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So What Do You Do? (In 7 Seconds or Less)

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Don't be a VANILLA staffing firm
So what do you do?
Such a simple question.
And one we have no trouble answering.

Or do we?

Actually, it turns out that most of us are answering this question really poorly. When asked what we do, we offer functional answers like “we provide staffing services,” or “we’re one of the top recruiters in the area.”

But these answers are vanilla.

They’re bland. Boring.
And all too forgettable.

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Anserteam conference in Hilton Head. The keynote speaker, Julia Hubbel, gave a great talk on defining your “capabilities statement.”

For me, the big take home was that when you first meet someone, you have 7 seconds to make an impression. In that time, you absolutely must say something so powerful, so memorable, that people they will give you 10 more seconds of their time and attention to find out more about you.

So what will you say in 7 seconds?

To figure out your message, just fill in the blank:

We solve the problem of “____________________”.


  • Don’t use the word staffing.
  • Don’t talk about your exceptional service.
  • Don’t limit your thinking to staffing problems.
  • DO focus on big, hairy problems that really bug your clients.
  • DO use words that are bold.
  • DO take advantage of humor.

At the Anserteam conference, the people in attendance came up with some great ideas for their 7 second pitches.  Here are a few of the one’s I liked:

“We solve the problem of turnover.”
“We solve the problem of wasting money on staffing.”
“We solve the problem of bad hiring decisions.”

And my personal favorite:
“We solve the problem of hiring Charles Mansons.”

So the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, what will you say?

Wonder how I answered this question for Haley Marketing?

I used to say “We make great marketing affordable” or “we provide marketing solutions for the staffing industry.”

But now I think I may respond:

“We solve the problem of VANILLA.”

And then if you ask, I’ll tell you how we are the only firm in the world with a team of 26 marketing professionals exclusively focused on the staffing industry, and how we use our expertise to provide our clients with powerful strategies to stand out from the competition, stay top-of-mind, and sell more. We’re the firm that can keep you from looking like everyone else!

So what do you think?

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