June 6, 2011
The sales process is hard. No question about it. That is why good salespeople are hard to find, and when you do find them, they require a lot of compensation or perks.
As a startup, hiring a salesperson or staff isn’t always a viable option. So if you are involved with a startup that has a growing customer base, consider looking for a salesperson in really unusual places.
Finding a Sales Person in Unusual Places
Besides you and your team, who knows your product inside and out? The answer is easy, the customers who use your product every day. If your product provides features or functions that solve a real need, chances are that you may have some customers who really love using your products.
Customers who give great feedback about your product on review sites and tell their friends about their positive experience may be the most ideal individuals to help you with your sales efforts.
Does your company have reviews on Yelp, Google Places or your business Facebook Page? Find these reviews and enlist those individuals who are true fans, evangelists and advocates for your company’s product and/or service.
Leverage your biggest fans to find those people who know understand and appreciate your product. Furthermore, beyond knowing your product, they understand the process that brought them to begin using your product and therefore can find more effective ways to promote, solicit, market and sell your product.
Build a Relationship with Brand Advocates
Now obviously, hiring just anyone who uses your product isn’t a good idea. Finding someone that fits perfectly in your company culture is absolutely vital to your success. To more effectively convert a current user into a salesperson, consider using a long-term strategy to attract, solicit and hire the ideal individual.
Build a relationship with your most vocal and evangelical users. Find out what makes them tick. When you have a list of potential advocates with whom you’ve created a relationship with, engage them and let them know how much you value their contributions.
If you are fortunate enough to bring someone on board as a result of this tactic, understand how to best utilize them. This person may have been in an industry in which they have colleagues that could also benefit from your product. Their network now becomes your network. This is precisely where the lead generation process starts.
By building a relationship with someone who is already excited about your company, you can also open up the door to a tremendous network of potential contacts. In turn, by default you set that individual up for success as well.
Why Unconventional Methods Work
By considering unique methods of searching for salespeople, you open up yourself to a variety of opportunities. Give it a shot and if you discover that you aren’t getting the response that you expected, at least you will have learned what your customers like and don’t like. And if by chance you can’t find any positive reviews, it may be time to adjust your business strategies.
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