If you’re looking for someone to blow your sales quotas out of the water, military veterans are fantastic sources. These high-achieving go-getters are masters of perfecting sales pitches and work diligently to meet and even surpass their quotas. With each vet I help place with a company, I can’t help but marvel: “The Force is strong with this one!”
Here are five ways the military can help transform your sales force.
1. Vets are Ready, Willing, and Able: Transitioned veterans are willing to learn, pitch, and repeat. Often times, I hear hiring managers say they are looking to hire folks with industry experience. I have to, then, gently remind them that hiring someone with a long track record in the same industry leads to picking people who are going to look at your sales situation through the same set of (tired) eyes. Why would you want to continue with that trend when you have the opportunity to hire someone fresh and who is excited to be trained? Hiring military transitioning vets is a great opportunity for you to teach someone how YOU want YOUR product to be sold. And given a sales pitch, you can be assured a deadline-driven disciplined vet will be raring to go in just a few days or weeks.
2. Vets Are Great At Selling (Themselves and now…your Product): When it comes to selling, vets are absolute pros as they have been selling a product all along…THEMSELVES! When you are in the military and deployed to dangerous war zones, military leaders have to craft plans for missions and detail to their troops how they will get from Point A to Point B. The entire purpose of the Operations Plan is to define the parameters of a mission, accomplish it and get the team back to safely. Military leaders are trained to draft comprehensive plans and be able to pitch it to their troops. Talk about high-pressure sales! You certainly won’t hear a la Princess Leia: “This is some rescue. You came in here, but didn’t have a plan for getting out?”
3. Failure is a Four-Letter Word: Vets are hard-wired to focus on the mission at hand. There is no mission too hard or no number too unattainable. Given this go-getter mentality, vets are incredibly goal oriented. They set goals, achieve them and do it all over again, transforming sales forces into hard-charging achievement machines. They are happy to be competing in and winning more deals for the company.
4. Loyal to the T: We often see that “Bob” the tenured guy gets an offer from a competitor that pays him an extra 10K annually. There is nothing to stop Bob from taking that new position. However, military vets are bound by loyalty to your company because they understand that you took a little bit of risk to hire them in the first place. At a time when enterprises have to deal with the nasty problem of attrition, you can bet the vet will stay put. That is one of the reasons companies come back to us – because they want to hire yet another loyal military guy or gal.
5. They Look Good and Sound Even Better: Every sales team understands there is a certain cache in how your sales guy looks and most companies are appreciative of a vet’s turnout and demeanor; they look good and keep themselves in shape. Not just looking good, vets sound great as well. Military leaders are used to briefing teams of 40 – 100 people in their troops, so when they come in to a meeting with 3 people, they are able to launch effectively into sales mode: looking good, briefing intelligently and selling instead of fumbling. Who doesn’t want a smooth sales machine in their ranks?
We often say that sales forces don’t need yet another sales person, they need leaders.
In our experience, Companies that hire vets often come back to us for more because they promoted the vet they hired and want to see continued growth and success the military brings to their table.
That said, what are you waiting for? Hire vets and may the force be with you!
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