars.
If you’re a GM or corporate, require your sales leadership to talk to a specific number of applicants each month, even when you don’t have openings.
Here’s an aside. In Prime Time I wrote about the critical importance of dealing with underperformers. But the biggest reason managers are reluctant to do that (and therefore drag down their teams) is that they don’t have any active recruiting program.
Two years ago, I spoke at the same meeting as the legendary Bears coach, Mike Ditka. Ditka said something memorable. He said, “I’ve coached with the best – Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi – and I can tell you the secret to all great coaches. It’s GREAT players.”
Want to be a great manager? Find players who are already motivated. Great players. That will make your job so much easier.
Have a GSM or GM meeting in your future? Why not have Jim Doyle or John Hannon speak to your meeting about how to turn your sales staff into a Sales Force? We promise powerful, thought-provoking content customized to your company’s needs. Contact Jim Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-926-SELL.