Why did I write a book? Because, sales is harder now than ever before. Your prospects aren't answering the phone or calling you back, there is more competition than ever, and you just seem to be running up against one brick wall after another. In this 100-page quick read, I explain why sales has become increasingly more difficult, the key mistakes that most staffing sales reps are making, and details a systematic sales process that is proven to get more appointments and land more new business in the staffing industry.
...for recruiters and clients.
Why do people get married? While there are a variety reasons, ranging from religious to legal rights to “that’s just what you do,” the main reason is commitment. Marriage is both a tradition and a legal contract that binds both parties to a higher level of obligation. It shows that everyone is vested in the relationship. Sure, you can break this commitment, as many do, but it’s not easy, and it sure is a lot harder than just breaking up with someone you are dating.
Every Saturday morning, our six-year-old son comes crashing into our room with the same earnest request; “Daddy, can we play games on the TV together?” Since the time he was able to hold a controller in his hands, Brady and I have spent part of Saturday morning playing video games together. It's become a ritual that is a reward for him, and a fun way for us to spend some dedicated time together.
I just received at least the 10th email this week from a different sales rep trying to sell me prospect leads – and its Tuesday. Now as a sales professional, trainer, and coach, I tend to probably be at the same time more critical and more sympathetic to sales reps trying to do their job. I’m critical in that I dissect their message and approach more than most. But I also feel sorry for many of them because I can tell by their email that they are either new, untrained, or misguided. And when I talk to sales reps about their sales activities, most sheepishly admit that they know what they are doing isn’t working, but just don’t know what else to do. Unfortunately many of the sales activities that we utilize cause more harm than good, labeling us as “salesy” and irritating the prospect.
There have been numerous posts on industry forums from staffing executives and owners about the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) salary levels. The new overtime rule takes effect on December 1st of this year (https://www.dol.gov/WHD/overtime/final2016/). Many executives are still planning for this significant change to how exemption from overtime is effected by the new salary levels. Many firms will need to either change employees’ status to non-exempt, which means paying overtime for hours over 40 in workweek; or, increase exempt employees to the $47,476 annually. One post noted that that their firms’ recruiters make ~$40,000 annual in salary and are exempt from overtime pay. The post proposed changing the recruiters to salary, non-exempt with a 60-hour workweek. It asked if any other firm was taking this approach.
What do these people have in common: Michael Jordan, Thomas Edison, Brett Favre, and Abraham Lincoln. Yes, they are famous. They are considered to be among the greatest of their respective professions. But the primary link is that they all failed frequently, some historically.
Like an assembly line, sales is a process that builds on itself. Regardless of how many stages are in your pipeline, the sales process boils down to four essential areas;
- Prospecting – The initial stage of identifying your potential clients, reaching out to them, and getting them to agree to meet with you
- Understanding and analyzing prospect needs and wants – We need to know what the prospects challenges, opportunities, and desires are to best align our solution
- Creating demand for our solution – This part of the process includes building credibility and interest, presenting your solution, showing how it addresses their challenges, and ultimately how working with you is the best choice for the prospect
- Closing the sale – Converting the prospect to a customer and generating revenue
I’m a big fan of leveraging technology, and now more than ever there are some great resources for sales reps that are free, or almost free. Here are three that I use regularly to make my activity more efficient and drive sales.
Millennials. So much research has been conducted at this point about this generation that it almost seems ridiculous. They’re lazy... they’re technically savvy... they need instant gratification faster, etc. Some feedback has been good, while the majority has been focused on the negative aspects of this generation. In recruiting, however, it’s a known fact that this generation is handled differently than previous generations. Here are three best practices to appeal to our current day Millennials (from a Millennial perspective) while recruiting them: