How to Find the Best Sales Talent Without Using a Headhunter

Don't you just hate paying Headhunter fees?  I know I do, and so do my Clients.  But every small and medium sized business always seems to have the same problem: Attracting  the best sales talent without spending a fortune. It seems to be the one real problem that most companies think they can't solve without hiring an outsourced recruiter or headhunter.

But what if attracting top sales talent were easier than you thought?

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. --William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2.

I know. Nothing is truly easy, and if it were, everyone would be doing it. But finding the sales talent you need is far easier than we make it.  Why? Because we believe that we have to compete with other job postings. 

In reality, competing with other job postings makes it far more difficult to compete.  Or as my dad would often put it, "Why be a little fish in a big pond when you can be a big fish in a little pond?"

I am not saying that you will never need help to attract salespeople, I know because several of my clients have hired me to help them manage the process, but the first step that should be taken if often neglected: Forced Referrals.

How does a forced referral work? While I would love to take credit for this I learned it from Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer for Hubspot.   It follows these simple steps:

  1. Using Linkedin, have your HR Manager, Office Manager, or Hiring Manager connect with each of your current employees on Linkedin. 
  2. Go through each employee's contacts and create a list of every one of their contacts that has a sales job.
  3. Schedule a time to meet with each employee and solicit feedback on the contacts they have who fill sales roles and create a list of people they would actually recommend.
  4. Once you have a list of their recommendations, Reach out to that list on an  "Invitation Only" basis.  (This strokes their ego enough to peak their interest).
  5. Schedule Interviews with those contacts who are interested in learning how they might fit within your sales machine.

This process might seem overly simple, but Mark Roberge and Hubspot have used it to grow their company from a business that operated out of someone's garage into over $100 Million in revenue a year.  This is their only recruiting platform for salespeople.

So, before you reach for the phone, or fill out a quote form online to hire a recruiting firm or headhunter, adapt this process for your business and see exactly how easy it is to find sales talent in your own pond.