How to Find Qualified Showroom Staff
ABC’s of Recruitment supplied by Falk Plumbing Supply Showroom Manager, Alan Donahue
Realize the value of a good sales force
Salespeople are some of our best profit writers. We are able to keep a good profit margin while makng our customers feel they are getting good value, as many times customers will “upsell” themselves when presented with indepth product information. I am not a high-pressure sales person at all and I don’t train my people to be high-pressure salespeople. If somebody comes in and they have a particular budget and they’re looking for a particular item, we’re going to do our best to make it work. Sometimes it’s an unrealistic expectation but we try to get them as close as possible to their goal.
“Mine” Your Contacts
Always keep your ear to the ground. Often someone is looking to make a change in their job status and sometimes it is just luck. We hired a salesperson that had been a sales rep for one of our lines and was tired of traveling – sometimes we are just lucky. We are not headhunters and we do not steal employees from other companies. I am really fortunate to have a great team of people.
Be a Good Company to Work
For Always present your company as an ethical company that someone would want to work for. Years ago I went to a conference where a large company had a lot of unhappy employees. A good reputation is everything. We are friendly with our competitors and have good relationships with other businesses in this industry.
We are like a family so it makes it easier to retain employees. Savanha, as an example, has been working for us for a long time in Hot Springs, and is an asset, as well as Regan who worked for us before military service but came back after serving.
Look for People Skills vs. Technical Skills
(Donahue had no experience in sales or in plumbing). “Twenty-five years ago, I told my wife I’d do anything as long as it didn’t involve selling,” said Donahue. “So you’ve got to watch about saying never. These folks (at Falk) took a chance on me because I didn’t really have the qualifications. I think Mr. Louis Kleinman cared about qualifications but also about an applicant’s aptitude to be an asset to his organization. It’s been a wonderful ride. Twenty-five years later Donahue is still enjoying his job.
Happy, engaged employees that are knowledgeable about the many product lines wholesalers offer are difficult to find but critical to the success of the showroom business. Shown here are Regan Myers and Crystal Holmes of Falk Plumbing Supply.
Other Articles in this Series
This article appeared as part of the feature story in the June / July 2021 print issue of Southern PHC following a visit with Falk Plumbing Supply at their showroom in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Read more from the feature about their showroom success in the articles Falk Plumbing Supply – Showroom Success and Six Steps to Becoming a Great Showroom Salesperson.