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Ask Haley: Keys to standing out in a crowded market

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Q: I work as a sales/marketing employee at a local staffing agency. We only do clerical and administrative staffing because we couldn’t compete with worker’s comp in the industrial sector. I was wondering if you had any tips on establishing ourselves as the premier clerical/administrative specialist staffing agency in our city.

A: The question you ask is a tough one.  I am not sure where you are located, but I’m willing to bet there are already a couple of strong clerical staffing competitors (or more than a couple) already in your market.  Jumping in as the “new guy” and differentiating on quality will be very tough.

I agree with the goal of positioning your firm as a premier office staffing specialist. But that is not enough to differentiate.

So what can you do instead?

  1. Specialize your recruiting focus.  Become the best at recruiting specific types of admin talent, and position yourself as the top firm for these types of people.  Maybe you could be the best at customer service reps, senior level admin assistants, or providing professional support?
  2. Be more selective in prospecting. Rather than marketing your firm to every employer in the area, focus on specific employers based on their size, location, industry or likely types of staffing needs.  Then you can concentrate your sales and marketing with laser like focus on the clients you want to win.  Through focus, and repeated contact (that’s both creative and high value), you can make your firm stand out.
  3. Build off your company name.  Love the “Pirate Staffing!”  Your name offers a great opportunity for branding, and it could be used to show how you don’t do things like traditional, stodgy staffing firms.  Not to mention that you could make your business cards eye patches, use an Arrrrgh in your email signature or do other fun things to make your firm memorable (the key to having fun in marketing to ensure that you don’t go so far as to look unprofessional; your goal is to make your firm look like a creative, innovative and fun company to work with).

These are just a few ideas for marketing strategy.  If you need more ideas, please also check out the free marketing resources on our website or call me at 1.888.696.2900.

David Searns

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