They’re questions we hear all the time: Where can I find my next great sales hire? What industries transfer best to mine? The answer might surprise you.
For a different approach, consider hiring a former teacher. That may sound unconventional, but a deeper dive reveals a lot of the qualities we seek in a great sales rep, whether in an inside or outside role.
Lifelong learning: You need your sales team to continue to learn and grow, and this is second nature for an educator. They’ve spent large portions of their lives studying and learning, typically pursuing at least a Master’s degree. They have to familiarize themselves with new curricula, sometimes annually depending on the whims of school or district administration. You’ll have a great chance of finding someone who’s a quick study.
Presence: A teacher has to be “on” for 6 to 7 hours per day all through the school year. Their presence at the blackboard will translate well into presence at your whiteboard, as will their experience at keeping a skeptical or uncooperative audience engaged. And they’ll find fresh ways to present older material, a plus for any sales rep.
Effort: Someone who’s used to spending entire days on their feet and managing sometimes unruly kids won’t find their energy level challenged by a day of sales calls as an outside rep.
Prep work: If you’ve ever known a teacher, you know the day doesn’t end when the kids go home. That’s when the planning for the next day – or week – begins. Lesson plans = agenda/slide deck for the presentation.
Focus: To drill down even further, we’ve had great success hiring music teachers specifically as sales reps. Think of the lifelong focus and effort that go into mastering one or more instruments, and you know you’re landing someone with exemplary work habits.
If your hiring report card still shows an Incomplete, think about bringing one or more educators on board.