Yes, I said, “Stop Selling.”
Gone are the days when you could plunk a sales person down at a desk, hand him a list of prospects and say, “Don’t stop until you get a job order.” The truth is Hiring Managers are sick and tired of your old scripts. They have heard them all, lived them all, and probably have had a nasty experience with some agency to prove your scripts are absolute BS.
So do us all a favor, feed your script to the nearest shredder. Instead, get down to building relationships. Building relationships takes time, research, effort, and a lot of guts to do. But when done right, you will have built a client relationship that will stick with you no matter where you go or they go. They will be your biggest advocate and your best source of income.
Here are three things you can do today to start building relationships:
Know who you are first
Many sales people don’t know exactly why a client should want to work with them. I recommend you take the time to get to know your company’s history, find out what makes them a great partner for your prospect and why other clients use your company’s services. Once you know about the company, you will be able to tie your story in. Sit down and write why you work for this company, what makes you a great person to work with, and why other clients work with you. This little exercise will give you a personal mission statement you can work by. Remember people buy from people; a personal mission statement like this makes you stand out like a real person for your prospects.
Do Your HOMEWORK
Many third party agencies have a Job Order Form and a Client Credit Checking form, but what is lacking is a “Company/Hiring Manager Profile Form.” A Company/Hiring Manager Profile Form is a great tool to get to know a prospect before you jump in with both feet and offer to help them find people. This form is used to gather information about the prospect from the company’s website, LinkedIN, and last but not least calling the hiring managers themselves to conduct an informational interview. Once you have used all your resources to complete the form, you can review your findings to determine how you can provide value to the prospect. This turns a cold call into a consultative call.
Have a 6 step Marketing Plan
Agencies call it luck when they call a prospect and the get an order. If you are trusting your business to luck, you might start investing in lottery tickets while you’re at it. A better way to ensure your success is to have a market plan for each prospect. I personally like a 6 step marketing plan that gives me a small thing to do for each prospect every two weeks. For example, for my third step, I send an article that relates the prospect’s business. Keeping contact this way, establishes a simple yet meaningful connection with a prospect for a three month span. Afterward, I move them to my monthly newsletter that I email to keep my contact up to speed on their industry. This keeps ME front and center for when they need something.
One of the most effective sales person I ever hired hated sales. She had no sales experience and in six months she had driven 10 brand new clients to my desk. I asked how she achieved this and she responded, “Rebecca, when you hired me I told you I hated sales and the only reason I took the job was because you said you didn’t want me selling. You wanted me to go make friends. All those new clients are our new friends.”
She taught me a very big lesson that I still use today: Sales is all about relationships.
Rebecca B. Sargeant
The Recruiter’s Coach
P.S. If you are interest in the Company/Hiring Manager Profile Form or the 6 Step Marketing Plan
email David – david at curta.ca