Below you will find a sampling of world-class articles written by Andrew, many of which have been published in national magazines or featured in association newsletters around the country. These articles incorporate tips, tools and techniques on how to improve upon your own performance as well as the performance of your company.
How to Hire Sales Superstars
With the economy making a slight comeback in recent months, most of my recent coaching work with my sales clients has been concentrated on improving upon and/or adding to their current hiring efforts. During our calls, we have been discussing the challenges they are facing during their hiring and interviewing process for sales professionals. A re-occurring theme was their lack of formal training in their interviewing/hiring skills. Let's face it...if you don't interview for a living, like a recruiter does, then it's easy to become "atrophied" in this process. In addition, if you don't have time to practice your interviewing skills, then you will continue to make hiring mistakes. Let me pose a question to you...can you afford to continue to make hiring mistakes? Have you calculated what it costs to hire a replacement, especially in this job market?
Here are some of the common mistakes that are made by sales/service interviewers:
- The expression, "First rate people hire first rate people and second rate people hire third rate people" should say it all. The insecurities or confidence of the interviewer will show in their hiring process, especially if the position is within their own department.
- Not having a formal job description. The only way you can "expect what you inspect" is to set the expectations with a written job description. This allows each person to know what is expected of him or her and creates personal accountability.
- An inadequate screening process. Utilize a telephone screening process before bringing a candidate in for an in-person interview. Your time is valuable. By using a formalized telephone questionnaire, this will give you a "snapshot" of the foundation of each candidate.
- Brush up on your in-person interviewing skills and the types of questions you will want to ask. Do you have a written list of questions to ask each sales/service candidate?
- Not utilizing a second opinion. If you feel you have a strong candidate, ask one of your managers or a top sales/service professional to meet with the candidate for a "mini" interview. This gives you a second set of eyes and eliminates the "halo" effect. The "halo" effect is when you are "blinded" during the interview process when the person reminds you of yourself.
- Not checking references thoroughly. When I ask my sales/service coaching clients, "who does their reference checks," some of them have said their assistants do the reference checks. OUCH! If you are being held accountable for your hiring decisions, then you need to be the one who does your own reference checks. Your assistant may miss some crucial information that could save you a big headache down the road.
By implementing these six key areas in your hiring and interviewing process you will eliminate the chances of making a bad hire. Remember.... hire the "right" sales professional the "first" time.
TPP Tip: Before you conduct a telephone interview, know what you're looking for in each sales/service position that you're hiring for. If the candidate sounds strong on the telephone, immediately set up an in-person interview. Don't let them get away. In addition, do your homework before the candidate comes in, by reviewing their resume and making notes about the questions you may want to ask, aside from your prepared list of formal questions. Most importantly, take the interviewing process very seriously, because the success of your sales company and your career depends on it!
How Quickly Our Lives Can Change!
It’s Monday, April 15th 2013 on a bright and sunny day in Boston. It was Patriot’s Day, a day to celebrate the shot heard round the world at Lexington & Concord when American Patriots fought a war for Independence over Britain. It was also the 116st year of the running of the Boston Marathon and the traditional Red Sox late morning game. These three events have been staples in Massachusetts. It is a time to celebrate athletic achievements of running a 26.2 mile marathon. It’s just not a local event it’s an international event with tens of thousands of people converging on the city for the day of excitement. And then…2 bombs go off, a terrorist attack where dozens of innocent people were maimed and at least three people have died, including an eight year old. One of my property management clients lost her leg from the blast and she was just a bystander.
I am sad, I am angry, as I was on 9-11. This is my city, Boston! I am only miles from Boston where these explosions took place. I know I typically send out articles about leasing, resident retention or leadership, but this article will be different. So what can we do about these tragic events? We can grieve, we can get angry, we can pray. But we cannot let this event in Boston on 4-15-13 or 9-11 keep us from living our lives the way they are suppose to be lived. We only go through this life once…so live your life…but never forget!
I recently published my first book “A Celebration of Life-A Story of Hope, A Miracle & The Power of Attitude”- it speaks of handling the adversity in our lives through two weapons we all possess: perseverance and positive mental attitude. Something we can all use in our lives, especially at moments like this. The last chapter speaks to what I have learned during my miraculous recovery from a rare autoimmune disease called Scleroderma which almost took my life. In wake of this terrorist attack in Boston earlier this week I thought I would share:
- Diseases, tragedies, and other heartaches in life do not discriminate regardless of your race, religion, or how much money you make.
- Life is truly precious and in a blink of an eye, it can all be taken away from you. End of story!
- When we say we’ll try harder to stay true to our beliefs and convictions, we sometimes fall short. That’s okay; we’re not perfect or indestructible. God made us that way.
- I know we could do a better job with anything we desire by giving it one more degree of effort.
- The power of giving back without asking anything in return is the true reward.
- Sunsets can consist of over eight different color blends.
- Small things or small issues really don't matter that much.
- I truly believe in guardian angels.
- We don't tell one another we love each other enough.
- God has a plan for all of us; we just need to ask Him to reveal it to us.
- Miracles do happen.
TPPTip: I hope you’ll take time to reflect on what’s really important in your life, your family and the mark you want to make on this world. Do something today or tomorrow that truly makes a difference in someone’s life. Boston will recover, life will go on…today everyone is a Bostonian! If you‘d like an autographed copy of my book go to www.andrewbotieri.com and follow the links.
Leading By Example
I recently finished a seminar for a sales/service company on "Leading With Vision In A Challenging Market". This well attended seminar consisted of owners, executive managers, plus regional and local sales managers. During this seminar, we asked the group to identify their challenges as leaders and their responses included how to create new ways to motivate their people, hiring and keeping SuperStars, to developing effective and accountable budgets and creating profitable marketing strategies.
As a group, we discussed, in depth, what are the top qualities of an effective leader, especially with the challenges they and other sales/service leaders around the country face today. One of the qualities we identified was "leading by example". This is such a critical quality because for you to motivate and inspire your team, you need to lead your team by the results of your actions, not just your words. Let's face it, if you don't "walk the talk", then no respect is created between you and your team. And without respect, you can not inspire your team.you can only make demands of your team.
So, what is it you need to motivate and inspire your teams to accomplish? To start with, how about exceeding their aggressive budgets with enthusiasm, having them carry out your company vision with pride or providing "world-class" service to your customers with a smile, just to name a few. These areas, as you know, are critical in the proper execution of your sales/service company's success. Therefore, it is important you realize the impact that your leadership has, with respect to the examples that you demonstrate to your teams.
Think about it. Every action you take is being observed by your team. Whether it's an employee discipline issue or handling a customer problem, your team watches how you act and react to every situation. I like to call it "being on video". Your team constantly has a mental video on you and fortunately or unfortunately, they will play that video back at their convenience. What will your leadership video look like? What will it say about you and the examples you set? Remember, "The speed of the leader, is speed of the team".
TPPTip: Start right now by putting together your leadership action plan, schedule visits to your other locations or just drop down to the sales floor. But don't just make them a quick "walk-thru". Visit and sit with your sales/service professionals. Ask them how you can help them be more successful. What tools do they need to exceed their budget for the next twelve months? And while you're there, why not meet with a few customers or maybe even give a sales presentation to a prospect. Now that's a powerful way to build trust and confidence with your team while leading by example. Good luck till next month.
To receive future upcoming articles/blogs by Andrew, look in top menu and click on "Articles & Stuff / Blog - Sign-up " fill out your information and you'll receive your free inspirational blogs. Thanks and make it a great day.