The Worst Salesperson to Hire is the B-Player

Average salespersonThanks to everyone at SMEI Philadelphia for inviting me to speak earlier this week on Creating a Team of A-Players. Scott Messer, leader of Sales Evolution made an insightful comment during the program: the worst salesperson to hire is the B-player. His point? When you hire an A-Player, you know immediately that you have found someone special who will be a great part of and contributor to your business. When you hire a C or D-player, you know immediately that you have made a mistake, and you let them go. But when you hire a B-player, you end up investing way too much time trying to turn them into an A-player, rather than spending more time up front to find the best salesperson.

One of the reasons that I wrote How to Hire A-Players is that I see too many business owners whose mindset remains “I have a position to fill,” rather than, “I have to find the next superior performer for my team.” It’s hard to stay committed to continually finding and hiring the best people. You have to invest more time up front in defining what you want (your A-Player Profile), you have to work harder to uncover more candidates (uncovering hidden pools of talent), and you have to interview more people. When you just look at these up-front costs, it can be hard to get excited about committing to hiring more A-players.

However, when you compare the payoffs of adding a superior performer to your team vs. an acceptable performer, the up-front costs of time and effort disappear in light of the return you will get on your investment. If you’re content to surround yourself with average people, keep hiring the same way you always have. But if you’re ready to take advantage of a buyers’ labor market and systematically surround yourself with talented performers who are also a pleasure to work with, then pay the cost now to find and hire your next A-player.



  1. […] Eric Herrenkohl took some time to chat with us about his book How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don’t Have a Recruiting Department. This was a fantastic interview with great information if you are a business wanting to hire better people.  Eric had some particularly great info for folks looking to hire great sales people. […]

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