64% more sales? What difference does one person make?

64% more sales? What difference does one person make?


I have always been an advocate for finding and rewarding a great employee. As the People consultant who I worked with years ago was fond of saying, “it’s never the wrong time to hire the right person.”

And I have examples from personal experience in my family business and at clients who found that the right person can make a huge impact on the work environment, productivity, sales and ultimately profit.

But I want to share an astounding story related recently by a woman entrepreneur who is in one of my business groups.

For months, she was frustrated with the results of the manager in her production operation.

Her business coach continued to advise her to recruit and select another manager, but as we all know, recruiting and selection is TIME CONSUMING. And you worry that the person you finally hire may not be any better than the person you have. And then you have to spend time training the new person…. And the list goes on, so we stall and don’t go looking for the Ideal.

At some point she decided that maybe she would at least look for another candidate, so created a profile of the ideal candidate (Lesson 1– do this before recruiting so that you are attracting the Ideal Candidate).

Then she made a list of the job performance results she really needed, key skills and competencies of an ideal production manager. She said that when she systematically wrote this out, it was not what she was originally thought she needed! (Lesson 2 by systematic and clear about your Ideal Candidate.)

Then she placed a local advertisement describing the ideal candidate and the very detailed position requirements and results.

Who applied?- an applicant who was working at a similar larger production facility that had just closed. She interviewed this candidate and found out that he had the industry skills and knowledge, but more importantly management and leadership skills. After a thorough selection process, she was confident this candidate had a good probability of being an A player. (Lesson 3– Validate, don’t just take someone’s word for their capabilities after one interview.)

Fast forward one month after he started to this business results:

  • the crew increased from 55% productivity (plus overtime to get orders out) to 100% productivity with no overtime
  • the process was running so smoothly the backlog of 2 weeks to get orders shipped dropped to 2 days
  • because she was able to contact customers (instead of putting out fires in the production and shipping area) she sold 64% more sales that month!

And how much more did she pay this new manager? The same as the prior one. Even if he wanted 15% more base pay —would he have been worth it? (Did I mention 64% more sales?)

Lesson 4– So you say you don’t have time to find an A player, and you can’t afford one? What would 10% more productivity or sales do for your profit this year?

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