“Reinvigorating a salesforce…may mean recruiting candidates that seem unlikely at first. But look for proximity to the product—and a personal investment in that proximity—to shift their inherent value in your favor,” writes the author of a recent Harvard Business Review article.1
Titled “Why a Gin Company Hired Musicians as Part-Time Salespeople,” the article explains that the cost of recruiting and retaining salespeople was a problem for the Martin Miller’s Gin company. That is, until the company decided to tap into a new part-time salesforce—young musicians.
They’re already in the places the company wants its product to be—clubs, trendy bars, hip restaurants. These musicians/salespeople “literally walk the walk—of the neighborhood and venues the company wants to reach, that is,” and they “add the cool factor that Martin Miller’s needed to inject into their product in order to attract the next generation of consumers.” In addition, the recruits are already dressed for the part (no stuffy business suits), and they have transferrable skills. Martin Miller’s “finds musicians to be organized, educated, authentic, and intentional in their focus. There’s no ‘pretending’ to be a successful musician. And like a good salesperson, a good musician needs a certain amount of hustle to get gigs.”
Another great recruiting tactic: Offer a strong benefits package. Fifty-nine percent of employees at small businesses are at least somewhat likely to accept a job with slightly lower pay but better benefits. And almost 9 in 10 (87 percent) of employees at small businesses at least somewhat agree they consider voluntary insurance to be part of a comprehensive benefits program.2
Learn more about what employees think about the importance of benefits in this article on small business trends.
1 Cathy Huyghe. “Why a Gin Company Hired Musicians as Part-Time Salespeople.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed Sept. 13, 2015. https://hbr.org/2015/09/why-a-gin-company-hired-musicians-as-part-time-salespeople
2 The 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report was conducted in January 2015 by Research Now and includes responses from 1,977 benefits decision-makers and 5,337 employees from across the United States. To learn more about the Aflac WorkForces Report, visit workforces.aflac.com.