Rethink How You Hire, Focusing on Growth
You’ve heard this before: Hire people who are smarter than you. We’ve heard it so often that we simply assume we’re hiring the best people possible and in the best way. The wisdom of this concept is sound – hiring great team members gives you more capacity to capture new opportunities – but if you look at your list of new hires, how many of them were, in fact, smarter than you?
In our work with MSPs, our conversations are always growth-driven, so while our focus is on prospecting and sales, our approach naturally leads us to discuss the business factors that support that growth, such as efficiency, capacity and performance. Though looking outward to increase profits via new clients is natural, we often discover that the potentiality of an MSP is actually capped from within.
For example, I have encountered:
- A salesperson who will not make cold calls.
- An advertising manager bringing in bottom-of-the-barrel clients by the boatload.
- An internal team lead who singlehandedly poisoned the client retention rate.
Yes, more leads could bring more clients through your front door, but what’s happening inside the building? Are your people the best fit for their positions and the company? Are the people you hired moving forward or are they poking holes in the ship?
In truth, we often don’t hire the smartest people we can out of a sense of self-preservation. We might say we want to be challenged, but when it actually comes to someone telling us we are wrong, we feel threatened, so we find ways to hide from our own insecurities. If we don’t hire people smarter than we are, we never have to feel stupid, and we always get to be right. Unfortunately, this will also kill your business.
Effective hiring is one of the most reliable ways to prime the growth of your business. What many business owners fail to see is how effective hiring also helps them to grow as individuals. When you hire someone smarter than you, you should welcome the idea of that person being your replacement. Maybe not today, but if one year from now that new hire has done such great work that you can hand off your current workload to them so that you can focus on even bigger objectives, that’s exciting!
When many MSPs get their start, they are small operations of one to three people. As the clients come in, you can delegate. If you own the business, perhaps you hand off the day-to-day client management to focus on sales. Once you bring in a stellar salesperson who begins to grow a sales team, you can shift your focus again to high-level business activities where your role as CEO is looking to the future and building an environment that brings the best out of your already excellent people.
That idea can be both exciting and scary because to get there you have to jump a chasm, to borrow a now-classic business adage. You have to embrace some growing pains to get to the other side. But, if you agree that you are most valuable to the business if your time is more effectively applied, your best path forward is likely to hire your replacement.
For that hire to work, though, they can’t just be as good as you. They have to better. When that happens, you become better as well, and everyone accomplishes more for the business.
Brad Stoller is working to change how MSPs look at their sales processes. He authors articles, provides video instruction for MSP sales tips, and holds sales-related webinars to help MSP owners, managers and sales personnel. As the national director of business development at The PT Services Group, Brad has interviewed hundreds of MSP owners to develop a new way of focusing on quality, first-time appointments and sustainable, exponential growth. Follow him on LinkedIn.