The First Thirty Days for the New Hire- be a demonstrator, not a teller
Being recruiters and placing hundreds of individuals in a new position of sales, we are attuned to what goes well and what doesn’t.
A new position can always be a tremendous experience for an individual, especially if things are planned and the training is superb.
Most companies want a trained and very experienced person for their opening; that is understandable since it will lighten the load for the manager. But in many cases, the manager tends to abuse this experience and this can lead to a very rocky start for the new hire.
Case in point: we know of candidates that have come to us after a very bad experience with their new companies. On average, most were hired by a competitor and expected to start selling immediately with very little help. In fact, these new hires, after seeing their manager on Day one, did not see their manager until the end of the month when the manager wanted to know how “his/her sales funnel looked.”
We also see the very opposite when the manager becomes not the teller, but the demonstrator.
I can only wish the manager would say to the new hire on Day One:
“I am going to run your territory these next two weeks. I will prospect, set up appointments, and present our product. I know you came for the competition and will gladly accept any input on how I am doing. You will learn today what I expect from you – daily and weekly activities, and how I would like you to perform in your territory: the amount of calls it will take to achieve quota, how many meetings, and how to interact with operations. We might be interrupted from time to time with my group’s needs, but I am committing myself to you for the next two weeks. I want to show my commitment for your success and the support I will offer. I also hope you will understand that I am not asking you to do anything that I would not do.”
That quote was from my first manager talking to me on my first day – showing me how to sell Office Equipment in the Big Apple. You can eliminate the sentence that I came from the competition and had input. On the contrary, I was a 24 year old recent college student- I knew nothing about sales or the product.
But, after two weeks watching him, I was very confident I could do it. It resembled how my Dad showed me how to hit a baseball. If he just told me, I would never know how to hold the bat and keep my eye on the ball. But watching him, gave me the confidence to hit that baseball.
Therefore, viewing my manager prospect, secure appointments and demonstrate the machines gave me knowledge of what worked and what did not. I saw the expert lose out, but realized even the best (more often not) did not get that appointment or the sale. But, no worries- he did not get discouraged nor will I. I picked up things that my manager learned from experience and I could use them right away. I looked back it was a great two weeks – I earned my Bachelors’ Degree of Selling and was full of confidence.
I also knew I had a manager that totally wanted me to succeed; we developed a relationship of respect for each other. Our weekly meetings became superb because he was asking only me to do things that he was willing to do, and we both knew what had to be accomplished for me to be above quota.
I always hope when I place a new hire that their manager will have the dedication and the commitment that my first manager had. I can still remember what he said my first day, “You are my hire, my responsibility, and I will not accept failure. The company has too much invested in you to not be successful. Let’s both commit today that this will be the first day of a long and very worthwhile tenure.”
I know managers today will say they are too busy to dedicate two weeks to a new hire. I say “Bunk!”
That new hire is very costly. It can cost the company several thousand dollars if a new hire fails; or on the positive note, can bring in millions of dollars if they do hit a home run! Two weeks for a possible million dollars, eh? Not a bad investment!