Growing sales

Five simple steps to hiring a salesperson

The day will come when you realize that the multiple tasks required to operate and grow your small trucking company require more time and energy than one person can muster. In other words, it’s time to start building a sales team. So, how do you find the person who will represent your company, forge strong professional bonds, and help maintain, sustain and grow your company?

Step One: Realize there isn’t a person on the face of the earth who will sell your hauling services the same way you do. You must delegate the job to someone you trust to represent your values and goals—but use techniques that fit his or her personality. It’s the results that count.

Step Two: You need to understand and describe the responsibilities of the job; for example, will this sales position immediately generate sales or grow contacts for long-term hauling contracts? Knowing your carrier’s sales objectives is paramount in finding the right person for the position.

Step Three: Make a list of your needs. Look at your sales experience to help develop this list. Include requirements such as personality, experience, knowledge, reputation and skills. Then think of your customers and the shippers you want to land: What will they expect from the person who is selling them your hauling services?

Step Four: How are you going to compensate that salesperson? Straight commission? Commission and salary? Commission with a draw? A salesperson misunderstanding the pay package is one of the biggest reasons for turnover. You need to specify expectations, territory and training. It is also important to provide the person the tools to do the job.

Step Five: Where do you find the right person? Look internally. The advantage here is that current employees know the operation and they know you. Also check with suppliers, customers, colleagues, advisers, and social contacts.

Finally, if all else fails, contact a staffing service. These services can do the vetting and help you find the best candidate.

A quality sales team, whether one person or several, is the touchstone that can change a stagnant carrier into one that grows and thrives for years to come. Expanding your operations with a sales staff can jump-start your carrier’s future.

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