Companies think that once the sales person agrees to join their company that the goal has been accomplished.
The truth is that this is only one more step of the process and there is still much work to be done.
a great day at Newman Industries today! For the last month, they have been actively recruiting a hot candidate to join their
sales team. Today, Steven Harmon agreed to join them. They see him as a true rainmaker. The recruiter and sales manager share
high-fives. Mission accomplished! Spike the ball in the end zone. The job is done! The competition was fierce for Steven,
but Newman Industries won.
Newman Industries was celebrating, Steven resigned his position with his present employer and enjoyed a celebratory dinner
with his wife. That night, Steven lay in bed wondering if he made the right decision. He came to terms with his decision and
looks forward to his first day at the company.
8:28am when Steven arrives for his first day at Newman Industries. He is excited while also apprehensive. When Steven walks
into the office and introduces himself to the receptionist, he is surprised to hear, "Oh, I didn't know we had a new person
starting today. Who did you say you were here to see?" Steven brushes this off as it is not completely foreign for the receptionist
not to be notified about a new employee joining a company.
receptionist calls around and tells Steven that he is in the right place, but his manager Jamie has not arrived yet. Steven
sits in the lobby as person after person walks by without saying a word.
at 9:10am, Jamie walks in carrying a Starbucks coffee. She greets Steven in the lobby and takes him to his cubicle. Steven
is surprised by what he sees. The cubicle looks like it belongs to someone else. Jamie explains that they had a sales person
leave the company the other day and that they had not had a chance to remove his stuff. "I have an idea," sputters Jamie,
"Since I have a meeting to run to, why don't you get rid of this stuff and then we can get together at 10am. Here is a garbage
agrees, but is also a little miffed. "I signed up to sell, not provide janitorial services," he thinks. While cleaning out
the desk, he finds a farewell card in the top drawer that is signed by all of the Newman employees. He thinks it is thoughtful
that they recognized this employee as he left the company.
10:30am when Jamie returns to Steven. She notices that there isn't a computer set-up for Steven in the cubicle. She calls
the IT department to see where it is. She hangs up the phone and looks annoyed. She turns to Steven and tells him that HR
forgot to notify the IT department. "They won't have your computer ready for a couple of days."
turns to Steven and says, "I have another meeting to run to, but let's have lunch. Here is a bunch of stuff to read for now."
Jamie produces a one foot high pile of wrinkled papers and says, "That should get you started."
time comes and Jamie hurriedly comes by the cubicle and asks Steven how he is doing. She then proceeds to apologize, but tells
him that she cannot go to lunch. She explains that she got called into another meeting. She suggests that Steven go out and
get lunch on his own. "We can get together at 1pm," says Jamie. "By the way Steven, can you grab a burger for me too? "I'll
pay you when you get back to the office."
leaves for lunch and is starting to question his decision to join Newman. He thinks back to the interview process and how
attentive the team was with him. He remembers how aggressively they recruited him to join their team. He thinks about how
warm and welcoming the management group was in their pursuit of him. Today, he feels like a third wheel on a date.
comes back to the office with Jamie's burger. It's now 1pm and Steven is hoping that Jamie has some time for him. Jamie comes
by Steven's cubicle and thanks him for the burger. She asks Steven to come by her office at 2pm so they can talk about his
territory. Steven sits in his cubicle and flips through the pile of papers left for him. All the while, employees walk past
his cubicle without ever saying a word.
2pm comes, Steven goes to Jamie's office. Jamie explains that the sales team is in a bit of a transition and the compensation
plan is changing. Thus, there is no compensation plan to share with Steven that day. The territory is also in flux, but that
should be resolved in the next two weeks. After chatting with Jamie for about a half hour, Steven returns to his cubicle.
The rest of his day is more of the same and at 5pm he heads for home.
wife asks about his first day. Steven says, "I'm really happy that I didn't pull my resume off the job boards or tell the
recruiters that I was off the market because I don't know if this is going to work out. We'll have to see."
truth is that Newman Industries is really a fine company. They just made a very common mistake when hiring sales people. They
worked so hard to recruit Steven that they celebrated prematurely. The company thought that they had Steven when he accepted
the offer. That was their error. They failed to recognize that they had only completed the next step of the process. What
is missing is a program to ensure the impression made in the recruiting and interview process is continued when the person
arrives on their first day. Many of you reading this probably think I made up that story about Steven. The truth is that this
story is an amalgam of the many horror stories that I have heard over the years from sales people.
together a new hire welcoming program isn't overly difficult to do. However, it takes commitment on the part of the entire
management team to ensure it is followed. Think back to the story. Steven found a card that was given to the employee on the
way out. How about a welcome card for Steven that is placed in his clean cubicle that has everything he needs to do his job?
Office supplies, new hire paperwork, a PC, a who's who list, a phone that is ready for use, etc. Again, it's not hard to do
this, but requires some thought.
will take ownership for this in your company? You? Why not you? Grab the ball and run with it! Consider how much money was
spent to recruit Steven into Newman Industries. Now think about those dollars evaporating after Steven doesn't return after
his first day. Need ideas on how to put together a new hire welcoming program? Send me an email for my tip sheet.
Lee B. Salz is
a sales management guru who helps companies hire the right sales people, on-board them, and focus their sales activity using
his sales architecture® methodology. He is the President
of Sales Architects, the C.E.O. of Business Expert Webinars and author of “Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager.” Lee is an online columnist for Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, a print columnist for SalesforceXP Magazine, and
the host of the Internet radio show, “Secrets of Business Gurus.” Look for Lee's new book in February 2009
titled, "The Sales Marriage” where he shares the secrets to hiring the right sales people. He is a passionate, dynamic
speaker and a business consultant. Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitecture.com or 763.416.4321.