It makes sense that the best salespeople are hounded by recruiters. Management should be
curious about how difficult it is for recruiters to reach their very best people. If they are, how
often do they listen?
The answer to the former is that it is relatively easy to connect with the top producing
salespeople and, in the latter instance, they do listen.
Some managers only listen to get information. However; many do listen intently, and if a
recruiter has a role that pique’s their interest, they might give a keen eye to the opportunity.
As one VP of sales said, “If my people are contacted by a recruiter and they pursue the
opportunity, there is nothing I can do. My job is to make them content with their work so
recruiters can’t gain momentum when they contact them.”
What things can an employer do to prevent a valued employee leaving?
Salespeople most often tell recruiters the biggest thing that concerns them – and will make them
accept calls from agencies – is the uncertainty of an organization’s goal. Many confide that their
company has changed strategic goals repeatedly; others have had several different managers
during their tenure and continually had to learn their management style. Another concern, is the
changing of territories and commission plans; always a red flag.
But, the biggest problem high producing salespeople have said they experience, is their feeling of
being under-appreciated. When a recruiter asks them if they feel invaluable to the organization,
or if there would be a counter offer made in the hope they would stay, most do not believe that
would happen. One highly successful software salesperson told me recently, “I know I am only
as good as what I have done lately, but it would be great to get a nice note after a good month
of sales, or a personal e-mail, or voicemail, if I managed to sell a very large enterprise deal.
Everyone has an ego, and salespeople have the biggest.”
The lesson here is, appreciate your very best employees on a constant basis before someone else