Have any of my fellow owners felt the pain of hiring the wrong sales representative to grow your agency? This morning the pain hit me. I hired the wrong sales representative. I should have seen the signs from the first 2 weeks…

  • Not replying to my emails timely
  • NO initiative in building her potential account list
  • Waiting for direction from leadership
  • The way she walked, breathed, or just existed

I mean come on now, I’m an expert at hiring. Well folks, it happens to the best of us. I got duped into hiring someone who showed up with her prestigious sales awards in her briefcase. Sharing how she made millions in sales the previous year and demanding a high salary to join my team with her amazing skills.

I wanted the easy way out. I wanted someone who didn’t need much hand holding and so I grabbed this Presidential Award Winner, and offered her the sun, moon, and the stars, and what did I get over the next 2 months? NOTHING! Just another box of business cards to add to my trash can!

…Or did I gain something from this?

What did this opportunity give me a chance to learn?

Was the lesson, don’t be so easily impressed by previous sales successes? Don’t let an employee join your team without making part of their salary in commissions? Was it, always hire 2 reps at the same time so even if one quits you still have one that works out? Maybe all the above. It’s been a while since I just picked wrong and I was really feeling quite sorry for myself. Jason, my colleague and friend, said, “Hey, God is just making way for the next best thing to walk through the door.” I was thankful for his kindness.

This experience made me think about all the reps that I had hired for all the companies around the United States. I slowly went through at least the last 25 hires, and all but 4 are still working at the companies they were placed with and still producing excellent results. Not a bad track record at all.

Next, I looked at the 4 that didn’t work. Interesting again. All 4 had previous sales experience in either pharma or health related sales. I went through 5 of my favorite hires. I found that all five of them were not in sales before they became full time sales representatives.

  • Competition Cheerleader Coach at a College
  • One waitress for 12 years
  • One Bartender for 7 years
  • One a Home Health Aide for 5 years
  • One a hostess at my Flyers Suite Box

What made all these non-salespeople so great at there job?   What did they have in common that made me love helping them grow into the incredible salespeople they are today? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. They all had a deep passion for getting people help at home. Each of them had a personal connection to the services we provide. Each was eager to go make a difference in the world by helping patients obtain the needed services we long to provide. That is where I went wrong with this hiring mistake that I will call Sales Representative L.  (L = Lazy).

Morale of my story: Don’t get duped…

Don’t get duped by a fancy appearance and a bag of awards. Don’t think years of selling Pharma will make them a great rep. Sometimes it may, but in my case it didn’t. Look for the passion connection to the industry. Look for someone who has had a personal connection to what services you provide in the home. They are the ones who will go knock down doors.  They have a bigger mission than their paycheck. Those are the ones that we should seek out.

So, my friends remember we have the orientation training, high performance sales training, and the master’s in high performance selling program, and coaching to support your reps. If you are like me, looking to hire to get more revenue in the door than hopefully my failure will help you also find the next hire.


Happy Hiring!

The Solutionist, Cheryl Peltekis, RN.