Are you a good salesperson?
I thought I was. Back in the 90s, I worked for a tech distributor. It was one of the biggest and most well-respected in the industry, selling technology products to resellers. The phones rang all day, every day. My job was to manage a base of accounts by understanding their needs, recommending products, negotiating prices, etc. I consistently met or exceeded my goals.
That means I was an excellent salesperson, right?
That’s certainly what I thought—until the tech bubble burst.
As it turns out, I was just in the right place at the right time. I was a reasonably pleasant person to talk to and capable of learning an adequate amount about a broad range of products. I wasn’t really selling. I was taking orders, which is fine during a boom. I was doing everything that was asked of me and more. Anyone can sell when the economy is booming, but order-taking won’t get you through a bust or a recession.
I was fortunate. By the time the tech market floundered, I had shifted into a marketing role, leveraging my writing skills to help vendors gain market share and help the sales team sell more. This job better suited my skills and education, and I thrived in this environment for many more years before making my way to Haley Marketing in 2013.
What does a story about tech sales in the 90s have to do with marketing for staffing in 2023?
By all indications, 2023 is likely to be a rough year for staffing. If the economy slows down, it’s harder to close sales. The order-takers among your sales staff are likely to self-select off your payroll as their paychecks get smaller and smaller. That will leave you with a core sales team of skilled, focused and driven professionals.
Salespeople Need Your Support to Succeed
But they need your support to succeed. And one of the lessons I’ve learned over the years is that sales and marketing are a one-two punch. To mix metaphors, think of your top salespeople as elite golfers and marketing as their caddies. Caddies study the green, assess the wind and hand the golfer the club they need. The only thing the golfer needs to worry about is powering through the drive or tapping in the putt.
Stop Relying on Cold Calls
Similarly, marketing sets staffing salespeople up for success. Long gone are the days of handing someone a Thomas Directory and telling them to start dialing for dollars. Today’s clients are much harder to reach. Getting past gatekeepers has always been a challenge. Now, mobile is the norm and makes screening calls easier than ever. “Dialing for dollars” doesn’t work in 2023. When you cold call someone, the only thing they’re thinking about is how to get off the call.
Make Prospects Want to Call You
Marketing can make every call a warm call—or better yet, have clients calling you. I may be giving away trade secrets here, but Haley Marketing makes no outbound sales calls. None. All efforts toward marketing Haley’s services are focused on driving inbound sales. It’s about branding and clarity of vision. We help staffing companies stand out, stay top-of-mind, and sell more.
Give Away Free Advice
We give away tons of free resources and marketing ideas through our Big Ideas newsletter, offer regular Lunch with Haley webinars (most of which offer ASA Active CE credit for live attendees), and host the Secrets of Staffing Success podcast.
Lay the Groundwork for Your Sales Team
Our sales team works hard because every sale is complex and consultative with many options and moving parts. But they start with a foundation of expertise and trust that would be extremely difficult to build without support. There is no reason staffing companies can’t do the same for their sales professionals.
How to Stay Front-of-Mind with Prospects and Clients
- Create eBooks prospects can download for free, addressing their pain points or showcasing your expertise. They make excellent lead capture tools.
- Use automation to create an email nurture campaign that keeps your name in client or prospect inboxes. (Learn how with our Smart Automation Checklist.)
- Write blogs for your site or articles for industry publications with ideas for how employers can ride out the storm. (One hint: job orders for temporary employees should go UP in a recession. Tell them why.)
- Volunteer for speaking gigs. Host informative webinars. Be a guest on podcasts. (For example: Secrets of Staffing Success. We love interviewing industry experts!)
- Keep your brand top of mind through social media. You need a strategy and a schedule to be consistent and effective. Download our guide, Social Media: A Game Plan for Staffing and Recruiting Firms.
Just to prove we’re not all talk, download our latest eBook, Top 18 Marketing Strategies and Tactics for 2023. It’s loaded with ideas you can implement yourself or discuss with the team at Haley Marketing.