Finders Keepers — Attracting and Retaining Top Sales Professionals
With “Finders Keepers: Attracting and Retaining Top Sales Professionals,” Russell Riendeau has done what most business authors aspire to but very few actually achieve. He has written a book that is at once easy to read and digest, but whose wisdom lingers long after the final page has passed before the eye.
During his 18 years as an executive recruiter (with nearly 10 years of sales and management experience thrown in for good measure), Riendeau has worked with hundreds of CEOs, from well-established heads of Fortune 500 companies to newly fledged entrepreneurs just getting off the ground. In addition, he has interviewed more than 25,000 successful professionals in the prime of their careers.
Through working in this “virtual laboratory of human behavior and motivation,” Riendeau has gained unique insights into the art and science of attracting and retaining top-level managers and sales professionals. In “Finders Keepers,” he gathers those insights into a short handbook of practical ideas for hiring and holding on to the people who sell your products and services.
Unlike many writers who tend to flog an idea to death with page after page of nebulous theory and unnecessary prose, Riendeau keeps his musings remarkably short and to the point. Each chapter contains one — and only one — key point, which Riendeau covers with punchy, provocative prose based on his own personal experience.
Most chapters begin and end on the same page. The longest barely covers two!
Of Purple Squirrels and Mine Shafts
According to Riendeau, “chasing the purple squirrel” refers to the tendency to pass over good people in pursuit of the perfect candidate. Of course, no such person exists. But far too many managers let very qualified candidates walk out the door in hopes of finding someone who walks on water. Instead, advises Riendeau, set your sights on salespeople who understand the nuances of doing business in your industry and can translate their skills, knowledge and experience to your particular situation.
“Visiting the mine” refers to the practice of keeping in touch with home-based salespeople so they don’t feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the organization. Meeting with your road warriors a few times each quarter, suggests Riendeau, will help to maintain continuity and allow you to diagnose problems and provide coaching and support.
Neil Rackham, author of “SPIN Selling,” thought enough of “Finders Keepers” to write the forward. After reading it cover to cover in one sitting, Rackham called it “splendidly short and sharp, with plenty of practical ideas and no unnecessary padding.”