Take them to lunch on Day One. During lunch, tell your new team member why you hired them, and then get to know each other as people.
How sharing with people your reasons for hiring them pays off
I once met a top producing sales manager, Michael, who described his approach to telling a new team member why he hired him. He said, “I told Pete that I had interviewed numerous candidates over the course of several months, many of whom were highly qualified. The reason I selected Pete was because he was the only candidate who demonstrated he had a thorough and effective approach to his pipeline management. Sure, many of other candidates could talk a good game about pipeline management, but Pete had a plan that was proven to work; he managed his pipeline intelligently. Pete was also the most prepared for the interview. He had Googled my name, researched our competitors, read industry blogs, and reviewed presentations about our business on industry association websites. I told Pete that if he kept up those disciplines, I was highly confident he’d be a six figure earner within four quarters.” At the dinner table that night Pete shared with his wife. “Want to know why my new boss, Michael, hired me? He said that I’m the best pipeline manager he has met and that my pre-sales call research was second to none!” To kick off your relationship on a positive note, take each newly hired sales team member to lunch. Ideally, do this their first day on the job. Give people expectations to live up to, and they will. Pete was motivated to manage his pipeline and research prospects like never before. After all, that’s why he was hired!
Get to know people as people
In addition to telling people why you hired them, spend some time during lunch talking about non-business topics. Learn about your new salesperson as a person. What do they do when they are not working? What’s their family situation? Favorite sports team? Where do they like to travel? Eat? Shop? Remember what you hear. When you get to know people as people, you are much better prepared to motivate them. Also learn what their goals are regarding earning money. I met a sales manager who told me that one of his team members, Marie, was saving a portion of every commission check in order to surprise her husband and buy him a new pickup truck with cash. Knowing Marie’s motivation for earning commission checks, the sales manager was able to reference that goal during coaching sessions and motivate her to achieve her goals. Share some personal information about yourself as well. When your team knows you as a person, not just a manager, it’s easier for you to bond as a team.
Comment for the naysayers
I met a sales manager who felt it wasn’t a good idea to get too personal with his team members. He said, “If I go to one team member’s holiday party, then I feel obligated to go to everyone else’s.” My response: go to all the parties. Even if you can only spend a half hour at each, it will show them (and their friends and families) that you value them. If you know your team members as people (and they know you), it’s an overall better working environment. You’ll a better coach, you’ll have more relevant conversations, and you’ll have more fun!
Use this simple strategy; tell newly hired team members why you hired them and get to know your team members as people. Let them see that you’re a person too. You’ll set expectations that team members will be happy to live up to, and your working relationship will be more enjoyable and productive.