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Focus on Prospects That “Want and Need” Your Staffing Services
By Nick Andriacchi

According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 30 million businesses nationwide. For staffers, that sounds like a lot of opportunity to make placements as about 60% of those companies employ 2 people or more. As the old saying goes “even a blind monkey finds a banana once in a while” so a strategy might be to just have your sales people start calling every company in your geographic area and they will eventually earn an order. Unfortunately, sales and marketing really doesn’t work that way.

I was recently reading a Wall Street Journal article having to do with a shift in marketing strategy from two fast-food giants: McDonalds and Burger King. McDonald’s in particular has been trying to change its image from strictly an affordable fast-food giant in order it expand its customer base. For years, they have been adding healthier choices in an effort to attract a more health-conscious consumer. They also added higher priced gourmet burgers to its menu to appeal to a market segment that demands a higher quality product. 

The results of these additional menu items may surprise you. McDonald’s did not expand its customer base. In fact, a study showed that they actually lost some customers to other price conscious, fast-food competitors. McDonald’s was not able to attract health conscious customers and too many products with different price-points were confusing to its existing customers. In recent months, they having been dropping menu items and focusing on improving their core product.

I have written many sales and marketing plans over 15 years and this story has lessons for staffers to learn. While we all need to expand our customer base, sales and marketing efforts should be concentrated on companies that want and need a contingent workforce. In other words, target marketing 101 as not all 30 million business fall into the want and need category A savvy sales and marketing plan should prioritize its efforts on the companies that will buy in a relatively short time frame. Especially smaller staffing firms that have limited resources to dedicate towards sales and marketing. Of course, that doesn't mean totally ignore prospects that may use you in the future.   The sales cycle will just take longer for those prospects. 

There are a number of ways to prioritize sales and marketing plans. One example is to stick with what you know. If you are an LI staffer and your company is focused towards that employment segment, it would be difficult to convince the market place that this company has expertise in IT placements. Calling on companies that use only IT contractors is futile as the prospect will quickly realize that this is not a LI staffer's forte. 

Another way to prioritize is not to spend a lot of time with prospect's that may need your service, but don't want it or can't use it. For example, if a company is a closed union shop, they may be prohibited from using non-union labor. Or there are some companies that will just not hire contract labor for whatever reason. For those, I would suggest keeping them on the radar but not have your sales staff spend a lot of time or resources on those prospects. Let the national staffing firms with large marketing budgets convince those prospects that contract labor is great solution to staff shortages. Once sold on the concept, an independent staffer can swoop in and reap the rewards. 

By focusing your prospect database on those companies that want and need placements, your sales staff will be focused on the right prospects and not wasting time on companies that have a low probability of using your service. Your sales staff should be consistently updating the company's CRM database to better accomplish the goal. A more complete database yields better results.

Sales dollars and staff are finite resources that need to be used wisely.

ROADS to Sales Success

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff? Baloney!

By Dusty Rhodes

Whoever said, "Don't sweat the small stuff," has probably never been in sales. Chances are, they also have never run a company or had a real job, because "sweating the small stuff" does make the measurable difference between success and failure. As a famous man once said, "If you take care of the little things (or "sweat the small stuff"), the big things will take care of themselves." Jeff Dewar, a researcher for quality improvement training firm QCI International, pointed out in a recent issue of USA Today what happens when things are done "right" only 99.9 per-cent of the time:

• Unsafe landings at Chicago's O'Hara Airport every day: 2

• Lost pieces of mail per hour: 16,000

• Incorrect drug prescriptions filled each year: 20,000

• Wrong surgical procedures performed each week: 500

• Check deducted from the wrong account every hour: 22,000

Don't sweat the small stuff? Baloney! What would it mean, as a salesperson, if you were only 99.9 percent? What are some of those little, often overlooked things that would make a measurable difference? The following are a few of the little things ("the small stuff") that seem to escape many salespeople:

  1. 1. Appearance - The appearance of the salesperson and their sales material is critical, yet this little thing is too often ignored. Unkempt hair, nails, makeup, unpolished shoes and unpressed shirts or clothes are examples of poor personal appearance. Sales and promotional items that are bent or marked or generally in poor condition are examples of "the small stuff" that can reflect poorly on a sales rep. Even a bent business card can make a poor and lasting impression. Everything about a salesperson should exhibit pride and excellence.
  2. Poor Planning - Often salespeople leave the office with little or no thought as to where they are going, what they are going to do or how they are going to do it. Poor planning, poor territorial organization, poor routing, no key account focus and no appointment are examples of poor planning.
  3. Poor Follow-up - This is a critical "little thing" that can translate into big mistakes. How many big sales are lost because a salesperson didn't follow-up after an appointment or get back to a prospect as promised? Follow-up should be one of the "big" things, but unfortunately, some consider it to be a "little thing," which is a BIG mistake.
  4. No or Low Goals - How many salespeople truly set "BHAGs" (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)? Too often goals are not set or they are set too low. Ask a salesperson to set a goal and invariably it mirrors the quota set by their manager, it is not the stretch or challenge that produces big results. Goal setting is truly a "little thing" that allows for BIG success.
  5. Poor Presentation Skills -Many salespeople rely on their personalities and relationship skills to get business. Very few develop effective presentation skills. Good presentation skills allow for selling, as opposed to relationship skills, which are often only an exercise in telling. A good seller always beats a good teller. Professional salespeople practice and perfect the presentation skills.

Simply stated, "sweating the small stuff" is the only way to distinguish yourself from the pack. Someone once said that 90 percent of success is just showing up. Unfortunately, that's all many people do. They just show up. The people who are striving for the other ten percent are the ones leading the pack. They're doing the little things that add up to a measurable difference. So, when someone says "Don't sweat the small stuff." Tell 'em, "Baloney!"


Positioning Your Staffing Service

By Mike Kutka

Many times staffing sales representatives fail to emphasize or even mention the extensive selection process and training of permanent staff and the benefits to the client. Why not tell the client/prospect about the complexity of the tasks performed by your service staff, the people whom your clients depend on to screen, test and assign temporary employees who are qualified not only skillwise but in behaviors and attitudes. Not everyone can be an effective service staff coordinator. Tell the client what you look for in a coordinator in education, experience and proven competencies. Then relate how your screening of coordinators ultimately will save the client time money and give him/her peace of mind.





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