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Tom's Talent Blog

You’re Not Fooling Anybody – especially your prospect

Posted by Tom Erb on Mar 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM

While waiting to board my flight back home, the gate attendant made the following announcement:

“This will be a completely full flight. For those of you boarding in later groups, we recommend checking your carry-on as we will run out of overhead space. You will not be charged to have your bag checked – we are performing this as a courtesy to our customers. I repeat, we will check your bag as a courtesy to our customers.”

A courtesy? They run out of overhead space and yet they act like you are doing the customer a favor to check their bag? Come on, they should be apologizing for the inconvenience, not trying to spin it like they are offering some sort of free benefit.

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Topics: Prospecting, Sales

4 Crucial Networking Tips That Lead to More Sales

Posted by Tom Erb on Mar 22, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The number one knock I hear on networking as a sales activity is that it doesn’t tend to result in new business. And for many sales people this is true. But in almost every case, it is not because networking doesn’t work, but because the sales person doesn’t network the right way.

Most sales people don’t network enough, and the ones that do typically approach it from a “show up and see what happens” approach. Most of the time, this results in limited interaction with the right people, awkward periods of not having anyone to talk to or butting in to existing conversations, and ultimately frustration. The sales rep then blames the event or organization for being “clickish”, unfriendly, or just plain bad. After one or two attempts most salespeople just give up.

This is where your opportunity lies! That same organization that other salespeople have dismissed could be a gold mine for you, IF you network the right way. Here are 4 ways to get the most out of a networking opportunity and increase your sales.

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Topics: Prospecting, Sales, Sales Activity

3 Employment Issues That Will Put Your Firm on the Feds Radar

Posted by Jen Erb on Mar 7, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Are you up to date on your employment and labor laws? Since the early twentieth century, our federal and state governments have enacted extensive laws and regulations to protect employees. We see a number of employment practices that, I bet, you did not even realize violate the law. Let’s talk about three common labor issues that will put your staffing firm on the feds radar.

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Topics: Employment Policies, Legal

7 Critical Components of a Successful Sales Email

Posted by Tom Erb on Feb 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM

If you are like most sales people, you struggle to get prospects to read and respond to your emails. There are a variety of likely reasons prospects are deleting your emails:

  • It looks too much like spam or mass email
  • Its too wordy
  • The subject line and/or opening sentence is too salesy
  • There is no value in your message
  • You sound like every other staffing sales person trying to get their business. 

While no sales email is going to result in a 100% success rate (or 75 or 50% for that matter), we’ve identified 7 essential components that significantly increase your odds of a response.

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Topics: Prospecting, Sales, Sales Activity

3 Points To Designing a Staffing Sales Variable Compensation Plan

Posted by Tom Erb on Feb 16, 2016 3:07:34 PM

Compensating salespeople effectively is one of the biggest management challenges for a growing business. When a well-designed variable compensation plan is implemented it can have an enormous impact on the bottom line and future growth of your business. When developing your compensation plan for your sales professional, always consider what you want it to do. Here are 3 initial points to consider when designing your staffing sales variable compensation plan.

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Topics: Sales, Strategic, Compensation

Don't forget these 4 recruiting essentials...ever!

Posted by TJ Markwas on Feb 8, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Every new year, industry content will come out with multiple articles of the ‘New’ and ‘Game-changing’ insight and suggestions on how to become more successful in your business. This is no different for the staffing industry, with articles touting various ways to improve on recruiting. As an industry, we have started to move away from some of the most critical yet basic recruiting methods. Here are just a few of my suggestions on how to keep yourself on top of the game:

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Topics: Networking, Recruiting, Recruiter Activity

Prospects are human too - really!

Posted by Tom Erb on Feb 1, 2016 3:56:22 PM

In sales, we are taught how to overcome objections, get past gatekeepers, push for appointments, and close sales. We bombard prospects with generic pitches over the phone and email. Sometimes we stop in unannounced and ask them to stop what they are doing to talk to us. And we wonder why some prospects don’t like salespeople?

Most salespeople essentially are taught to go against basic human nature when approaching prospects. We do things to prospects that we hate when they are done to us! Do you like getting calls from telemarketers that won’t take no for an answer? No, of course not. But we often do the same exact thing.

The problem is that we get so focused on the goal of making a sale, and quickly, that we start to look at prospects as just a means to an end. We essentially dehumanize the prospect, thinking of them as this faceless entity on the other end of the phone just waiting to hit us with objections. Instead, we need to approach prospects the way that we want to be approached in a sale. Get to know each other, build trust, and ultimately help them make the best decision for them and their company.

Here are some do’s and don'ts when interacting with prospects.

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Topics: Prospecting, Sales

Number 1 Competency for High-performing Commercial Recruiters

Posted by Jen Erb on Jan 25, 2016 1:55:41 PM

A few weeks ago we shared an article on our research study to hire only A-player recruiters. That article focused on only professional recruiters. We also gathered and analyzed data for commercial recruiters. For the study, we defined commercial recruiters as those that focus on positions in light industrial, manufacturing, construction, trades, logistics, warehousing, hospitality, general labor, and so on. There were clear distinctions for high-performers depending on whether they identified as professional or commercial recruiters.

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Topics: Hiring, Strategic, Recruiting

Using Effective Questions to Gain Buyer Commitment

Posted by Tom Erb on Jan 18, 2016 3:36:21 PM

Your presentation to the prospect has just wrapped up. You’ve offered a compelling solution and built rapport and credibility with the decision makers. You are so close to landing this deal, and then you hear the dreaded words - “We’ll get back to you.” You get in your car with the other presenters (or call your manager) and discuss how it seemed like it went really well, but then at the very end they were non-committal. Maybe they were really enthusiastic, but uncommitted nonetheless: “This has been really great! We’ll get back to you soon!”

Sound familiar?

The key to building on a successful presentation is to ask questions that confirm the buyer’s level of interest, address any outstanding concerns, and nail down a definitive next step that moves the sales process forward or wins the business. Here are 8 questions you can use that are effective in determining your position and gaining buyer commitment.

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Topics: Sales, Closing

Number 1 Competency for High-performing Professional Recruiters

Posted by Jen Erb on Jan 14, 2016 1:41:40 PM

The skills gap is widening and it’s getting harder to find great internal talent. In the November-December 2015 edition of the ASA Staffing Success Magazine, staffing execs were asked, “What do you look for when searching for a great recruiter?” In addition to experience, characteristics like self-motivation, sense of urgency, being detail oriented, and people skills were included in most comments.

Interestingly we asked ourselves a similar question just a few months ago. How can we increase our chances of hiring an A-player staffing recruiter? If you’ve been a leader in the staffing industry for a while you could come up with a viable list of characteristics similar to those comments in the magazine article. But, how do you know for sure that you’re going to get an A-player? We still seem to have recruiters that just don’t perform at the level we expected when we hired them. Maybe performance isn’t to the point of being fired, but the result is our office is filled with mostly B- and C-players that just don’t produce high results.

Instead of just using our gut, we sought a scientific approach to identify key traits and competencies.

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Topics: Hiring, Strategic, Recruiting

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