How to Find, Hire and Retain Your Best Sales people


Michael Cheney

Michael Cheney is the CEO of the Persogenics Corporation and a professor at the Brigham Young University School of Social Work teaching in the Masters program. Professor Cheney developed the Persogenics system thirty years ago and is an internationally respected authority in the field of human behavior.

Prior to his work with Persogenics, Cheney worked his way up from Outside Sales Representative to Vice President at Automatic Data Processing (ADP). During his 10-year tenure with ADP, Cheney won the #1 ranking in the company EVERY year for exceeding sales goals by up to 248%! Not only was he a consistent performer, but Cheney mentored and led his sales teams and their respective staffs to the #1 ranking within the company as well. In true leadership style, Michael Cheney raised his people to the top of their performance abilities and ensured their success as well as that of the company. The result was not only significant profitability to the company as well as the teams he led, but the integrity, character and quality of his staff became role models for the entire organization.

Webinar Transcript

Brenda: Michael Cheney is the CEO of the Persogenics Corporation and a professor at the Brigham Young University School of Social Work, teaching in the master's program. Professor Cheney developed the Persogenics system 30 years ago and is an internationally respected authority in the field of human behavior.

Prior to his work with Persogenics, Cheney worked his way out from the outside sales representative to vice-president at Automatic Data Processing, ADP. During his 10-year tenure with ADP, Cheney won the number one ranking in the company every year for exceeding sales goals by up to 248%. Not only was he a consistent performer, but Cheney mentored and let his sales teams and their respective staffs the number one ranking within the company as well.

In true leadership style, Michael Cheney raised his people to the top of their performance abilities and ensured their success as well as that of the company. The result was not only significant profitability to the company as well to the teams he led, but the integrity, character and quality of the staff became role models for the entire organization. And now, please welcome to Elevate 2015, Mike Cheney.

Michael: Thank you for that introduction, Brenda. It's my pleasure to be here today. I hope those of you who are listening to this webinar will find value in what I'm going to talk about. The good news is I'm only going to talk for 30 minutes, which means that I've got to stay focused and get you what you need to know.

What we're going to talk about today is the science of hiring, and in that process of hiring people, we better know how to communicate with them after we get them on board because if we don't, they don't always stay, and yet here we've spent all this time and money finding them. So as you already know, I'm Mike Cheney and the good looking guy on your screen is me. Next slide, please.

Here are some things that you need to know. "Choosing the wrong candidates is going to cause you to pay a heavy price," a quote from Harvard. And it's true and here's why. All of you who are in the management role who have done any hiring know that the most difficult thing is making sure that you've hired the right person.

It's pretty easy to check their skill set. You can do it through the resume checking. You can do it through contacting their people that they've worked for, to find out what kind of skills they have. But the hardest part of all is are they a good fit for your company? Not just the job, but do they fit the culture?

And so what we encourage companies to do today is to look beyond the resume as a means of determining whether you should hire somebody. You need to look at other things that are more important.

Now, today's challenge is for sales managers and executives within a company really has to do with hiring. The interesting thing here is to give you a step that is absolutely true, and that's this step. There are three reasons why a person who goes to work at a company will leave within six months to a year of being hired.

Here is the number one. They were offered a new position somewhere that was more than 14% of an increase in their earnings. Number two is they did not like their manager. And number three is, "The job just didn't fit me."

I'm not going to address the first one because I can't do anything about that with you. But I would like to talk about the other two. Why does someone not get along with their manager? Here we've gone through the effort of hiring the right person, matching their skills, thinking they're a good fit for our company, and they don't fit the manager.

Oftentimes, that's because, the manager does not communicate well with the new hire. Or sometimes, it's actually the organization itself is not prepared to bring new people on and get them launched in a positive way. If you are in a situation where you have new people coming on, and you want to make sure that they get through the ramp in a successful way, and decide that they're in the right place, the manager is going to have to connect with them on some level. So managers, I'm going to talk a little bit about how you connect with your people once you've hired them.

Right now, let's stay focused on just the hiring process and look at some of the things that affect it. Here is the industry trends. Employees, retention of employees is the number one problem for a sales manager. Granted, there's a problem with hitting quota, there is making sure we do all these things.

But the retention is the killer. The reason it's the killer is you spent the time and the money to educate them, bring them up to speed, and then if they are one of those two questions, don't like my manager or the job just doesn't fit me even though I have the skills for it, then we have lost a lot of money and a lot of time. We've got to turn right around and do it all over again.

Eighty percent of turnover among new hires, new hires being those within the six month to a year window, happens to be one of those things that happens because we were either in a hurry, we didn't think about how would we match them to our culture, and have we give them enough information about our culture and about this job and its nature for them to feel comfortable. So we are looking at how do we reduce turnover. Well, I probably wanted to tell in here that it cost you a lot of money.

The rule of thumb that is bantered about among the HR world is that it costs you about two and a half times your salary of the person you've paid them. That is an absolute true statement, but it's just a portion of what it cost you. You have to be aware of that you are ramping them up, they have a quota, they're in the learning curve, and there's certain numbers they need to hit because those numbers correspond to you the executive and your numbers.

So if the turnover rate is too high, not only are you losing the productivity of the new hire, but you're having to lose it because you've got to turn around and start over again from a lower ramp to get to where you need. It does affect your quotas.

And one of the things that we have to look at that's important is is there a solution to turn over. And I want to suggest to you that there is. Here is what you need to look for. You need to find a methodology that will allow you to determine the, and I'm going to use several words here because they were used in lots of ways but they're all kind of being the same thing, you have to know the personality of the job. Another word would be the nature of the job, the culture of the job.

If you can't get that defined, then you are already missing out on 50% of making sure, you got the right employ. Without that kind of information in play, you have to guess whether they will fit your culture. Most people who come for an interview are prepared for that interview, especially a sales interview. They already kind of know the questions that are going to be asked. They're prepared, and they're certainly not going to be totally candid if they're weak in some area.

Well, if you know the job's nature, you can ask questions they're you're not prepared for. You can ask questions about, "How do you do this function? Do you like this function? If you were in a situation like this, how do you handle that before? Or an even better question is tell me about somebody you've worked with who does this really well," whatever this is. And that "this" is a part of that culture.

And as they describe to you how they do that, how they've observed somebody doing that, then asking the follow-up question which is "Tell me how you do that." And if they do do that, and that's what you're looking for, you got the write person on that set of what you're trying to identify. So you have to ask the right questions, behavioral questions.

Now, let's talk about the next thing. Do jobs have personalities? So the answer to that question is they absolutely do. There aren't any of you who aren't sitting there that had had a job that you were well-qualified for but didn't work out and you get all done with it, one of the statements you probably said was, "It just didn't fit my nature," or in other words, "It didn't fit my personality," or "I thought I liked the job. Everything seemed right. I got the skills. But boy, it just didn't feel right." Well, that's because it didn't match who you are internally. Personalities are very succinct, positive, deep part of every individual.

And so we have a tremendous amount of personality assessments that are being sold into our industries trying to help us select good people, the right people for jobs. But if all they're doing is selecting the personality, they've still missed out on that other half I just got through talking about.

There are two things you have to look at. The personality of the person, the personality of the job, and then the nature of the job, and the nature that that person likes to work in, the environment they are most comfortable at. If you can match those things up, long-term employees are the result.

In our organization, we have refer to these as the dominant patterns, expressive patterns, analytical patterns, amiable patterns. And the study that's been done, Dr. Gordon Allport at Harvard was in charge of the HR or the Psychology Department for years, and he had a close relationship with a man by the name of Dr. Forchini. The two of them developed the first personality assessments that were done in the 1930s and early '40s. Most of the companies out there today that use a personality assessment is a spinoff from their studies, their original studies that they did.

Now, those studies were all linear, and this is important for you to understand because a linear assessment means that it can tell you the group you belong in, but they can't tell you the degree to which you use that pattern in whatever they're measuring, whether it be sales or service or client relations or whatever area that you're trying to determine the personality of. So be sure that when you look for a personality assessment, get a weighted assessment, one that tells you the degree to which they'll do these various things. That's going to be important for your success in hiring the right person.

Now in the world of personalities, here's a breakdown, you need to understand. Nineteen percent of the population are what we call expressives. That means that these people like to talk and lead and they're most comfortable when they can be of an expressive nature. Twelve percent of the population is what we refer to as dominant. These folks are most comfortable where they can be focused on a task, getting it done, telling others what they'd like to have done, and getting them to do it.

Thirty-two percent of the population is what we refer to as analytical. That's a big number. You have to realize that it's a significant number for the following reasons. This is the personality that likes order. This is the personality that likes things to go from A to B to C. This is the personality that doesn't make mistakes. Why don't they make mistakes? Because before they say, they're going to do something. Before they act on something, they've already thought it through. They have the answers before taking the action.

The other group is the amiables, 37% of the population is made up of this. Now, this is the group that gets it all done. I have to be careful when I talk about this group because sometimes, one of you happens to be amiable, you may think I'm sliding you here. I'm not. Amiables are kind of the key to teams working well.

They're the key to organizations' longevity. They're the ones that they get things in play, they like to keep them going. So this is your foundation. These are your folks that make sure everything is working well, with information is being done correctly, we're making right decisions, we have the right people, we're resolving conflicts. They are the team portion of an organization. Very important to you.

So you've got 12% dominant, 19% expressive, 32% analytical, and 37% amiable. Now those numbers, you've probably not heard before, because if you have used personality assessments, you've probably heard the old numbers from the '50s and '60s that they're still using, which says that 25% of the population is dominant, 25% is expressive, 25% is amiable, 25% is analytical. Any of you who know anything about numbers would realize there is no such breakdown that even among the group of people.

So the numbers that I've given to you are significant for you to know. Here is why they're significant for you to know. In our organization, the majority of our closers that sell our products are made up of dominants and expressives. The clients relationship people are made up of expressives and amiables. So within an organization, you do need all your patterns, but they need to be in the right job to be able to do their very best work.

Let me give you a little example of some people you might recognize. If you're looking at the screen, you're seeing Steve Jobs. He is strictly the dominant, dominant world. Now, he is getting a lot of good press and a lot of bad press. The good press that he gets is a lot of people are quoting him, throwing pictures around of him on books and articles about leadership. Well, that's because, he got things done and he was successful, and so we want to look at people like that, and try to emulate their processes, what they do.

That's going to be difficult to do because Steve is a dominant, dominant. He was a dominant, dominant, and that's only 19% of the population. And let's face it, one of the reasons he was successful wasn't just because he was the leader of the company, it's because he had others of other patterns, and other patterns of communication that made sure that the things he wanted done got done.

Now another person you might want to look at and remember...let me add one more thing to that. He was always interested in results and the controlling of how that all got there. So that's a dominant pattern. It's very natural for them.

The next pattern I would like to talk about. You'll recognize and work from...boy, I am drawing a blank here. I don't know why I am. I'm getting a clue from somebody.

Audience: Facebook.

Michael: Facebook, I'm sorry. Mark is an expressive. If you ever watched him talk, his hands are moving. He jumps around. He goes from one thought to another. He goes big picture, he goes small. This is the expressive pattern. He is perfect for the kind of company that he developed because that company is very digital, very open, very people-oriented. And that's what he is, he's relationship-oriented. Big picture, that's how he talks. If you ask him to get it down to the leads and do the details, nah, he's not too good at that. He relies on other patterns to do that for him.

The next person you're going to recognize is Marissa Mayer at Yahoo. She is very analytical in her nature. She leads with that. She is structured. She is organized. She brings to that organization the processes, and doing things right, and getting them done right the first time. That's her nature.

Then here's one you're going to recognize that's a great example is Walt Disney. Walt Disney was very much an amiable pattern. For him, it was he liked to work with people he trusted. He liked to work in an environment that didn't have conflict. That's amiable pattern. So there's a few other people, and here's one of my favorites, that's because he's the president, or he's actually the CEO of our company here at InsideSales, that's David. And he is interested in results and control, and I can guarantee that's what he's interested in.

And we have one more person here who's the co-founder with David and that is Ken Krogue. And Ken is an expressive dominant, and he is interested in relationships and helping people see the big picture. He's extremely good at being able to explain to others the vision of what this company is all about and where it's going and how it's going to get there. And that's because he's expressive. He fits that role really well.

Remember, a moment ago, I talked a little bit about what we have in our organization, and these are our closers. This is how that percentage breaks out of the expressives and dominants. And then we have our computer programmers. You'll notice that the majority of them have an analytical nature. And that's good they do because they have to do things right the first time. They like that environment. That's the way they think. Pretty good person to have in the computer ranks.

Plus the second trait that we see and there is the amiable who likes to make sure things are working for everybody. So not only are they interested in detail, they're also interested in making sure that we're solving others' problems, taking care of people.

Customer account managers, for us, this is how it breaks out, 70% of them are expressive. Why would that be? Well, because the account managers are taking care of the clients. If they got a problem, they're answering their questions. They're calling to make sure things are good. They're trying to see if there's anything they need. People who love doing that kind of work are expressives. And they enjoy helping other people, being a part of it, talking to them on the phone. That's a natural. And the majority of our people who do this product are of an amiable nature.

Let's talk a little bit about when you do hire somebody. When they come on board, you need to know very clearly what pattern they favor when they communicate in a work environment. And one of the things that you need to also know is that what people do at work, their first five days at work are not always the same personality at home or after work or another environment. Sometimes, it is, but it's not always.

So it's important that you have a better feel or a good feel for, if I have to work with these patterns, what are just a few things that will make a difference, especially when I hire one of them and they come on board, what kind of things are they going to be looking for, that define their manager that brings them into our company, that makes them feel like they're in the right place and they've made a good decision.

So let's give you a little information about that. If for some reason or another you have been able to find an assessment that measures the nature and culture of the job that you're hiring for, and it turns out that that job really needs to have a dominant pattern as one of the major characteristics to be happy in that position, you need to understand that this is a group of people, that they live their lives focusing on the bottom line. In other words, if I'm talking with somebody else, I'm not a chitchat kind of person. I'm more of the person who wants to just get it done.

So if I have a question and I'm a new employee and I'm dominant, I go right to the point. If you're my manager, I don't expect you to sit and chitchat with me and then we have a great old time. After work's fine, but during work, I want to work. So if I have a question, I come in and ask you. Sometimes, you might wonder if I'm upset with you if you don't happen to be a dominant because I'll come in and just say, "Look, I'm going to do such and such unless you tell me otherwise," and if you don't respond quickly, they'll assume that means yes and they'll go back to their office doing what they thought they were going to do anyway without your input.

So if you have a dominant and you've hired him and they're the right person for that job, you have to be prepared to give them answers to things quickly. If you don't have an answer, you have to be just as clear and as direct as can be. "No, that can't be done and here is the reason why. I don't know why. I can't authorize that now. Let me give that some thought. I'll get back to you in an hour." You've always got to deal in very succinct bottom line kinds of statements for the dominant to respect you as your manager.

Let's talk about the expressive pattern. The expressive pattern is interested in relationships. Yes, I come to work because I love the job, but one of the things I love about the job is I get to work with people. I like the people I work with. If my job is on the phone, I like talking to the people that are on the phone. I find a lot of good things happen just listening to people's voices, and figuring out what their needs are, and explaining to them why our product will meet their needs.

Expressives are interested in building relationships within the office. They very much are the ones that notice when people aren't up. They're the ones that walk around and say, '"Come on, hey, how are you feeling today?" They seem to have, kind of jokingly, I hope this is all right to say, but sometimes you look at them, you go, "I wonder what they're on." They're on life. Expressives of positive. They don't like the negative. That relationships, "Let's all work together. Let's get going. Let's be excited. Let's make things happen."

That's our expressive patterns. Sometimes, they are perfect for a sales position depending on whether it requires relationships. If the sales position or the sales product you're selling doesn't require much relationship, but does require a lot of facts and data, they will have a little more difficult time doing that process because it is natural to them. It doesn't mean they can't learn, but you might want to consider instead another person, for that job might be more of an analytical.

Let's talk about the analytical for a minute. This is a group that is process-oriented. Analyticals don't like making mistakes. To them, the most important thing is anything worth doing is worth doing right. Must do it right the first time. So they're the ones that we often look at and wonder what they're thinking because they divulge what they're thinking easily. They kind of let it out a little at a time.

And they don't do it by telling you something as much as they do it by saying, "Well what would you think if we did it this way," or "Why are we thinking that's the right way?" They ask these questions, and actually what they're doing is asking the question to hear a response, and then to measure that response again with what they know will or will not work right the first time.

So with this group of people, you've got to be prepared to answer questions. You've hired an analytical, they're going to ask you questions. You have to be prepared to answer them in some detail. If you can do that, well, that new analytical that you've hired, they are going to work well. They're going to like the job because they get what they need from their manager.

Let's talk about the amiable. Amiables, if you have hired an amiable because they're the right person for a position that you have them coming to, this is the group of people that when you first spring them on the board, you're going to hold their hands more than any of the other patterns because this group does not like conflict. They don't like making mistakes. They don't like to look bad in the eyes of those they work with, especially a new manager.

So what they're interested in doing is making sure that before they take action, before they voice an opinion that's going to be contrary to the company, they've had time to think it through, they've had time to figure out what is the right thing to say here that will work for everybody. So this group builds everything on trust. If you're their manager, you've got to be very careful to never promise something that isn't going to happen.

This is the group that never forgets. If you say, "Oh, yeah, I don't see any reason why we can't make that happen." What that really means is, "Well, I'd like for it to happen, but I don't know that it will."

So the answer really should be, to an amiable, "I cannot tell you that I can make that happen. Here's what I will do, I will go and see if we can get permission, or get this changed, or get authorization for this, and I'll let you know." That's the way you handle the amiable. To give them the slightest suggestion that it's okay without absolutely knowing that it is will only destroy your ability to be their manager because they won't trust you.

All right. Well, that's quite a bit of information in relationship to these patterns. So let's go back and summarize a few things. Hiring is a problem. You must learn to match the applicant to the position you're hiring for. You must figure out and have some way to help the new manager of the new applicant or the new employ to understand how to communicate with each other.

You will need to make certain that the job is defined in a way and is prepared for them so that they know how to measure their success by their nature. And the nature is the dominants wants to know what the bottom line is. The expressive wants to know the big picture, what are all of the things you're expecting of me, what is it going to look like when I deliver it.

The analytical wants to be able to say, "I just want you to available to answer my questions, and I may ask you the same question more than once, but don't let up because what I'm trying to do is get further and deeper into what their answer is before I can move ahead."

And if there are amiable, they are going to be same things to you like, "Would it be all right if we did this? Have we ever thought about doing this? How would you feel if we were to go ahead and offer this kind of a pricing or a discount or this kind of an offer?" This is a group that kind of asks for permission before taking action.

So in the process of hiring, you've got to match the person to the job, you've got to match the person to the manager. Now, some of you are going to say, "Wait a minute Mike, you can't do that." You're right. You can't. So manager has to be taught a skill. The skill they have to learn is how do I manage a dominant, how do I manage an expressive, how do I manage an analytical, and how do I manage an amiable?

And if you don't know that and you're a manager listening to this, you've got to find that out. Because if you understand their nature, then they will work better, harder, and they'll have more success, they'll stay longer, and you'll be happy with the results.

Now some of you are probably know, you've all taken the assessments before. Some of you have probably taken Myers-Briggs, a DISC, a PI, a colors, an animal, a numbers, there is all kinds of assessments out there, and they're pretty good being able to give you a category.

But if you'd like to take an assessment that'll really measure your nature and tell you the degree to which you will do the various things I've been talking about, we've gone ahead and made one available to you for free, and you try it here at the end of this presentation.

It tells you what to do and there's a code for you to go in. Take the assessment, it will take you about 15, 20 minutes at the most. And when you're all done, you'll get a 12, 15-page report. Print it off, save it, whatever you'd like to do.

But it tells you a lot of good things about not only who you are and your pattern, but it also tells you about the strengths that you have, and how they can work for you or against you in your position, whatever it might be. It will also give you some ideas on how things that you do that you probably are aware of that hurts you in your ability to be a manager or a salesperson or a leader.

It'll actually make some suggestions of how you and your pattern can do some things that you can do that will help you be more successful at communicating them at the hiring process.

So with all of that said, I want to thank you all for taking time to listen to this. I always wonder how many people are really going to listen, but if you did, I hope you enjoyed it. I hope that you'll take some time to do your assessment. I think you'll find it interesting. Feel free to contact me or get a hold of me at any of my locations. I'm happy to help you in any way that I can. Thank you again, and I thank BambooHR for inviting me over to speak. Have a great day.