I just finished a full day of onboarding a new salesperson for a client of mine.
This is now the third time in a row that this company, a small entrepreneurial firm, has attracted top talent from its large, national competitors. And they did it not by offering more money than the competition. In fact, initial compensation in each case was lower than all three of these talented reps were currently being paid.
How did they do it? One word: culture.
Quite simply this company is a great place to work. Not just the so-called “soft skills” of camaraderie and teamwork, but also the “hard skills” of market penetration and profit sharing. Not to mention a reputation of unquestioned integrity.
If you’re familiar with my work in any way, you would know that I believe one of the most important investments you can make in your company is an investment in changing its culture. The most brilliant strategy and the most inspired plan is dead on arrival if it’s delivered to a company whose culture is broken. Culture is the context that determines the quality of all actions within an organization.
Culture trumps everything.
And here’s another reason why culture is so important. Hiring. When a company has a culture that’s vibrant and alive; when the business is truly a great place to work, great people want to work there. Culture becomes a magnet for talent. Talent that will come readily and willingly, and often at a lower price.
If you’re having a hard time hiring good salespeople, or keeping the ones you have, look in the mirror. The answer lies in the kind of culture you’re creating at your company.
It’s as simple, and as challenging, as that.