Hotness. Everybody is attracted to it like a moth to the zapper thing you see outside a shady bar. Hiring managers disregard all notion of hiring the most qualified person to simply hire beauty. The truth sucks. Film at 11.
Summary: Attractiveness wins. We're also conditioned to think the functional area of sales and marketing is the domain where attractiveness is most important. After all, who gets access to the buyer? A sales rep who is a "9" or a one who is a "5"?
As it turns out, it might be a little more complicated than that. A guy named Spencer Chen has a great post up evaluating the effectiveness of using "booth babes" at trade shows to draw buyers and prospects into software company exhibits. For the uneducated, let's define the practice of "booth babes" as the hiring of young, college-aged females to dress as provocatively as possible to help promote your booth/product at a trade show. (picture credit - Cult of Mac)
It's a practice that probably dates back to the first caveman trying to peddle a square wheel to the masses. More on what Chen found when he did split testing (he had one booth with booth babes and one without at multiple conferences) from TechCrunch:
"The booth that was staffed with the booth babes generated a third of the foot traffic (as measured by conversations or demos with our reps) and less than half the leads (as measured by a badge swipe or a completed contact form) while the other team had a consistently packed booth that ultimately generated over 550 leads, over triple from the previous year.
Everyone on the team was genuinely surprised by the results but duly convinced. It was like showing some hardened sales reps a new golf swing. I was able to replicate this a few more times throughout the year with even better results since we had a chance to further optimize our new “staffing plan.”
It's a killer post, so go ready the whole thing now - find the full post here. Some reasons Chen gives for booth babes actually decreasing lead generation at these booths:
1. Booth babes are intimidating.
2. Booth babes are lazy.
3. Real buyers don't talk to booth babes.
Related: The salespeople want booth babes (regardless of effectiveness) because they spend 10 hours a day in the booth. Boom.
There's also some great metrics in this article related to cost per lead and cost per revenue generating opportunity in the software biz.
Go read this article and share with your marketing team/trade show people. It''ll make you look smart. Because that's what you are - even if you're hot.