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:
Research tells us 60% of who we are we're born with - the other 40% is what we have control of to manifest our destiny. Don't know if you thought these percentages were higher or lower, but it's interesting. To clarify, the stuff we're born with are things such as addictions, physical attributes, pychological idioms, etc. Suffice to say, we can change much and none of this should dimish our chance of living a successful life!
So what then do we do when it comes to hiring or dealing with people in the workplace? In my humble opinion, three things we can do to avoid people mistakes.
Sales is a process. And like any other process, it is only as good as its weakest step. If you are great with one or two steps of the process but weak in others, you will still struggle. But if you focus on improving in each area, you will exponentially improve your sales results. Here are the 5 critical sales steps and how to improve.
“Why do they continue to put up with such high turnover?”
“They keep telling me their current vendor can’t fill their positions, but I just can’t get them to make a change!”
One of the most frustrating aspects of the sales process is when we know the prospect is not happy with their current situation, but they still won’t pull the trigger. Why do they continue to deal with such major issues, when they have even told us that we are a better solution?
Its because we tend to focus on “issues” rather than the consequences associated with these issues. We talk about turnover, time to fill, no shows, the quality and productivity of employees, etc. All of these are issues that the prospect deals with, but in many cases they are not enough to compel them to make a change.
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Let’s face it – sales people (myself included) aren’t usually the best at time management. First, I’ve been around staffing sales people (myself included) for a couple decades now, and have witnessed firsthand how we struggle in this critical area. Second, I regularly speak on the topic, and always ask for a show of hands who considers themselves good at time management. After unofficially polling hundreds of sales professionals, I would say about 1% actually consider themselves somewhat good at managing their time.
Referrals are extremely valuable for building candidate pools, but we rarely actively do it. Generally we are passive about referrals. A candidate or recent placement may happen to recommend a friend or neighbor, but not because we solicited the referral. If you proactively seek referrals you can reap the benefits. Here’s why you want referrals and how to get them.
You arrive at work and before you know it it’s lunchtime, or better yet you didn’t even take a lunch and it’s the end of the workday and time to leave. But, you can’t leave because you feel like you didn’t get anything critical done. Does this describe your typical day as a recruiter in a staffing office? I know it did for me when I was in a recruiting “bullpen”. Here are three to-do’s to make the most of your recruiting time.