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APRIL 2010

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The Reality of Recruiting
Three shortcuts to building a great agency

The Re-EnergizerBy Jim Ruta, BA, RHU
President, Expert Institute
Director, GAMA International Canada

There’s a reason they’re called “shortcuts”, for they cut out a lot of unnecessary wandering. The great Victorian wit Oscar Wilde once said: “No one lives long enough to make all their own mistakes.” Take this gem to heart and you will save yourself a great deal of time, money, and trouble.

Here are three recruiting shortcuts I learned only after getting lost many times and watching others do the same. Take advantage of our mistakes to get it right the first time – or at least sooner.

  1. Recruits never get any better than they are in the selection process. American autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou once said “When someone shows you what they are like, believe them the first time.” This is ingenious recruiting advice. Recruiting is like dating in that it never gets any better than on the first date. Early in the recruiting process, candidates are supposed to be doing everything they can to impress you. Through their actions and attitude, they are attempting to earn your confidence. Resist making excuses for them. Take them at face value – what you see is what you get. It’s also what their prospects will get. Trust your gut early, for this is the sum total of your recruiting experience talking to you on a subconscious level.

  2. Recruit people you don’t have to convert into a sales person. Advisors, like everyone else, need to sell. So, as soon as you hear yourself saying something like “I can change her”, you’re doomed. If you have to convert a candidate into a sales person, you are taking on too much of a job. You won’t usually get a reasonable return on your investment. Also, be aware that just because once in a while you take on a “project” and win, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. That just sets you up for big losses later. Go with the percentages. They will almost always work to your advantage. What works for “the house” usually works for you. Las Vegas was not built on winners. Ask yourself: “Can this person sell?” If you believe he or she can, you may have a candidate; if not, it’s best to forget about them.

  3. You can't make someone want to. Your expectations and impressions of someone’s potential are useful only if that person realizes it. Unless a person “want to”, they won’t, and unless they love the business, they likely won’t stick to it and you’ll end up losing. To paraphrase my friend and master life coach John Kanary: “There are three things you can’t do. 1 - you can’t climb a fence leaning towards you; 2 - you can’t kiss a girl leaning away from you; and 3 - you can’t make somebody want to.” Self-selection is a strong predictor of future success in this business. Someone who is truly hungry for success is a potential winner. Get them on your side.

There you are – simple and to the point. The more of your business you can commit to powerful shortcuts like these, the more success you will have. It’s not that you can’t be successful otherwise. You can. It will just take longer.

As the late great Freddy D. Donaldson said: “If you can sell one policy, you can sell a hundred. The trick is to squeeze them all into one year.” It’s the same with recruiting. If you can recruit one winner, you can recruit all kinds of them. The trick is to get them quickly.

I think these shortcuts will help.

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