How Not to Recruit Top Performers

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John Rymer of New Home Knowledge tells home builders how they can recruit the top salespeople.

August 01, 2009
Sidebars:
Rymer's Rules

Not a week goes by that a builder doesn't call me with the following assignment: "I know I'm missing sales due to my sales team. Put together the names of the top sales professionals, and I'll show them a compensation package that will have them doing somersaults to join my company." While my first thought is that it's great to see that they are focused on sales excellence as a way to maximize their sales, it also concerns me that many builders have an unrealistic idea of what it takes to attract and retain top performers in today's market. So let's look at the facts.


Management needs to work with your top performers to understand why you’re losing out, to whom you’re losing sales and what needs to happen to become competitive.

Misconception #1: Former new-home sales top performers are toiling away at dead-end new-home communities. As with any industry, the very elite are not satisfied to passively sit back and bide their time waiting for the market to return. Many top professionals have moved on to other jobs that offer more lucrative compensation representing banks on foreclosure sales, consortium short-sales or even real-estate sales positions. Your competition for their services is often not the builder down the street.

Misconception #2: High commissions and bonuses are the No. 1 draw to attract top sales talent. As the saying goes, "A very high percentage of zero is still zero." The first thing a top performer wants to know is, "Why will your community be successful?" The old paradigm "I can sell anything" has been replaced with, "I can get you more than your fair share of sales, but I need a competitive product to be successful."

Misconception #3: Once hired, leave your top performers alone and let them succeed. Competition in the new-home market is very dynamic in today's market. What was a great deal yesterday is often not competitive today. Expectations for sales must be built around "fair share" models. If you're not getting sales, management needs to work with your top performers to understand why you're losing out, to whom you're losing sales and what needs to happen to become competitive.

Now is the time to improve the quality of your sales team. As a hunter friend of mine says: "Toward the end of the season, most quail hunters think all of the coveys have been shot out. But by changing tactics, you can find birds in incredible numbers."


Author Information
John Rymer is the founder of New Home Knowledge, which offers sales training for home builders and real-estate professionals. You can reach him at john@newhomeknowledge.com.

 

Rymer's Rules

Many True Top Performers are no Longer in New-Home Sales

Many top professionals have moved on to other jobs that offer more lucrative compensation, such as representing banks or CMBS trusts on foreclosure sales.

High Commissions and Bonuses are not the No. 1 Draw

The first thing a top performer wants to know is, "Why will your community be successful?"

Keeping Engaged in Sales is the Key to Retaining Top Performers

What was a fair deal yesterday may not be competitive today. Stay involved.

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