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The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 27, 2012 • Issue 12:02:02

It's time to build your sales force

By Marc Beauchamp
Performance Training Systems

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in Merchant Service Times, Jan. 31, 2012. Reprinted with permission. 2011 by Marc Beauchamp.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate is still high at 8.5 percent. In total, there are over 13.1 million unemployed people in the United States.

If you want to dig into the employment report, go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at www.bls.gov.

Enough doom and gloom. If you want more, just turn on the evening news, which I refuse to contaminate my brain with. Instead of continuing to focus on the problem, why not look for the potential opportunities the problem may present?

If you look at the majority of ISOs and agent offices in the business, most have chosen a distribution strategy of employing independent agents or contractors. One of the biggest challenges ISOs and agent offices face is hiring good, qualified independent salespeople. You know as well as I do that "you have to kiss a lot of frogs until you will find a prince" in the recruiting game.

Recruit now

I'm no rocket scientist, but in the middle of a declining employment trend affecting many highly skilled, highly educated workers, doesn't it seem self-evident that it's now time to start recruiting this pool of talent before someone else does?

Is it just a coincidence that franchise and business opportunity advertising experiences an uptick when unemployment is on the rise? I don't think so, these entrepreneurs realize that many people still yearn for the American dream of owning their own business and that many of these unemployed people have retirement savings and funds to invest in a new venture.

Our industry has the best recruiting story in the world:

  • We offer products and services that every business needs.
  • We are a relatively recession-proof industry.
  • Agents can get started with little or no investment.
  • We offer unlimited earnings potential.
  • Agents can create a residual stream that pays them over and over for a one-time effort.
  • New hires are independent and free to build their business the way they want; they will not be at the mercy of an employer ever again.
  • While others are reducing staff, we are hiring.

OK, we know we have a good labor pool and a great opportunity. Now what? You can choose the market areas to recruit from that are geographically beneficial to your company and location, or if you are recruiting nationally, I recommend conducting extensive research.

Target wisely

When I work with a client developing a recruiting strategy, I usually conduct research from a variety of sources, including:

Use this raw data to intelligently target your ideal market via print or online advertising that best fits your business model. We have a window of opportunity over the next six to 18 months to hire hard-working, well-educated, experienced people who are a great fit for our business.

This is a win-win for everyone involved: they receive a fabulous career opportunity, you receive a great sales partner, and the country benefits by having them back on the employment rolls.

Many great fortunes have been made during the most challenging times in history. This is your opportunity to make a move while your competitors are still stuck in the problem.

Put the pedal to the metal, take massive action, and start building and expanding your sales organization. When you look back a couple of years down the road, you'll be glad you did. end of article

Marc Beauchamp is a consultant and trainer for the financial services industry. He is author of How to Survive and Thrive in the Merchant Services Industry, founder of the Bankcard Boot Camp and offers a free monthly newsletter at his site www.surviveandthrive.biz. He can be reached by email at marcb@surviveandthrive.biz.

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