Why Are Good Salespeople So Hard To Find?

Why is finding a good sales person like trying to find a needle in a haystack? Unfortunately there is no in-depth research project or data that tells us why these types of people are so hard to come by. What is it about those salespeople that make them so elusive?

Think of the qualities that make up the best salesperson in your store. Is it their personality, skill level, age, experience, etc? Most likely it is a combination of everything. Why is it so hard to find someone that matches all of the qualities you want?

First, it probably has something to do with company culture. Every company has a different atmosphere and certain people thrive in certain atmospheres. It’s not to say that one culture is better than another but everyone has a type of place where they can succeed.

From a job recruiter standpoint, a candidate is like a customer and sometimes selling a candidate a job is hard. The best people you want for your business are the candidates who already have jobs. It becomes a game where you want to mesh the right people and jobs together, which can take a bit of convincing. We all can’t have the red carpet treatment. Good recruiting companies are always looking to improve. They seek feedback after each candidate they send in and are willing to make changes to target and fit the right person into your store. The owner is also like a customer. We have to sell the candidates to your business and explain why we believe that they would be a great fit. We aren’t trying to put some random person into your store; we have to take everything into consideration from experience, pay, company culture, personality and whether it’s a good long-term fit.  And that’s just one of the issues. A majority of owners hold an unrealistic expectation that the sales people hired into their business will stay forever, whereas, on average a good sales person will stay at one place about five to seven years; and that’s even decreasing. Job loyalty is not what it used to be. People are highly driven and motivated to push themselves as high up the chain as they can go but realistically, most promotions are not within their current company, which requires them to move around.

Another issue that comes with sales people is the popular salary versus commission debate. Why does no one want a job solely based off commission? Good sales people know that they make the most money when they are commission based. Well unfortunately, it has become a product of the times post recession and Generation Y. People are wary about taking that kind of risk.  When you have a definite salary coming in, it is easier to convince the person towards the job. It is becoming more of an outlier for sales experts to choose commission only.

Need an example? The other day my friend was applying for jobs and he clicked on a sales position. After realizing it was commission only, he immediately hit the back button. When I questioned him, he said commission only is hard and he would be constantly worried. Now, he is a hard worker but that fear of depending on only commission to pay for bills is scary. A majority of people are leaning towards that comfort of needing that money safety net.

We may not be entirely sure why good sales people are so elusive but if we step back and understand issues that surround around hiring them. We may be able to combat each one of them to find the perfect employee for your store.