Seller Beware

July 31, 2008

Seller  Beware
By Matt Michel, Comanche Marketing

The ultimate sales job is the job interview.  It’s as personal as selling gets.  If the job is in sales, the interview becomes even more of a sales effort.

We’ve been interviewing people for an entry level sales position for a week.  The successful candidate will get his or her very own, built-in office cubicle in our building in historic Old Town Lewisville (pretty cool location).  The job involves inside sales and customer service.

One of the candidates did particularly well.  He successfully sold several people in the company on his ability to sell.  We were ready to hire him.

Then ran a quick Internet search and found his MySpace page.  Uh oh.

Here’s what he had to say about himself…

“I’m just a regular guy who wants to act. Stage or film, either way I’m fine with it. I enjoy writing also. I have trouble with regular office jobs. The boredom can be overwhelming sometimes and it only makes me want to be acting or writing instead of sitting in a cubicle trying to sell something or dealing with a customer complaint. Now, if I could just start getting paid to act or write I’ll be a completely happy man.”

Until he changes his MySpace page, he’s going to have trouble getting a regular office job.  While we had a good laugh, this does raise a point beyond interviewing. 

What do your employees say about your company or themselves on their blogs, MySpace, or FaceBook pages?  What messages are they communicating?

Don’t become the thought police.  Don’t try to control everything everyone says.  It’s the Internet.  You couldn’t control it if you tried.  Besides, your employees have a right to self-expression. 

Still, your employees are ambassadors for your company in the community.  It is worth a couple of hours checking to ensure the messages they’re sending aren’t detrimental to your company. 

If you find a problem, talk with the employee privately.  Explain how his self-expression can hurt the company, which hurts everyone in the company.


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