If you are a small or medium-sized security guard company you have either considered hiring sales professionals in the security guard industry or have already done so. If you have any personal experience with sales in this industry, let me tell you what you probably already know “It’s HARD!” Combine that with the difficulty of finding great sales professionals in the security guard industry and you will eventually find yourself wondering how is your business going to survive. Before you throw your hands up in disgust, let me give you a few tips on how to find the right sales pro.
Tips on Hiring Sales Professionals in the Security Guard Industry
Based on my experiences being, working with, and hiring sales professional in the security guard industry, I think that anyone looking to hire a sales pro should keep these four tips in mind.
1. Adjust Your Hiring Process
When you are looking to hire great sales people you have to look in the right places. Typically great sales people aren’t trolling the help wanted ads of your local newspaper. You will need to find the places that they are spending their time. When you find them, you have to have a reason that they should entertain an opportunity with your company.
After you’ve found some good candidates, put some thought into how you are going to conduct your interview. Keep in mind that great salespeople are cold-blooded calm and good at thinking on their feel, so don’t use your usual list of interview questions. Come up with scenarios that make them demonstrate how nimble they are when faced with tough questions.
2. Find the Right Personality Type
Sales professionals in the security guard industry must be true hunters. There are very few companies who can rely on inbound leads to stay in business. So when you are looking for the right sales professional keep these character traits in mind:
- Ability to make good decisions – Hunters are constantly uncovering new leads so they will need the ability to assess an opportunity and quickly make the decision to pursue it or move on.
- Must be outgoing – Great salespeople have the ability to exude warmth and quickly build rapport with potential customers. But they should also know when to stop talking and start listening. The ability to listen is a salesperson’s greatest asset.
- Creative problem solving – We all think that our companies have the best services, but a great salesperson needs to be adept at explaining how those services solve the prospect’s problems. The salesperson needs to be able to think outside the box and creatively show how their services address the prospect’s pain.
3. Get the Compensation Right
Many companies struggle to find the right compensation package for sales professionals in the security guard industry. Typically compensation comes in the form of base pay plus commission. Base pay is usually between $45k and $80k, while commission can vary from .5% to 3%. To get a better understanding of total compensation in your area enlist the services of a security executive recruiting firm.
One strategy that many companies talk about is using commission only sales professionals, but I have yet to hear of any company implementing this strategy successfully. Hiring commission only sales professionals in the security guard industry is typically a bad idea based on two factors. The first is that because of the long sales cycle not many people can afford to wait around for that first commission check. They typically don’t stick around very long. Secondly, because it will typically take a long time to get paid, most of the people who will apply for the position probably don’t really need the money. Many times these candidates are just looking for a way to augment their primary income. They want to make money without necessarily having to work too hard for it…do you need more of those?
4. Manage Your Expectations
Once you have found and retained that perfect salesperson make sure that you are ready to give them some time to close that first sale. Unless they get lucky, you are probably looking at 6 – 9 months before you begin to see any results.
Although there are many excellent candidates for operational positions, it is difficult to find great sales professionals in the security guard industry. Despite that, finding the right person is the fastest path to growing your revenue. Taking your time, finding the right candidate, and giving them the support and tools they need will work wonders for your sales.
What has been your experience in hiring sales professionals? Please leave your comments below.
By Courtney Sparkman