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How to pick a real Pearl of a salesperson

Are you a self-confident, mature or even semi-retired business person? Or a working mum with no background in financial services? Then Pearl Assurance could be looking for you to bring your talents to its direct salesforce.

Pearl is claiming big success with a radical recruitment approach which it says has decreased recruitment costs by 30 per cent and had seen annual staff turnover in its salesforce drop to 16 per cent.

Two years ago Pearl&#39s staff turnover was around 50 per cent compared with an industry average of about 28 per cent.

Head of human resources Jeremy Rance says Pearl is using innovative advertising and a sophisticated screening process to attract new talent to its team.

It has recruited more than 500 sales personnel this year.

Working with DHC Communications, Pearl has identified core skills that make up an effective salesperson. This allows Pearl recruiters to establish a candidate benchmark which all applicants are compared with.

A Pearl salesman should be: a problem-solver, have management skills, decision-making skills and interpersonal skills.

Initial research suggests that if a new recruit passes the benchmark criteria, Pearl can be 70 per cent certain that, within a year, he or she will become a top sales performer.

Rance says: "We know what attributes make a good salesman and if people have not got those attributes we don&#39t let them join us."

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