Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:November 26th, 2007 07:06 EST
Be on the Lookout for Talent

Be on the Lookout for Talent

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)


Some of the best salespeople I`ve ever hired have come to me when I was a patron dining at a restaurant. It`s my experience that waiters, waitresses, hosts and hostesses who work at restaurants are actually businesspeople who are dying to be discovered. High school baseball players are on the field every day hoping that a scout will notice them and draft them into the big leagues. Actors and actresses work in small playhouses hoping that they`ll be noticed and scouted by someone who`s recruiting for Broadway. Similarly, entrepreneurs have to be on the lookout for the best talent that they can find in the marketplace.

Great sales talent and people who have the potential to be excellent customer service representatives or business developers are frequently found in restaurants. Although no rule of thumb is perfect, I`ve had great success scouting at restaurants. Consider the local Starbucks. Here`s a location where one can find a person who gets up every day and is working hard to meet the needs of the customers who walk through the door. These are the types of people you want for your business. Not only are they oriented toward serving customers, but you know that they`re in the business of creating a pleasurable experience for the patrons of their establishments.

Typically, these people are motivated. If they`re waitresses or waiters, they`re already used to working on commission because the tips that they receive far exceed the base compensation that the restaurant pays them. They already understand the correlation between good service and good pay.

That`s a lesson you don`t want to have to teach.

You want to work with people who possess self-confidence and believe in themselves enough to be willing to take some risks in their compensation. You want people who are willing to bet on themselves and say, "If I can do a good job and deliver good service, then I`m going to make good money."

When you find these people, don`t be bashful. Give them your business card and invite them to give you a call. It`s always better, by the way, to offer your business card and ask them to call you, than for you to call them. My rule of thumb is that if someone takes the initiative to give me a call, they`re probably someone I would be willing to bet on.

I`m a sucker for enthusiasm.

I believe that anyone who`s enthusiastic, persistent and asks for a break is someone to whom I would be well-served to provide that break.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that you think of yourself as a talent scout looking for talent that can help you to build your business everywhere that you frequent.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.

Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or