Sales Coaching Blog

Become a "Talent Magnet" To Attract the Best.

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

February 2, 2011

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker, EcSELL Institute

I came across this article in the Harvard Business Reveiw titled "The Six Habits of a Talent Magnet" , written by Tsun-yan Hsieh with Anthony Tjan, and thought it was worthy of sharing with you.  EcSELL Institute's most recent Sales Management Study showed that 97%of Executive Sales Managers from across the country indicate the Identification and Acquisition of Talent as “extremely important” or “important”.  That said, you shouldn't wait until you need to fill a position to start recruiting for that position. This article provides some excellent direction in how you can become a talent magent for your firm.  You can also learn more about how to identify and acquire TOP sales talent at our upcoming 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity Workshop on April 6 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Here is an overview of the Harvard Business Review article "The Six Habits of a Talent Magnet". Enjoy!

Talent is the make-or-break issue for business success. Few would contest that statement. If you are a leader who's serious about improving your capacity to attract the best talent, you need to develop the habits of a true talent magnet. From our research and experience with numerous CEOs and entrepreneurs, we've identified six:

1. Get to know the most talented individuals early on, when you don't need them. Can you name the best one or two people for each of the critical positions? If you can't, start figuring it out.   The very best time to get to know people is when you don't need to hire them now. If you don't establish a relationship first, chances are you will end up paying top dollar to get them.

2. Create and manage the right expectations.  The most talented people are attracted to leaders whom they can trust and role models they want to emulate. Thus, ask yourself the question: "Why would any real talent want to work for me?" Paying top dollar is never a good enough reason for the best talent to join and stay with you. Promising room to stretch and rapid advancement have also become par for the course. To break out of the pack, you've got to look within yourself for the real leader and sales coach whom they want to follow.

3. Look at their hearts — and not just their smarts. The average resume is long on accomplishments and qualifications, and short on purpose and passion. Which is fine if you're merely in search of technical skills. In sales, you need to focus on candidates' motivation, values and purpose. Leadership defines itself when you are looking for people to change the game — and not just to improve a company's performance (otherwise managers with sound skills would suffice).

4. Cultivate them over time. The best talent is almost always occupied (otherwise they wouldn't be the best). Our recommendation: cultivate the best talent you can, and keep these individuals apprised of your work, purpose and ongoing mission. Let them know who you are as a person. Best talents have lots of options. Don't be surprised when they say 'no' to you. Never give up. Keep coming back over a number of years and when these talents are finally ready to move and know how you are different, they will come to you.

5. On-board them thoughtfully. We're frequently amazed by how carelessly and unsuccessfully many leaders transition new talent into a new milieu. In a complex organization, or unfamiliar context, "Sink or swim" is a perilous strategy. New talent wants to succeed. Invest from the start in making sure this happens, and you will soon find yourself surrounded by loyal followers.

6. Mentor them for their success.Being a mentor involves more than giving constructive feedback and avuncular advice. Mentoring is a journey based on mutual commitment to discovery and learning. At the EcSELL Institute, we refer to this as being their sales coach. Your primary reward is another person's success.  (For more on this, see our discussion of an effective framework for mentorship.)

How well do you stack up against these six dimensions? Again, engaging and retaining real talent is the most critical factor to your success — which is why the real test ultimately lies with your best talent today. Ask them what they think. Our guess is their answers will help you uncover personal and professional truths that will help transform you into an even better leader.  (end of article)

Better yet, consider attending EcSELL Institute's Sales Coaching Summit and Pre-Summit 6 Pillar Workshop where you can understand the science, strategy, and execution behind mastering your role as an extraordinary sales team coach. It is a powerful forum and a true think tank  to share insights and learn best practices. Check it out!

 

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Tsun-yan Hsieh is working with Anthony Tjan and Richard Harrington on a book about entrepreneurship and building businesses. He is chairman of LinHart Group, a firm specialized in CEO leadership, and is a member of Cue Ball's advisory group, the Cue Ball Collective.

Anthony Tjan is CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball. An entrepreneur, investor, and senior advisor, Tjan has become a recognized business builder.

Topics: talent identification & acquistion, executive sales management, sales coaching, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity, ideas for sales leaders

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