You Can’t Soar Like an Eagle If You Hire Ducks

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Apr 8, 2015

Dear Barb:

At a recent conference I heard you say that you can’t make someone a top producer, you have to hire them. I have never hired an experienced recruiter because they often have so much baggage and many have signed a non-compete agreement with their prior employer. I also find that many of the top producers in our profession are a handful to manage and often ask for unreasonable salaries and commissions. How do you get around these problems?

Helene S., San Jose, CA

Dear Helene:

When I made that statement, I was not referring to top producers in our profession. It is important for owners to hire individuals who have a track record of high achievement and sales experience. If someone was a high achiever or top producer in another profession, chances are they will be a high achiever for you.

People are creatures of habit. I’ve seen many owners hire individuals who have never made much money and tell them they can earn six figures. What the owner doesn’t realize is the person they hired has a much lower financial thermostat and would be thrilled to make half that amount.

Owners constantly complain to me that their team could produce more. Of course they can, the question is will they? They won’t just because you want to have a record year. They will only get out of their comfort zone and produce more for their own reasons.

You may want members of your team to soar like eagles but you hired ducks and they are very happy and satisfied being a duck. They don’t want the pressure of producing high levels or being a top producer. When you hire, focus on individuals with a history of high achievement who want to sell.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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