Do you have as much trouble finding good salesmen as I have? It has been on ongoing struggle.. we are talking decades of horrible experiences.

First, let me say that I do marketing, I do NOT do sales. There is a big difference. I build audiences and have proven that skill time and again for the last 25 years. When it comes to sales, I rely on folks with those skills. It just appears they are harder and harder to find.

I have had countless unmotivated underachievers as well as outright thieves. I have also confirmed that it isn’t the product or services at fault, as each time someone actually makes the effort to present the offers, he/she has made a sale. This is not a hard product to sell.

The issue seems to be keeping the motivation. It isn’t the pay either.  I have raised commissions to as much as 50% and still, they seem to make their first sale, sound excited about the possibilities and then do little else.

The con-men however, are the worst. I have only really run into one certifiable liar in my sales interaction. He did a lot to make me gun-shy about sales folks. Side deals, misrepresentations and outright theft were all in his wheelhouse.

Look, I know sales is not fun (at least for someone who is not a psychopath) and I know I don’t want to do it. I just don’t know where the answer lies.

Is it just a sign of the times? I recently advertised for a sales rep and got 20+ resumes. About 18 of those looked legit and I contacted them with a simple task. (I always start with a simple task to see who is really motivated.) Of those, only four completed the task so I arranged phone interviews. All four sounded promising so I sent them some information to get them started. It has now been a week and not one has moved forward on anything.

I’m not looking to crack a whip and give them step-by-step tasks with deadlines. I was hoping that each would be self-motivated and just take the initiative. Am I asking for too much?

Give me your experience hiring salespeople (or being one.) Help.

by Chris Doelle