How to Hire the Right Inside Sales Agent ( ISA )Even if You've Failed Before
It’s not uncommon for us to get gun shy when we hire the wrong person for a job the first - sometimes the second - time around.
In fact, it can be so painful that you might not want to ever hire a person for that job again.
Many agents feel this way about hiring an Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ).
They either hired a friend who wasn’t the right person for the job or an outsider who wasn’t a phone salesperson.
Or worse, they contracted with an outbound call center where the skill sets of the “ISAs” were subpar and they got little to no return on their investment - and in some cases, lost money altogether.
The good news is that there is right way to hire an ISA, even if you failed miserably before.
What’s even better is that there are amazing phone sales people out there who love being on the phone and want to get into the real estate industry.
Your job is to find those people, vet them properly and the put them on the path to incredible success on your team.
Here’s the step-by-step process you need to follow to hire the right ISA...even if you failed before:
Step One - Have the right recruiting ad
All too often, agents run ads that they found online without putting much thought into 1) how well the ad works and 2) if the ad is even going to attract the right person.
To generate a plethora of hungry, skilled, phone sales candidates for your ISA position, you want your ad to work much the same way that a dog whistle works to getting only a dog's’ attention.
Your recruiting ad and ad strategy needs to appeal to - and only appeal to - proven, talented salespeople with strong phone sales experience.
You’re not looking for customer service people who have taken a ton of phone calls, you’re looking for people who have done sales over the phone for another company or for themselves.
In rare instances, you’ll want to interview people who sold products like security systems, magazine subscriptions, cell phones, vacuums and other products that you get smacked in the face a lot for trying to sell. Other than that, we’re looking for people who know how to identify timing and motivation over the phone and then build relationships with prospects until they are ready to sell.
No phone sales skills means no ISA job. Remember that.
Step Two - You’re looking for some talent, skills and a good team fit.
Tony Robbins believes that three criteria need to be met for a person to be hired by your company:
1. Can they do the job: Are the capable and do they have the skill set, personality, acumen and background to excel in the position?
2. Will they do the job: Does this person love the work associated with this job and will they show up, day in and day out, willing to do what’s asked of them to get the job done well?
3. Good team fit: Does everyone on the team like them, do them embody your team’s core values and is this someone who you can work with every day?
If they meet all three of these criteria and everyone on your team likes then they get to meet with you for a final interview.
If they don’t meet the requirements of these three markers...it’s a no go.
You must have a fit on all three of these criteria or your ISA candidate will not succeed at the highest level.
Step Three - Core Fit Analysis.
If you’re hiring an ISA, it’s likely that you have other people that work for you on your team.
Their input is extremely important as the ISA will be interacting with them on a consistent basis and therefore, they will need to get along with your other team members in order for it to work.
As part of your interview strategy, you’ll want to involve the other members of your team in the vetting process to make sure they will want to work with this person day in and day out.
If even one person is a dissenter and says it’s a “No” for them, it’s a “No” period. As you know, team harmony is crucial to running a successful business. And if people dread coming to work because of the people with whom they work, that’s not a good thing.
Note: the person you hire for the ISA position is likely going to be more aggressive, more outgoing and more direct than the majority of people who are on your team. Be sure to let your team members know that these qualities are acceptable and, in fact, you’re looking for them in the ISA you hire.
Be sure they know that the personality profile for the ISA is different from theirs and that’s okay with you. By pre-framing this with your team members, you’ll keep from having to interview a number of good salespeople and having them slip through your fingers.
Step Four - Have a Solid Contract in Place.
Managing expectations is crucial for a good ISA hire.
If your ISA knows what they’re supposed to do on a daily basis, what their targets are and what success looks like from day one, then you’ll have a much better time managing them to get the results you want.
If you have a good contract that details daily, weekly and monthly goals, there should be no question as to what’s expected of your ISA.
Daily Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like time spent on phone, dials, contacts and nurtures need to be quantified in the contract as do Key Result Indicators (KRI) like appointments set, appointments met and, to a lesser extent) sales.
With these details identified clearly and part of your relationship with your ISA, there’s no question as to what success looks like in your eyes and the eyes of your ISA.
The important thing here is that you hold your ISA accountable to the KPIs and KRIs on a consistent basis after they’re hired. That way, you’ll be able to make improvements where you need to in order to improve results and, when necessary, let go of candidates that just aren’t up to snuff.
Step Five - Get them onboarded and trained...fast.
You now have an employee to whom you are paying a salary. More importantly, this employee is looking to make some serious commissions by working with you.
To that end, it’s uber important that you get your ISA rolling and producing quickly.
In order to accomplish this outcome, you’ll want to get scripts and dialogues in your ISA’s hands the day they say yes. That way, whether they have to give notice to their prior job or not, they can start learning what to say, when to say it and how to say it as quickly as possible.
Your goal is to get them on the phone as quickly as possible so they can 1) start making calls and 2) learn how to do their job immediately.
In addition to that, you need to make sure you role play regularly with your ISA to improve their skills fast on the phone. The faster they get good on the phone, the faster you get good, consistent listing appointments.
One last thing, it’s vital that you track your ISAs activities and results daily. You’re going to need to meet with the weekly to review their KPIs and KRIs so they know where they are hitting the mark and where they are off course.
The good news is that once they are armed with this information, they, and you, can make adjustments to their skills, effort and the data being used to affect even better results from their calling efforts.
There’s no magic required to successfully hire and onboard an ISA.
If you do the right things, in the right order and put in the right amount of time and effort, you can hire the right ISA, even if you’ve failed before.
At the very least, follow what I’ve laid out here to get great results for yourself.