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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Set Your New Hire Up For Success: How to Build the Kind of Relationship That Will Lead to Stronger Sales Performance

sales-manager-training-new-sales-hire-347801-editedThis is the second post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can view the previous post on maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses here. 

The very best managers I work with understand the importance of growing solid, working relationships with their people, and they start working on those relationships even before their new hire’s first day on the job. Not all managers take this approach - many people feel their boss does not care about their success. According to a recent Monster poll, 72% of respondents said they do not feel like their manager or supervisor is interested in their job growth. Yet, caring about people and developing good working relationships with direct reports, is one of the best ways to boost sales performance.  

Here are three great ways to show you care about your new hire and make sure they feel welcome from the moment they accept their job offer.

1. Create a Pre-Boarding Plan

Pre-boarding is the time between hiring your new employee and when they start.  A good pre-boarding plan lets your new hire know what to expect on their first day and helps them feel connected to the team right away. CSS VP and Senior Consultant, Kurt Sima, recently shared this list of pre-boarding tips:

  • In the time after you hire the new employee and before their first day, you should let your team know a few interesting facts about their new team member, why they were hired, and the role they will play.
  • You might also consider sending your new hire a friendly note or welcome messages from their teammates.
  • Also, let them know where to go on the first day and provide them with any paperwork that can be completed ahead of time.
  • Let the team know a new seller will be starting. An email sent to your current team introducing the new seller is a nice touch. 

2. Ask Questions That Will Help You Individualize Your Approach 

Complete a questionnaire like the Individualized Management Questionnaire that will help you tailor your coaching to your new hire and get them what they need to be successful. This should be done in the first 90 days. 

During this time, you should ask questions about your new hire’s talents and interests, goals and expectations, and what type of relationship they expect to have with you.  

Here are a few good questions to ask: 

  • What did you enjoy most about your previous job?
  • And what did you like least about it?
  • What do you hope to be doing three years from now?
  • What do you think I expect of you during the next year?
  • What do you expect of me during the next year?
  • How can I help you to be at the top of your game… to be highly productive, day in and day out?
  • Imagine for a moment, that you were managing you: What would be your top three priorities for managing you? For making you the best “you” that you can be?
  • And what three things would you be careful to avoid?
  • What motivates you to achieve goals?
  • Are you the kind of person who will tell me how you feel... or should I ask about your feelings?
  • How often do you need to hear from me about how you’re performing in your job?

Asking these types of questions can give you great insight into how your new hire likes to be managed and what they need to be successful. Once you ask the questions, it’s smart to create a few coaching strategies based on what you learned.  

3. Allow Your New Hire to Learn About You 

Schedule one-on-one time with your new hire over coffee or lunch with the purpose of allowing your new hire to “interview” you. Ask them to come armed with questions that will help them learn about your style as a manager and how to best work with you.  

Let your new hire know the most important things about your work and management style. How do you like to communicate? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What is important to you inside and outside of work? Be ready to open up about yourself and give your new hire the valuable information they need to know in order to best work with and interact with you. 

Including relationship-building strategies in your pre-boarding and onboarding plans sends the message to your new hire that you care about their success. This can have a positive impact on their sales performance and help you retain them on your team.

This is the second blog in a four-part series focusing on setting your new hire up for success. Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how to set your new hire up for success by giving detailed feedback that will help them up their game!

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Topics: hiring salespeople developing strengths