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Direct Sales Leadership: 3 Tips For Training Your Team To Recruit

Leadership. Whether you are a leader, or want to be a leader, the first problem you have to resolve is developing a strong, consistent team with a recruiting mindset.

What is YOUR recruiting mindset?

Your team, on the whole, often will mirror your efforts. So if you’re struggling to get bookings, and not asking for help, they will probably do the same thing. If you’re just taking whatever recruits comeknocking on your door, chances are good they will do the same thing.

A recruiting mindset needs to be cultivated, and it begins with the leader in you.

Face it: you can’t build that team if you can’t consistently recruit. Your team can’t grow if your organization can’t recruit. Otherwise, the burden of growth continues to fall squarely on your shoulders – which ultimately means your team may get wide, but will never grow deep.

As a leader, at some point, you’ve got to spend more time on leveraged activities, and less time hand-holding. It makes sense, then to begin your team’s growth by planning for that eventuality.

You probably came into direct sales not expecting to look outside your up-line or national conferences to get your training, but this is one area that’s sorely lacking at every field training event I’ve ever attended: business management skills.

Your team learns by example.

That means if you are running a scattershot business, so will they. If you are focused on picking up table scraps in your business, so will they. It also means that if you set clear boundaries and expectations around what you will and won’t except in your business, so will they. Here are three tips to help you build a recruiting culture within your organization:

1. Set (and enforce) boundaries in your business. whether it’s your clients, hosts, or team members, you need to set firm boundaries around what you accept and expect from those you work with. You train others how to treat you based on what you accept and expect from them. When you regularly recruit anyone with a pulse, then tell them they don’t need to attend the training meetings, they don’t show up. Instead, tell people what you expect of them if they want to be a successful member of your team. Will it turn some people off? Absolutely. That’s when they get the choice of stepping up to measure up to your expectations, or being referred to someone else on your team that wants to work with them.

2. Train your team to be selective (pre-qualify, don’t pre-judge). Most direct sellers are taught to not “prejudge”. There’s a difference between pre-judging and pre-qualifying. When you pre-judge, you decide for the other person whether or not they are a good fit for your business. When you pre-qualify, their actions, behaviors, and direct language gives you a clear indication. You still have to ask them to get confirmation. For example, let’s say someone says they want to be on your team. Your expectation is that consultants on your team will be punctual, well groomed, and prepared for their meetings. This potential recruit shows up late, doesn’t call, and forgot to bring the application. You could already assess that they are probably not a good fit for your team, but if you stop there, you’re pre-judging. Instead, you have to give them the opportunity to decide for themselves by saying something like this:

“On my team, I expect my consultants to be punctual, reliable, and prepared for their meetings. I noticed that today you were late, did not call, and forgot your application. I have a spare, but I’m not convinced, based on your actions, that you are ready to join my team. Before I give you another application, I’d like to talk about this possible issue. If things aren’t a good fit for both of us, I’m always glad to refer you to someone else on my team that might be a better fit.”

You don’t have to accept “just anyone” in your organization. Some of those folks will slip in under the radar anyway — you certainly don’t need to be actively recruiting them into your business!

 3. Be authentically you. I know the word “authentic” has lost some of its meaning in recent years, but what it boils down to is living your truth and doing your best to be a positive example even when you screw up. Stop pretending you’ve got all the answers (or feeling pressured to act like you do). Your team knows that you’re not perfect. They probably see your imperfection more that most. You don’t have to flaunt it, but you don’t need to try to hide it, either. So many consultants look at their leader and feel intimidated because that leader seems to have it all together. On the other side of the coin, remember to give credit where it’s due. You wouldn’t have your big fat paycheck without that big huge team growing underneath you. Yes, you are their leader, and you have a responsibility for their development, but they do a lot of great things without your hand in it, too. Share your accolades generously, accept responsibility appropriately, and live your life/build your business authentically. Sharing your imperfections appropriately gives your team courage to be themselves more fully in their own businesses.

None of these ideas are likely to be new to you. But the sooner you begin to implement them, the better off your team (and your recruiting efforts) will be.