Employees are the core of every company, regardless of its products or services. A reliable workforce is even more important in retail business, where more than two-thirds of sales agents are not able to meet the planned targets. At the same time, brick-and-mortar stores are challenged to steadily increase sales despite their online competitors.
It is estimated that disposable income spent by U.S. consumers in physical retail will surpass $5 trillion by 2020. In such circumstances, retailers need outstanding sales teams in order to increase their market share. This is not an easy task, of course, but it is doable if you prepare well and choose the best sales representatives.
How to improve your recruiting?
Talent shortage makes it difficult for sales managers to find reliable employees nowadays. Kathy Reid, a recruitment manager at Careers Booster, recently noted: “Physical retail requires persons with broad knowledge and an entire set of practical skills. Sales agents need to be proactive and ambitious individuals with excellent communication skills and competitive spirit.”
But, how exactly do you find such people? Let’s check out five surefire strategies to help you hire the best sales representatives.
Use social media
Social media are omnipresent channels of communication. Today, Facebook alone gathers more than 2 billion monthly active users, while networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram also have millions of consumers. This makes social media the biggest talent sources in the world, and you can use these channels to announce job vacancies and publish targeted posts.
Social media allows you to aim at concrete regions and look for a certain age group, increasing your chances in finding appropriate candidates. With these type of talent acquisition tools, you need to reach out and find the best sales agents using clever posts and precise job announcements. Many young people will check out what you are posting on social media before applying to your invitation, so make sure to publish relevant and interesting content.
Ask for referrals
As much as it is necessary to build your online presence, it is also essential to conduct offline networking as well. Brick-and-mortar stores require real-life skills and excellent communication, which is why it is hard to find credible workers. In this case, referrals could be of immense help because you get personal recommendations from partners who are already familiar with the qualities of some candidates.
Referrals make a credible guarantee and you should ask your partners from similar niches to suggest a few talented sales persons. This way, you can be sure that prospects have professional prowess and enough experience to fit in quickly.
Attend talent fairs
Many young individuals attend talent markets and career fairs trying to find new jobs. It already proves that most of these people are proactive and hard-working because a lot of their peers would never get out of the house to actually search for a position on site. This is already more than a good reason to consider hiring some of them.
Additionally, you can sniff around and gather information about young talents casually, not even making a formal initiative. That’s perfect because your sales team will also have to deal with strangers and must be ready to establish communication and build rapport successfully. Having a few simple conversations, you get to learn first-hand about potential candidates and see if they suit your needs.
It doesn’t make a difference if you’ve learned about young prospects online, through referrals, or talent fairs – you always need to conduct face-to-face interviews. This is the formal part of the process during which you will find out how candidates behave under pressure. Interviews create an atmosphere of seriousness in which applicants have to present their best qualities within a short timeframe.
Interviews enable you to ask all sorts of questions and check out whether their personalities really correlate with your requirements. High-quality sales agents have a number of positive traits: they are open minded, confident, full of energy, and goal oriented. Using interviews, you have the opportunity to discover whether your candidates possess such qualities or not.
Training and education
It’s perfect if you can form a group of raw talents but you still need to help them learn some of the business essentials. That’s where education and training play the key role. Namely, almost 50 percent of consumers admit that they would buy a product if a knowledgeable assistant would assist them.
This is too big of a power in the hands of the sales team members for you to leave them undereducated. You have to dedicate a substantial amount of time to train your employees and make them prepared for all sorts of real-life situations. They need to learn how to handle difficult consumers just as much as how to close the deal with easy ones. It’s all part of the learning process and your task is to teach them.
Physical products, however useful, are not worth a dime without good sales agents. Members of the sales force are the ones who present commodities and services to consumers, making sure to seal the deal and sell goods. Using these five strategies, you can create your own team of star sales associates and increase revenues. Make sure to use these practical suggestions and feel free to leave a comment in case you have other valuable experiences.
About the writer: Eva Wislow is a career coach and entrepreneur from Pittsburgh. She loves to help people challenge themselves and achieve their most ambitious career goals. Eva enjoys to stay up to date with the latest tech news. Follow her on Twitter.