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This time I’d like to talk about the silver lining to the large, mostly dark economic cloud that we’re all currently under. That’s right, these times do have a bright side, and that’s the availability of some extraordinary talent (particularly top sales people) in the marketplace. At this point, some companies are cutting their workforce to the bone, having to let go good people, even good salespeople, as they realistically re-project revenues. Successful companies are seizing this opportunity to snap up top talent. Read on for an easy guide to help you do this as well.

Here is the silver lining we’ve been waiting for.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade your sales force. Savvy managers will capitalize on the chaotic economic scene and seize the moment to hire some of the top talent that is out there. Here are the steps to take for you to potentially find yourself a rainmaker:

1. Assess: Honestly and confidentially assess your current team. Knowing that there are performers out there should give you the added security of taking a long, hard look at the numbers. Decide how many and who can be replaced.

2. Search: Confidentially start the search process. Be sure your network, your recruiter, Kemper Associates is one, and anyone involved understands that at this point your search is confidential.

3. Make your choice: Based on the performance metrics of your top performers and your ideal profile for your sales team, hire yourself the top talent you’ll need to get the numbers you need.

4. Make the cuts: First, meet with each member of the sales team who will be staying, to reassure them of their value to the organization. Then proceed with letting your under-performers go. Ask your HR professional for help in this step if you need it.

5. Solidify your team: One thing is for sure: Uncertainty will be with us for a while. It’s critical for you to be sure your new sales team is working at top performance levels. It’s critical that there be no “new” under-performers.

6. Beef up on sales training: If you think your team might benefit from some additional sales training, call your favorite sales trainer, consultant, or sales guru, and get on the waiting list. These guys and gals are going to be very busy, as savvy managers realize that now is the time to ensure their sales team is performing at 100 percent. It’s short dollars for the return on that investment.

See you here next month for our article: “Keeping your interviews legal.”

Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 34 year old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more .His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ web site at: www.Kemperassociates.net , and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.

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