Promote from Within?

Where do you get your sales people? Have you ever given any thought to looking at talent you already have? Customer Service Reps and Estimators are two areas that may just have some talent ready for outside sales.

About 4 years ago, the mid-sized digital shop that I worked for hired a young woman to work in quality control. She had a degree in print management. (That’s a major? Yes it is!)

From the moment I met her, I knew she was cut out for different challenges than wrapping packages and counting pieces. Don’t get me wrong — that is an incredibly important job with an exacting skill set. But you know what I mean. She had charisma, wit and great communication skills. I knew immediately that she would be great as a CSR.

Soon enough, she was working back in sales as a CSR, and then as an estimator also. And she was fabulous. Great with customers on the phone, could juggle multiple tasks, and truly cared about the customers. She was gold to me — we worked very closely together for quite a while.

I left that job, and then she decided to relocate to another city. She again found work as a CSR. We kept in touch and I challenged her to get into sales. She was understandably afraid and had many reservations.

Another relocation for her and she was working catering and bartending gigs until “something better” came along. It turned out one of her regulars at the bar owned a franchise print shop. As they got to know each other and he realized what she was capable of, he offered her a job. Part time, so she could keep her gigs that were paying the rent.

So now she is doing pure outside sales. And she’s scared. She has never had to go out and make it rain before. Incidentally, she reads this website’s blogs for inspiration on a regular basis. But what else does her boss do for her to ensure that she is successful, and maybe one day be his top seller?

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