ISC Sales Recruiters Share Tips on Increasing Your Acceptance Rate When Extending SALES Job Offers


High performing Sales professionals are coveted, and rightly so, considering the revenue that an impact player can make on bottom line profitability. Key producers in certain geographic regions and industries are heavily courted in today’s candidate driven market.

It is important to keep in mind that there is a monumental difference between interviewing someone that is currently unemployed or actively trying to leave their organization, versus someone that is doing well in their current role but has shared with a recruiter that they may be open to making a career move for the right opportunity.

Regardless of the situation, it is always wise to manage the interview process in a way that you can honor the candidates time, and professionally and respectfully build a relationship, with the goal of creating such a favorable impression that if you do wish to extend an offer, you will be certain of an acceptance. And if you ultimately choose not to invite the candidate to join your ranks, the objective should still be to leave that person with a favorable impression of you, and your organization.

As professional Sales Recruiters, we invest tremendous time and effort in forging relationships with peak performers in a variety of industries.

The 10 tips below are suggestions that we share with clients to advise and guide them through the interview process;

1. Treat others as you wish to be treated

  • Remember the candidate is interviewing you,  just the same as you’re interviewing them.
  • A company’s interview process is a good reflection of other processes within the organization. Is it well thought out and methodical? If not, tighten it up, making sure you have ready access to any forms you may need, etc.
  • Every company should have a streamlined interview process that can easily be shared with a candidate at their first introduction to your company, so they know what to expect.
  • Review the Candidates Resume prior to the Interview, as well as their Linked in profile. It is also wise to look up their social media presence. If you are working with a professional recruiter, they will typically provide links to these profiles as part of their presentation.
  • Be on Time for Interviews! This is such an easy request and sign of respect, that is chronically disregarded by a startling number of hiring managers.
  • Even if you decide not to proceed with the candidate, treat them with respect and kindness. Take the time to let them know that you are not moving forward with them, but that you appreciate the time they invested in the interview process. It is shameful when professionals invest valuable time and energy pursuing an opportunity with a company, and then just never hear back. Give them the same courtesy that you would want yourself. Not everyone is going to get an offer, but everyone should be able to walk away from an interview with your company, feeling good about the time invested and be able to speak positively about the experience. Within any given industry,  the pool of true  sales superstars ultimately consists of a relatively small group of people within any geographic area, and word gets around quickly. It does not take much of an effort to make sure that your firm has a reputation that you can be proud of.


2. Timing – Complete The Process Within 1 Month 

  • Time kills deals – it’s critical to create momentum by providing prompt feedback and scheduling interviews as close together as possible.
  • One month from initial receipt of a candidates resume to the formal offer is the gold standard to aim for. Anything longer tends to lose good candidates.
  • Even when you need to get a group of people together and there is a lag between interviews, having something scheduled keeps the candidate engaged. If you’re interested in a candidate, there is no excuse in having a week go between interviews and having the next step scheduled.
  • Ideally, one interview per week is the longest that you want to have between interviews. Anything longer between steps kills the momentum.
  • Create a sense of urgency. There should be a sense of excitement building on both sides.
  • Set the proper expectations with candidates. Never promise an offer by a certain date unless you know you’re able to deliver it.
  • Remember that your competitor is whizzing them through the interview process. If this is a courtship and the guy next door is asking your dream girl out on a nightly basis, and if you are waiting a month between dates, who do you think is going to be perceived as being the most interested?
  • People want to work for people that like them. If you like a Candidate, show them!
  • No streamlined interview process should require more than 1 month to fully vet a potential candidate.If your interview process takes longer than 1 month, you need to tighten it up. Chances are you either have too many people involved in the interview process, people are afraid to pull the trigger, or you have people interviewing that are not authorized to make hiring decisions, which is a blatant disregard of everyone’s time, not to mention highly unethical.


3. Know Your Candidates “Hot Buttons” 

  • It’s important to understand why a candidate is interested in making a move, and if they’re not actively looking, what they would make a move for.
  • Working with an experienced sales recruiter should be an immense help in this area, providing you with a list of top priorities that they have identified with the candidate that you can focus on, which will directly impact their decision. For example, these may be a better career path, more visibility within the organization, challenging projects, high compensation potential, etc.
  • If you have an opportunity that aligns with these areas of concern, it is critical to focus on these points during the interview.

4. Address Any Concerns Either Party Has Before An Offer is Presented:

  • In partnering with an experienced Sales Search Consultant, they’ll be able to touch base with the candidate and gauge their level of interest and test for any concerns or hesitations prior to generating an offer.
  • Before an official offer is generated and extended, all concerns should be addressed.

5. Partner With Your Recruiter When Crafting Your Offer

  • It’s important to start compensation discussions before you begin to write an offer letter.
  • By doing so, neither the hiring manager nor the candidate should ever be surprised at the offer stage.
  • Set the proper expectations. When you tell your sales recruiter or candidate that you can get ‘close’ to a figure, understand that people typically assume ‘close’ to be within a range of $5k ,or $10k for comp packages exceeding $150k.
  • Talk with your sales recruiter to understand what the candidate needs in order to accept, ensuring the recruiter manages the candidates’ expectations properly.
  • When crafting your offer, make sure to focus in on your candidate’s primary hot buttons and then highlight their specific areas. Often times hiring managers mistakenly feel that they cannot afford a candidate, assuming that they need to come up X amount of money in order to entice a candidate to make a move, when the fact is, the candidate is wanting to make a move due to a Quality of Life change, or a Career Path change, as opposed to Compensation Change. Understand specifically what is driving your candidate to make a change, and what they ultimately need to make the leap, and then proceed accordingly. Often times it will not cost you bottom line dollars so much as outlining a clearly defined career path, or lifestyle change.

Remember that Smart Candidates Make Career Changes Based on 3 Things:

  • Compensation: Broken down by base salary ,total compensation, bonus potential , commissions, and benefits.
  • Career Path: Where a position will put them in one to five years.
  • Quality of Life: Who they will be working with, commute time, etc.

6. Extend a Verbal Offer First

  • Encourage your sales recruiter to discuss what the candidate will accept and get a verbal agreement of the amount they need to move forward. This ensures the negotiations happen on the front end, before you’ve given the formal offer.
  • Properly positioned, the candidate will then feel as if they have received the strongest offer possible and will not feel the need to review and crunch numbers after the offer is presented and will be comfortable accepting immediately.

7. Extend the Offer Personally

  •  Never email the offer before calling the candidate to congratulate them and walk through the details of the offer.
  • Studies show that presenting the offer in person substantially increases acceptance rates up to 38%. Baring the ability to present the offer in person, presenting the offer via Skype is a second-best option, and then over the phone comes in as an alternative.
  • Never send an offer via email without the opportunity to go over all the benefits and details of the offer.
  • Remember, strong candidates will typically be receiving more than one offer and will be comparing apples to apples. Chances are the other company will have presented their offer live, highlighting all the benefits, total compensation potential and long-term career path, and you want to be able to do the same.
  • An offer is never just about the dollar figure and start date. Be sure to highlight the total package, including long range career opportunities, corporate culture, painting a picture where you invest in your candidate’s future within the firm.

8. Include a Deadline on the Offer Letter

  • There should always be an expiration date on offer letters. Set the expectation of when you need an answer clearly on the offer letter.

9. Counter Offers

  • Be cognizant that it’s extremely common for good candidates to receive counter- offers when turning in their resignation.
  • A seasoned recruiter will advise the candidate to tell their manager when giving notice that, out of respect for them, they will not be entertaining a counter offer. In fact, many experienced sales headhunters offer to write the resignation letter for their candidates, which includes a paragraph specifically discouraging counter-offers.
  • Studies show that a solid 88% of candidates that accept counter offers are then let go within a 6-month period. A smart recruiter will always have a frank discussion with their candidate on the dangers of counter offers multiple times during the interview process.
  • If you are not working with a recruiter, be sure to have that discussion yourself at the offer stage, as well as a few times during the interview process.

10. Work with an Experienced Recruiter

  • The Benefits of working with an Experienced SALES Recruiter are plentiful, including;
  • Providing access to passive candidates.
  • Deciphering the key pain points on what would prompt a candidate to make a change.
  • Negotiating hiring packages.
  • Guiding hiring managers throughout the interview process are immeasurable.
  • Coaching candidates on the dangers of Counter-Offers.


INTERNATIONAL SEARCH CONSULTANTS has been in business since 1999, providing top performing SALES candidates to our clients on a nationwide basis.


Please feel free to CONTACT US today to have a pool of highly accomplished sales professionals delivered to your interview table.