Building a team is such a hard thing to do. It took me years to get good at this skill. When I did door to door sales, the only way to get out of the “field” (the actual pounding the pavement to knock on doors) was to develop a team of sales people to sell a significant amount of promotional coupons, consistently, for a set amount of time to prove your team wasn’t a fluke.
I started February of 2004 in Malden Massachusetts and had zero people on my team. In July-ish of 2004 I helped Mike McGeown open his office right outside of Baltimore where I added the first person to my team in Mr. Theron Alexander. If you do the math, that’s almost 5 months of going into the office, knocking on doors for 8 hours, often times with an interviewee tagging along for each door (yes, for 8 hours), hoping to add that interviewee to my team, while selling coupon certificates, and failing at both adding to my team and selling.
Without getting into the weeds, just know that I consulted LOTS of people on how to build a team. I asked people who were where I wanted to be in regards to creating a door to door sales team. After months of life changing learning experiences that involved listening and observing I figured out what the top people did.
- First and foremost, they sold a ton of certificates while an interviewee tagged along from door to door for 8 hours. They showed them success.
- They listened more than they talked. It allowed them to learn as much about their future team member as possible. I mean you were walking around with the person for 8 hours.
- They had a compelling story as to why they were knocking on doors and how it would help them achieve their life goals. They were inspiring.
- They were teaching experts. Everyone on the top teams were well taught. It was like they went to the Northeastern (the greatest college in America) of door to door sales.
- They actually told people they WERE NOT good enough to earn the job. Craziness! That blew my mind because I was under the impression you wanted to add anyone and everyone in order to build a large team. Then I noticed the best teams weren’t the largest teams, they were the teams where everyone was focused on becoming great, like their team leader.
When I added Theron to my team, it was the culmination of months of brutal team building education in the door to door sales trenches. Now, some 17 odd years later, I would consider myself to be a team building expert. And I owe it all to that experience.