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After much effort, thought and evaluation, you have arrived at a decision about the candidate(s) that you want to hire. Now you must find out if the person wants to take the position and is available to do so. After all, the candidate may have accepted another offer in the interim while you or your hiring team are interviewing other candidates, or decided that this was not the job for him or her.

Usually, you call the candidate before sending a formal offer of sales employment. This allows you to confirm that the person still wants the job. This conversation also introduces the person to the expectations you may have of them. Right at the beginning of the conversation, ask the candidate, “Do you still want the job?” If the answer is yes, then go ahead with the offer. Be formal about it, as it is an important moment for both of you and should be acknowledged with respect and dignity. For example, you can say, “I formally offer you the position. Here is the description of the compensation plan and the proposed start date.”

In your conversation with the candidate, be direct and state some of the things that you personally want to see, “Here’s what’s important to me . . . only accept the job if you’re comfortable with this.” For example, you might say to the person that being on time for meetings is particularly important to you. Being late is completely unacceptable and you hope that they are comfortable adhering to this code of punctuality. Saying this not only warns the person of circumstances that may be difficult for them to work in, but if they accept the position they will tend to be on time without taking offense to your approach.

Presenting this type of preview to candidates helps to give them extra guidelines for doing the job well, and helps to reduce disciplinary conversations that may follow. If the candidate declines, ask for the reason. It is possible that a misunderstanding occurred and has gone unnoticed, or the candidate could be misinformed about part of the job that is important to him or her. This is an opportunity for you to make sure that no such misunderstandings exist.

The formal job offer usually takes the form of a letter to the candidate. In this letter, mention all the essential information:

  • Job title
  • Responsibilities and performance expectations
  • The reporting structure
  • Compensation description
  • Special agreements (time off, vacation days, etc.)
  • Location
  • Starting date

Often, people ask for time to think before making a decision. Give them a few days to make up their minds, but a week is too long. Also, your candidate may begin to negotiate. This is also acceptable. The letter of employment needs to be signed back to the employer before the start date of the new salesperson.

About the Author:

The Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) is a national organization of 30000 sales and marketing professionals. Members receive significant savings on travel, business costs and more. The CPSA also offers exclusive sales training and certification programs.



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