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Look For Drive

The Victorian government recently introduced legislation that requires people who want to take a sales position at a real estate agency to first complete a course of 18 units.

In NSW, salespeople can complete a short course and begin working as a salesperson under close supervision but must complete a Certificate IV within four years.

Talk about making it difficult to employ people!

There is no evidence to suggest that this produces a better salesperson. Many of the salespeople and principals who were fined for breaking the law had a full license.

Recruiting is difficult at any time, made harder by these laws. But that is what we must deal with, and our first duty is to obey the law.

When talking to some Victorian, NSW, SA, and NZ leaders, I suggested that we must not only determine whether a potential recruit person has the aptitude and communication skills for a sales position – their ‘Can Do’ score – but we also must look for signs of DRIVE.

Candidates must demonstrate drive. To be legally allowed to work as a salesperson, candidates must study and pass the relevant exams. In NSW, they must do so while they work as a salesperson. That takes time, dedication, and drive.

But that only makes them LEGAL.

LEGAL and COMPETENT are not the same!

None of the legislated courses teach salespeople the skills property sellers need – Marketing, Negotiation, Closing, Question Technique, and Professional Selling Skills.

I suggest that a salesperson’s lack of these skills causes more complaints than a lack of statutory qualifications.

To help salespeople develop professional selling skills, these must be taught in-house. If salespeople are also studying courses to gain their licences, they’re going to be very busy. They must study to be legal AND to be competent.

This illustrates the importance of drive. If your candidates aren’t driven to succeed, they won’t.

There is no point complaining about how hard recruiting is, and how much harder governments have made it. There is nothing you can do about it, so why waste energy complaining about things over which you have no control?

I’ve seen leaders who are so caught up with how hard it is to recruit the right people, that they keep mediocre people – instead of seeking people who are driven to succeed and teaching them how to sell professionally and ethically, while they continue studying for their licences. This is business suicide.

Drive is an intrinsic motivation. So is work ethic. If your candidate has drive, you’re a lot closer to developing your next winner.

Look for drive. Don’t recruit anybody who doesn’t have this quality.

Gary Pittard

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