Q: I enjoy your newsletters and respect the way you have really “entrenched” yourself in our industry. I am giving a seminar today on motivating and refocusing salespeople and recruiters as many feel beaten down. Could you shoot me a couple of your thoughts, suggestions or anything else you have heard from other people in our industry that can help me with my seminar?
A: Glad to help.
In terms of refocusing sales people and recruiters, here are a few ideas:
- Break the monotony. Constant pressure to call, call, call is stressful and de-motivating. Have the sales team take a day off, and schedule a creative brainstorming session to address the following questions:
- Why don’t people perceive a need for staffing services?
- What issues (in their business) would create a need to hire–not a need for staffing, just a need for people?
- What are the top three challenges our clients are facing right now?
- What could we do to offer solutions to these problems?
- Stop selling and start educating! Right now people perceive they don’t need your services, so now is the time for educational selling to raise awareness of the ways in which staffing and recruiting can be more strategic. Teach people why, when and how to plan a staffing strategy and work with a staffing vendor. Make the sales team’s focus to become evangelists for strategic staffing.
- Spend more time training sales reps and recruiters to be talent consultants. Redefine their role from selling to finding solutions to human capital challenges.
- Hold a sales team bitch session. Give everyone an opportunity to air all their frustrations with the market, and once the bitching stops, brainstorm answers to the question, “so what can we do about it?”
- Find creative ways to add fun to each day. Hold small daily sales contests for most calls attempted, most contacts made,or even the best rejection of the day.
- Provide plenty of recognition for success, even small successes. To battle the constant rejection, create an overly positive atmosphere for every little win–whether it’s an actual sale, breaking into a new prospect, or just successfully advancing the sales process.
- Conduct market research. Rather than trying to connect with decision makers to sell staffing, try to meet with them to learn more about what is really going on in the market. Develop a survey to determine the biggest challenges and concerns your clients are facing, how they are planning to deal with the changes in the economy, and their perception of the value and role staffing companies should be playing.
- Create a compelling presentation. Based on your research, develop a seminar, webinar or whitepaper that offers great solutions and relevant information to address the biggest challenges your clients are having. Use the presentation as the basis for scheduling appointments.
- Go social. Do more with social media to network and build relationships with decision makers and decision influencers in your community. LinkedIn and to a lesser extent Facebook, can be great tools for strengthening your professional network and positioning your firm as a thought leader.
- Become a beacon of hope. People gravitate towards positive people. When your sales people are feeling beaten up by the market, it can be hard for them to remain positive and optimistic. Challenge your team to find “good news” stories about the local business community and then share those stories with clients and prospects. The more you can spread optimism (and good ideas), the more people will want to work with you.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything you can do to re-engage your sales team, but it should be plenty to get you going. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 888.696.2900.