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Time to turn marketing upside-down?

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I was doing some quick research on the future of marketing, and I came across a facinating (and likely dead on) analysis of trends in the field of marketing. If you’re serious about engaging clients and candidates (and getting them to seek you out), invest 5 minutes to review this article from author and consultant John Hagel:Mastering Marketing Perspectives

Lessons for Staffing Firms:

  1. Stop using cold calling as our primary business development technique. Cold calling is a dinosaur of Intercept marketing that has significantly lost its effectiveness in the past decade, and will continue its march toward obsolecense in the coming years.

  2. To attract clients and candidates, we have to create an experience that is radically different (and better) than current staffing models. We have to stop thinking transactionally (i.e., do you have any staffing needs) and become proactive problem solvers (i.e., what’s going on in your business / industry that is going to impact your needs for talent?).
  3. “Assisting” may be the key to selling higher margin solutions and moving up the food chain in client companies. The more we can assist clients with understanding new ways to use our services (i.e., the more we can people them about using staffing strategically, as a tool to reduce cost, drive productivity and manage business risk), the more value we will offer to our clients (and the more irreplacable we will become).
  4. Look for more opportunities to partner. It’s always easier to get in the door by referral than by direct calling; however, taking this a step further, partnering represents not just a way to generate leads, but a way to transform your business. By selecting the right partners, you can literally transform your capabilies and develop the ability to sell solutions to more strategic problems.
  5. Redefine your value proposition from “we have great people and great service” to “no one knows your business and your specific needs better than we do, and no one can offer the same mix of services to address those needs”.

My Question to You:
Can staffing firm’s break away from cold calling? If so, what would be a smarter approach?

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