HARDISON’S TIPS – AUGUST 16, 2021 – How To Help Hiring the Wrong Salesperson

If you’ve been in a sales management or leadership position for a large or mid-sized corporation, it might surprise you to learn just how different the challenges for smaller businesses can be. With smaller staffs and a broader range of responsibilities and accountability for each team member, it is essential that the small business owner make the right hiring decisions, particularly when hiring a salesperson. And because a single salesperson is often the entire sales team, a hiring mistake in this area can cost a small business owner tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars.


  1. Hiring a Salesperson Too Much Like the Owner


Many small business owners are entrepreneurs and have a technical or operational background. However, these are not the primary skills necessary for success as a salesperson. Instead, the owner should look to hire someone with keen interpersonal skills and other essential sales-oriented traits. In other words, instead of hiring a “mini me”, the business owner should hire an “anti-me”.

  1. Feeling Compelled to Hire from Inside the Industry

Small business owners often look only within their industry when seeking sales talent. On the surface, this might make sense; after all, industry and client knowledge can be a plus. However, this approach can be a mistake for two reasons:

  • “Recycled” salespeople from competitors might be experts on the competitive product/service, but not necessarily experts in selling.
  • The industry insider salesperson might feel they can lure existing clients to follow them to their new company. Clients, however, rarely follow a salesperson to a new company, no matter how good the salesperson/client relationship might be. Remember: change is difficult; people resist it.


  1. Having Unrealistic Expectations Beyond the Hiring Budget

Naturally, business owners want a stellar salesperson with a proven track record, a “hunter” who is adept at bringing in the big game. But often, what the smaller business needs is a series of smaller sales that are more easily attainable. These can quickly generate cash flow and often lead to sustainable growth for long-term success. And because the small business typically does not have a large budget for hiring a top-notch salesperson, the business owner might be better off hiring a really good inside sales team or two moderately priced salespeople, instead of opting for one expensive outside salesperson.

  1. Not Having an Attractive Sales Compensation Plan in Place

The best possible candidate for the salesperson role in a smaller business doesn’t have to be out of reach if the compensation plan is attractive enough. But what if a top-level salary just isn’t possible? The best person for the job can still be reeled in if the sales compensation plan is crafted creatively and with performance-based incentives.

  1. Not Having a Detailed Job Description

What does success look like for the small business? What sales goals are needed to achieve this? What responsibilities will the salesperson be accountable for? The owner – who is often inclined to operate from the “gut” – must be able to articulate and document these things to make sure the salesperson they hire meets all the required criteria.


From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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