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Hire and Hire If you plan on making the sales you need to survive the recession, maybe you need more people to do the selling.

By Kimberly L. McCall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For the briefest moment, New Economy inmates were running thetalent ward of the asylum. Managers scrambled to attract and retaintalent, whispering sweet nothings of stock options, fat salariesand jeans five days a week. Those days now seem to be ashort-but-sweet chapter from some antiquated history tome, andwe're all questioning the reliability of our recent memorieslike that poor guy from the movie Memento.

Entrepreneurs, while not immune to the necessity ofbelt-tightening, are forward-thinking enough to see the upside to aprodigal labor market. If you're accustomed to running lean,you may be well-positioned to leverage current circumstances bybringing in top-tier sales talent. At a time when chasing everylead is crucial, your reaction to adversity shouldn't behuddling in the fetal position under your desk.

"You can't grow if you aren't selling," saysBetsy Buckley, president of sales coaching company What Matters? inSt. Paul, Minnesota. Buckley, who caters to business executiveswanting to improve their speaking and leadership skills, thinksit's a great time for entrepreneurs to hire salesprofessionals. You can take advantage of the sting felt by the manydownsized workers who are getting axed from large corporations."They want to work for business owners, not big organizationswhere they'll just get lost again," Buckley explains. Pickthe right talent, and your new salesperson will pay for himself orherself many times over. After all, Buckley points out, becauseyour ability to make sales is the "engine that drivesgrowth," salespeople are "pay-for-themselves-typeexpenditures."

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