When you hire someone new for your company their success will hinge on the expectations that you set from the first conversation.
If you tell them they will make six figures their first year in the sales role and it doesn’t happen (and they don’t see anyone else make that amount of $) then you will have a serious morale issue.
We want to get people excited for the potential…but how should you set the right expectation?
Episode 73 – Transcript
This is episode 73 of the sales experience podcast. Welcome to the show. My name again is Jason Cutter.
So glad as always that you’re here listening whether you’re a salesperson, sales manager or recruiter. This is the week where I’m covering recruiting topics that can apply to everybody. Sometimes as an applicant, as a salesperson, it’s actually good to understand what management, what recruiters, what hiring managers are looking for, what their process is.
Not as a way to win the game or game the system in any way, but just to understand, especially if you’re going through the recruiting process at some point in your career, you will. It’s good to understand if it’s a good fit when there’s an organization that hires in a certain way, maybe that’s an organization that you want to be a part of because they’re taking it serious. They’re recruiting, that fits their culture.
They are trying to find the right fits. They don’t want to have a high turnover, so they’re really taking their time. Or maybe it’s one where there, you know, they understand there’s going to be a lot of turnover and they don’t know how good somebody is really going to be until they get on the floor and so they’re bringing in lots of people, throwing lots of things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
This episode, I want to focus on expectations. Now, funny thing is episode one of my podcast was about setting expectations for this show in general where I talked about what I’m going to cover, what I’m not going to cover, kind of my guest interview methodology as well as the timeframe, which sometimes I’m good about keeping it under 10 minutes. I try to keep it around that. When you’re recruiting, especially salespeople, it’s super important to set the right expectations.
Now, what categories do those expectations fall in? First one let’s talk about is money and income potential. One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen is when the recruiting for an organization is done by a sales person. So this may be a salesperson who’s moved the way up to sales manager or a branch manager who used to be in sales and so they just have that selling tendency.
One of the biggest things, and this can be a potential issue within an organization, can be a blind spot that can cause some problems, like actual problems is where the recruiting manager, whoever’s doing the interviews and the process is setting the wrong expectation on income potential, right? Like going back to the movie boiler room, have you ever seen that? You know, it’s the classic sliding the Ferrari keys across the table to tell somebody how much money they’re going to make.
It’s not a function of if you’re going to be a millionaire, it’s a function of how many times you’re going to be a millionaire, right? Like most sales process, most sales products or services, most companies have a commission structure where you understand and you know where people are gonna fall.
You’ve got your top performers, you got your bottom, and you got your middle. The 80 20 rule is always in effect no matter what. And so you know what’s realistic and what’s reasonable, especially within a timeframe. If you have a very complicated business to business sale that has a long sales cycle, that new salesperson is not going to make much money in the first six months or even the first 12 months.
If it’s a quick sale. If it’s a one call close and the calls are 1520 minutes each and the training is a week long, then within a few weeks that person should be making x and when they get better they should be making y.
But you also know it’s really not possible for someone to consistently make above a certain level, whether it’s a week or a month or a year. And you got to fight that temptation to not over promise and get somebody super excited just to get them in the door. Because the problem is they’re going to remember it.
They’re gonna remember that number you gave them. That’s going to be why they took the job is that if you said you’re going to make a hundred k your first year and that doesn’t happen, they are going to be upset. Now, if you said you’re going to make 50 k your first year and they accepted it and then they make 70 k because they’re great at what they do and they followed all of your instructions and your process and your script, then that’s amazing.
They’re happy and they’re going to keep going. You promised a hundred and you knew that 50 was realistic and that they actually do 70 then they’re upset.
And of course you’re not gonna promise anybody money. But if you’re dangling that and saying, hey, you know, people make this much, or you could make this much, if you set that carrot too big on one side, it’s going to set a bad expectation that people are going to hold onto.
Then if they don’t get it, they’re going to be really upset. And again, they’re going to be upset on the floor, they’re going to be upset with everyone around them. And you’re gonna have a morale issue. They’re gonna complain to managers, HR, they’re gonna Complain Online.
If you look on things like Glassdoor, you can see companies who have sales reps and you can literally see what they’re probably doing wrong in the recruiting process because of the complaints that are talking about compensation and how it didn’t match what they are promised. I was promised x, I was told I could make this.
Nobody’s making that amount of money. It’s not possible. And that’s just a sham. Those kinds of companies who do that struggle all the time with turnover because they’re promising something, it’s just not possible.
So make sure whatever you’re showing, like the tactic that I’ve used in the strategy during recruiting that has worked so well is I will print out a pay period or a time period, whatever makes sense for your business. But I will do like a two week snapshot and say and you know, remove the column with the names and any other details.
But basically you know how long the person has been there so they can see, you know, what the 10 years like and then all the money side. And I just show that to people. I say, Hey, here’s where they are. Here’s the top, the middle and the bottom. Where you’re going to be is totally up to you and your skill set and how good that you really are.
But here’s what people are actually making on the floor. Here’s an example. And then the rest is up to you. Show them real numbers. And that timeframe is super important. Somebody who’s been there for five years whose doing really well, that’s not fair to tell somebody new.
Say, Hey, you could make a hundred k as well if you know it’s going to take a couple of years to get there. Or they need a certain book of business or certain experience in a pipeline. So that’s the first thing. Compensation, always avoid that trap of setting the wrong one. And again, if you’re listening to this and you’re a salesperson or you’re interviewing and you go into a job and they promise you some big numbers, they make it sound like there’s this huge opportunity.
Be Very cautious if it doesn’t seem like that sense or matches up, especially with the price point of what’s being sold.
Now, if you’re selling million dollar software packages, of course you’re going to do well, but that’s going to also take a long time. Like that sales cycle isn’t a one call close, so it’s gotta make sense. Just really watch out for that. Now, other expectations set by recruiting managers.
Make sure you’re actually setting the expectation of what the job entails and the call volume or the interaction or the meeting volume. If you know that it takes somebody a hundred calls a day to be successful, make sure you set that expectation upfront that it takes a hundred calls a day to be successful.
What you don’t want to do is either not mention it or undersell the effort because again, you want to oversell the money under, sell the effort, get them in the door and then you’ll hopefully take care of it from there. That’s like a terrible sales strategy that you wouldn’t want your salespeople to do either, which is to over promise and under deliver just to get the deal done.
Like that’s just a mess for everyone on the backend. So same thing with recruiting. You want to under promise the money but obviously show them some real world numbers and then you want to set the right expectation. You don’t want to over exaggerate on the effort and the phone call side because you don’t want to scare people away.
But what you don’t want to do is have somebody start and then they realize it takes a hundred calls a day and then they’re mad because they were thinking it was 50 or they heard that the only need to do 50 and the expectation wasn’t set correctly.
I have literally seen people hiring for telemarketing, not set the right expectation, get people excited to come in the door without telling them exactly what was involved. The new hire goes to lunch on the first day and never comes back.
Never calls, never even let them know they left or even asked for their first four hours of pay because they didn’t realize it was a cold calling telemarketing job and they’re out the door. You don’t want that. That’s so much extra effort and energy and as also negative for the floor.
So make sure you set the right expectation on the effort that’s required for someone to be successful. And then as silly as this sounds, you want to set the expectation for every little thing that you expect and you want to do this during the recruiting process, not on the first day, not when you’ve hired them and they’re sitting down because they’re so excited and they’re going to base it off what you said before.
But if you expect people to show up at a certain time, you expect them to be on time. If you expect them to work five days a week, if you expect dress code, whatever it is that you expect from your team, that you hold people accountable to.
Always mentioned that during the recruiting process, so there’s no question, there’s no doubt when they start, they’ve signed up for that whole package, which you don’t want to do, is a bait and switch where they come in and you’re like, yeah, by the way, you need to be here every day you do this. Here’s what we expect. Here’s the phone calls.
That’s not setting the relationship up, right, so make sure to set the expectations before they accept the job and then if they question it later or they forget or they argue about it, you can say, hey, we covered that. You agreed. Here’s where we’re at now. The next part is up to you. Hopefully that helps. You’re setting expectations. If you have any questions on hiring, recruiting, how to set the expectations, which way you should do interviews, what works best for your process.
Send me a message cutter consulting group.com or through LinkedIn. I’m on there as well. Let’s chat. Let’s talk about it. Maybe there’s some ways I can help you and your organization with recruiting, with hiring the right people that is a good fit for who you are, what you sell, and your corporate culture.
Always, remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.