Just because you are the new, proud owner of a business opportunity or franchise doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a natural born salesperson. You know what? That’s okay. There is another option than your having to do all the lead follow-up, management and closing yourself. You can hire someone to do it for you.
Whether you choose to hire someone on as a full-time or part-time employee or even if you hire an independent consultant is entirely up to you. However, there are significant differences in what your approach will mean to your business and its bottom line that you should be aware of.
For example, let’s say you want to hire an employee whose primary job it will be to receive leads from various sources―BusinessOpportunity.com, for example―and then manage the sales process on your behalf from start to finish. Great idea, right? Not so fast. Hiring an employee comes with a whole host of responsibilities, both personal and financial.
First there’s the issue of training. If you’re not a salesperson, how are you going to train someone else to do what you can’t? Sure, the person you hire might have tons of sales experience, but you’re still going to need to verse them in everything that pertains to your products or services and how to pitch them effectively. Not that you can’t, but are you willing and able to take the time to do it right?
Second, having an employee means you have to pay their taxes, worry about providing them with benefits, collect their Social Security contributions and manage all of the overall paperwork that goes along with being a boss. Many home-based and other small business owners are the size that they are for the very reason that they don’t want that kind of responsibility.
Third, it’s not worth hiring an employee if you can’t keep that person busy during an entire workday. Does the number of leads coming in constitute a full-time job? If not, you may want to hire someone only part-time, but that can be a tough order to fill in its own right.
Okay, so your next option might be to consider hiring an independent sales consultant to close your leads. Another great idea, but it’s one that comes with its own positives, as well as potential pitfalls.
If you hire a salesperson who is acting as an independent contractor, you’re also going to need to train them on the ins and outs of your products and services. However, you’re hiring an experienced professional for the distinct reason that he or she already has the proven and necessary skill set when it comes to managing the sales process, so that’s a huge plus.
Additionally, a consultant is not an employee, which is a real positive when it comes to the financial implications for your business. Hiring an outside sales professional means all you’ll have to do at the end of the year is provide that person with a 1099 that reflects their total earnings with your company. He or she does the rest. There’s no onus on you to track their earnings, pay their taxes, file their Social Security contributions or do much of anything else on the administrative front for that matter, other than process their paychecks in a timely manner.
However, hiring a consultant does have some downsides. For instance, that person is not wholly yours to control. They may also be managing leads for and selling products and services on behalf of your competitors. If that’s the case, you need to know. Conflict of interest can be a very big problem when you hire out to an independent sales consultant, so beware. It’s an unfortunate dynamic, one that you will need to manage very closely.
The fact is that there are a whole host of options for even the most novice entrepreneur to consider when it comes to managing leads and the overall sales process. The trick is to know what all of them are and then make the best decision possible based on your business’ short and long-term goals.