If you sell staffing services for a living, you know how competitive this business is. You probably hear “XYZ Staffing will do it for less” at least once a week. You’re being forced to take orders from VMS systems. And you may even be negotiating with purchasing professionals–as if staffing was a pure commodity.
So how can you get above the competitive fray
and sell higher margin solutions?
Part of the answer lies in your approach to sales. You have to get to the point where you are not selling staffing; you are consulting with higher level executives about their business challenges. You have to teach people ways they can staff their businesses more strategically. And you may have to focus your sales efforts on a much larger number of smaller perspective clients–companies that are more occasional, and less price sensitive, users of staffing.
But changing your sales approach is part two.
Part one, where you start, is by developing a system to educate employers about staffing. Teaching them how to recognize problems in their organizations that could be solved with a different approach to hiring and/or using contingent workers. These issues might include:
- Departments with high turnover
- Quality or customer service problems
- Inefficient use of high level talent
- Inability to capitalize on business opportunities
- Lack of in-house technical expertise
- Inability to get “c” and “d” priority projects completed
- Seasonal workloads
- Top grading
- Managing normal attrition more effectively
- Retention of top performers
- Morale issues
These are just a few of the many problems that can drive the need for staffing. You challenge is to get employers to recognize that you offer solutions to these issues.
You can’t do this with traditional sales approaches.
The problem with traditional selling is that the buyer assumes they already know what you do–and often that they do no have a need for staffing services. So before you start to sell, you want to raise awareness about the issues that drive the need for your services. And this is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing is about education. It’s a non-threatening, high value technique for teaching people when, why and how to use your services. It’s a methodology for creating new opportunities to sell while positioning your firm as an expert and even a trusted adviser. Content marketing is also a discipline that combines traditional marketing like print, direct mail and PR, inbound marketing techniques like blogging, SEO and social media, and thought leadership activities like writing and speaking.
Content marketing is also not passive. You don’t wait around for prospects to find you. Content marketing should be tightly integrated with direct sales to systematically target the prospect you want to reach, develop regular opportunities for sales calls, and ensure consistent relationship nurturing via multiple channels with every client and prospect.
In part 2, we’ll discuss how to get started with content marketing.
About Haley Marketing
As you might guess, content marketing is our thing. Since 1996, we’ve been educating employers how to use staffing more intelligently–and helping staffing firms to implement the marketing tactics outlined in this blog post.
If you want more ideas for marketing your staffing firm, check out the IdeaLab, our FREE playground for sales and marketing ideas and inspiration. You find more than 70 articles, hundreds of blog posts, four ebooks on marketing, and 7 hours of on demand video training.
And if you want to discuss how to put content marketing to work for your firm, give us a call at 1.888.696.2900.