Why polarization is your friend

If you get on enough calls - of any type, you start to see patterns.

It becomes pretty funny really.

Imagine you’re making your first sales hire.

Founders often worry that they’re going to make a mishire, and accidentally bring on someone who really wants to work at a big company

But 9 times out of 10 you’ll get on a call and one of two things will happen:

  1. The candidate will tell you how excited they are to work at an early stage company. How they want to build processes and be part of the founding team. Often they’ll mention that one day, they want to start their own business. It’s not uncommon that this person has been at a startup that’s grown from 20 to 800 people during their tenure. But they miss the early stage work and team.
  1. The candidate will ask all sorts of questions about quota attainment across the team. What their territory would look like. The sorts of resources that they would have. They want to see proof that they can do well.

Now conventional sales wisdom would be to handle the objections that the second candidate has. 

I think that’s wrong.

All of their questions are legitimate.

But they’re also disqualifying for this role.

This is not the sort of candidate you want to hire as an early member of your team..

One of the factors that I look at when I’m running a search is “interest in stage of company”.

The candidate who’s looking for an org with a history of success isn’t the right person to be your first sales hire.

However, by the time you become a Series B organization, and have a sales team of 15, who are all crushing quota… it’s a great time to add this sort of person to your team.

Good sales advice often pushes for next steps OR a no. There’s no point wasting weeks and months on “maybe’s”. You’re much better getting back out there, looking for people who really want and need what you’re trying to sell.

In the same vein, polarization in recruiting is your friend.

Polarize early. 

Polarize often.

This is another reason I’m such an advocate of an outbound recruiting strategy.

Because you’re going after the exact candidates you want to hire, you can always find more.

You aren’t at the mercy of whoever stumbles across your job posting and then applies. 

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