Christian Ludwig – How to Build Fast, Ways to Recruit, How to Lead
Christian is 23 years old and works in pest control, the fastest growing region in his industry.
In high school he participated in the marketing club. In college he had the opportunity to do business to business sales. He spent his time cold calling and became completely obsessed with sales and ranked number 2 out of 600 in sales that summer.
“Knowing you’ve found your calling is really special! It felt great, finally being good at something”
He had a job lined up for the summer which fell through 2 days before he was supposed to start so he went for his fall back which was pest control and in his first summer he opened 396 accounts and now has over 15,000 accounts.
His parents have been a huge influence on him due to their background in psychology as well as his uncle who’s always worked in sales and is constantly imparting nuggets of wisdom at unexpected times. Christian also credits his friend and partner David for being an inspiration and one of the key elements to his success.
“Hunger to learn is the number one thing. Download Audible and listen to as many audiobooks as you can, youtube videos and mentors. Big people stand on the shoulders of giants.”
Christian was mentored by Thomas Wood who completely changed his view of being a D2D salesman and then sold 2 accounts on his first night and 8 accounts on his second day. In 12 weeks he had already sold 386 accounts. In 3 years they went from 0 to 14,000 accounts. Although last year they finished second in the cup ut he says he wouldn’t have it any other way because it makes him really hungry to achieve more.
“It’s the climb that’s the best.”
Building a Team
In the beginning the Company was not keen on recruiting from out of state, they thought it wouldn’t or couldn’t work but they supported Christian and Dave’s initiative and they got started recruiting on north east campuses. At first they struggled a bit with legitimacy but once the company was more well known it became easier which was a great advantage.
You need to work hard on a creative approach and he suggests leveraging technology. In the beginning they developed an app that sent a powerpoint presentation and they could see if and when the individual had seen it and then they would contact them. They also gave out 20 dollar grocery gift cards and when the prospect called to make an appointment to pick it up they would pitch them the job.
He likes to look at possible recruits almost like customers and take them through the customer experience, as well as have them think about how their path and their experience might look from their point of view. Give people an incentive to come to an interview.
“Our best investment is our team”
Christian says he had to learn that not everyone is you. Not everyone has the same capacity or the same way of doing things.
In his first year only 4 recruits stayed on and he learned to space out constructive criticism. He read that it’s important to give everyone constructive criticism and to space it out through a few days. The second year there was also a shift from making it seem like a part time job to a full time career choice.
Another thing he learned was to let the bottom third achieving performers do their thing unless it gets too extreme and to really focus on the middle third performers because these are those who can take it to the next level and are motivated to do so and won’t have their feelings hurt.
And then let the top people do their thing. It’s important to give praise and recognition to all team members and let them grow.
He also mentioned asking for permission to have an open discussion with the party involved in an incident instead of bringing it up albeit anonymously at a meeting.
He also implemented a program for tracking his salesmen with an app that gave a time stamp every 5 mins and offered incentives for those who participated voluntarily in the program and every weekend there would be a bonus for those that outperformed the others.
“Company culture is an accumulation of every single person`s attitudes”
About a year ago Christian encountered a health issue that didn’t allow him to continue working with D2D. At first he was discouraged about not being able to lead his team on the front lines but then he realized that instead of being a pacesetting leader he could be a true leader that inspires and dedicated time to his team. He did things like organizing weekends away for them or making them a nice dinner to come home to. It brought the team even closer together to see that their leader was taking personal interest in them.
Spending money on a good team experience is an important way to boost team spirit and morale.
“Put your team first, invest in your team.”
Christian believes that if you take care of your body you will be able to perform better throughout your day. Taking care of your body is as important and feeding your mind and keeping in tip top shape
“If you can control your body, you’re in control of your mind for the rest of the day.
Taking care of your body gives you control over yourself”