Recruiting Lessons from Lisa the Timeshare Salesperson
On a recent rainy Saturday afternoon, I headed to my local nail salon for a little me time to get a mani/pedi. The salon was very busy and while I waited, I chatted with another customer, Lisa, who was a timeshare salesperson. Lisa and I had a lively discussion about timeshares, but more importantly for you, my insightful community, are the recruiting lessons you can learn from Lisa’s sales tactics.
Many people view timeshares as evil schemes designed to separate hard-working people from their money in exchange for something that is impossible to use. I often find small businesses feel the same way about recruiting firms. A recent conversation with a new client revealed that she had paid a small fortune to a firm only to settle for hiring a somewhat adequate employee. When I asked what she meant, she described how her new employee needed more of her time for training and required constant monitoring to make sure her clients’ needs were met. It was a less than perfect fit and she was upset she had spent so much money to end up with a low-quality employee unable to perform the job.
Despite the negative perceptions of timeshares, Lisa has been successfully selling them for over 10 years and continues to be a top salesperson for her company. Lisa and I discussed how she overcame the negative perception of timeshares. It turns out Lisa is a smart, savvy professional who understands how to turn challenges into opportunities. Smart, savvy professional recruiters also do the same. Just like timeshare salespeople with happy customers, there are recruiters who have happy customers.
I’m sure you’re now scratching your head and asking what any of this can possibly have to do with recruiting and hiring the employees your business needs. The answer is simple. Lisa’s tactics are changes in thinking that you can easily apply to your recruiting.
As an expert recruiter, I recommend using sales and marketing techniques in the hiring process. Let’s look at the top three tactics that keep Lisa at the top of her company’s sales team and her customers happy with their timeshare purchase.
First, know what’s important to your prospect.
Lisa adeptly asks questions of her sales prospects to learn about their lifestyle, interests, hobbies, and travel preferences. She uses this information to present the aspects of the timeshare that appeal to those interests. Then, she teaches her clients how to use those features.
When you are clear about your ideal employee, you can attract them easily. Spend time learning what’s important to your ideal candidate, where they live, their interests, hobbies, groups to which they belong, what causes are important to them, and so forth. This information will help you avoid those costly hiring mistakes like the one my client made.
Second, Lisa knows that timeshares are not for everyone.
Lisa asks questions that give her clues as to whether a timeshare is a good fit for her prospect’s lifestyle and interests. If it is not, she does not do a hard sell and try to force a sale. Instead, she spends the time asking them to refer others who might be a better fit with the timeshare travel plan.
Your job won’t be a great fit for everyone so please do yourself a favor and stop trying to make the average or subpar candidates fit your jobs. My client hired an employee who had a great resume. Why was her new employee a bad fit? Because there were aspects of the job her new employee was uncomfortable with. She had no interest in certain tasks and left them undone or rushed through them making many mistakes. This caused my client to spend lots of time monitoring work quality and then redoing the work herself. I always tell my clients it’s better to be understaffed than deal with problems created when you hire the wrong person.
Third, Lisa presents the value of the investment to her prospects.
The cool thing is Lisa doesn’t present the value in terms of dollars and cents. Instead, she presents it in terms of time spent with family making memories, being able to take vacations that otherwise may not be possible, and the ability to stay in beautiful surroundings in more comfortable lodging than those tiny, expensive hotel rooms.
Understand that every new employee is an investment. Recruiting and hiring costs time and money and neither are things business owners can afford to waste. In fact, you want to maximize the use of both. A 2016 CareerBuilder™ Survey revealed that the cost of a bad hire for employers with 500 or fewer employees was $11,000. Can you afford to waste $11,000? That’s why it’s important to be clear about who your ideal employee is and what matters to them. When you get these right, the investment you make pays huge dividends in terms of efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
When you invest the time to apply these recruiting lessons, you can successfully hire the top talent your business needs.
If you would like a little extra support to hire great employees, grab a copy of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business. You will find more tools and resources for attracting the right people to your business.