How to Hire an Experienced Salesperson

Hiring Experienced SalespeopleMany major banks are increasing their payrolls in a number of divisions, including hiring salespeople.

According to the Wall Street Journal, banks such as Bank of America and Morgan Stanley are increasing their foreign exchange operations and bringing in sales reps.

Charles Watson of Russell Reynolds Associates told the news source that are looking for salespeople who have close relationships with pension funds and hedge funds. Watson said that the banks are looking for salespeople who represent clients with cash to invest.

Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, said that it can be great for companies to bring in salespeople with “platinum Rolodexes” full of clients but that firms must be careful when hiring such employees.

Experienced salespeople with a list of clients are attractive hires because depending on their contractual agreements with their previous employer they may be able to bring their clients to their new firm, but Riddleberger cautions that companies should be wary of such promises.

“I’ve also seen many organizations who hire from within their industry salespeople who promised a lot of existing business that would transfer over to them once they got hired… but it didn’t work out that way,” the CEO said.

Riddleberger said that managers must be careful when hiring sales reps who promise to bring in business. They should be sure that they are bringing the person in for the right reason, which is because managers believe that the person can recreate their success in a new situation and not because they want access to the potential hire’s clients, according to Riddleberger. The executive said that often times these sales reps will claim that they are the “Gold Child” who has customers who will follow them, but they actually inherited the account from a previous employee.

Riddleberger said that there a few things that can be done to make sure that one is hiring an experienced salesperson for the right reasons. These include asking the potential employee whether he or she is willing to obtain a signed agreement from clients that says they will follow them and finding out whether the existing customers will meet with one’s company and commit to switching.

“In short, be sure to do your due diligence and verify that those clients will actually move over to your company before you present your sales candidate with an offer,” Riddleberger said.