Find Tomorrow’s “A” Clients…for FREE

Who are the top five users of staffing services in your market?

OK, that’s an easy one. But can you name the top five small companies that are about to expand and need flexible staffing solutions? Stumped? Here’s how you can find out–for FREE!

In your market, there are undoubtedly hundreds (if not thousands) of small businesses.

While most probably don’t need your services today, they will–at some point.

Your challenge is to discover the rising stars, and hitch your wagon…before the competition even knows they exist!

Discovering the Rising Stars

Step 1: Identify young stars

What’s a star to your business? Is it a volume account or a smaller, higher margin account? Is it a manufacturer, a service business, or something else? Where is it located?

To identify young stars, first create a profile of your most desirable existing customers.

These may not be your biggest accounts, but they should be your most profitable.

Identify their size, SIC, location, and any other defining characteristics.

Try to be as specific as you can about the types of businesses you want to serve.

Next, buy a list of companies matching the characteristics of your ideal clients. When purchasing your list, include companies that would normally be too small to hit your prospecting radar screen. Even companies with as few as five employees can become great consumers of staffing (I know, we used to be one of those companies).

Step 2: Determine what you need to know

Create a fact sheet outlining key information you’d like to learn about each of your young stars (e.g., current size, products & services offered, future hiring plans, HR decision maker, current use of staffing, etc.). Then develop a questionnaire or survey form to collect the data.

Consider structuring your questionnaire as a marketing research survey, for example, a study of small business hiring issues in which you ask questions about trends related to each company’s growth goals, staffing plans, and perceptions about staffing services. You will find it significantly easier to get people to participate in a marketing research survey than to answer sales questions.

Step 3: Gather intelligence

Hire an intern (or two or three) from a local college. If you design your survey as a marketing research project, you may be able to get very talented students (up to and including MBAs) to work for free. At worst, you will only have to pay a relatively small hourly wage to get the data collected.

Once you’ve hired and trained your interns, turn them loose to collect the data. Be sure to manage the intern as you would any other employee-with specific goals, rewards, and accountability for results.

Step 4: Get ready to SELL!

If you’ve asked the right questions, your research will provide an exceptional prospect list. You’ll know who’s hiring and when to call. You’ll know who the decision makers are and the value you can offer. And most importantly, you’ll be way ahead of the competition!

All that remains is to execute an effective sales and marketing program…and start filling the orders!

Make the Most of Your Sales Efforts

What’s the greatest constraint on your business? It’s your time! Why waste it with companies that can’t or won’t use your services? Cold calling is a fruitless time stealer.

And in today’s economy, where major employers are cutting back, effective time management is more vital than ever.

Now is the time to invest in market research. Identify the rising stars in your market-and keep your sales people focused on qualified prospects!

A Note about Selling to Rising Stars

Small, high growth companies are quite different than traditional high volume users of staffing services. Whereas large, sophisticated HR departments understand staffing and are aggressive price shoppers, growth companies will buy value. But first, they need to be educated!

All too often, small business owners harbor negative perceptions about staffing. They see temporary employees as low quality and staffing services as high cost. To sell value, you have to show them how staffing solves problems. Teach them how a strategic approach to staffing can control cost, improve productivity, and speed the hiring process. Demonstrate how affordable your services are. And most importantly, be persistent in your efforts.