Tag Archives: Sales Coach

Top #Salespeople of All-Time: Erica Feidner


Erica Feidner has been regarded as the Piano Matchmaker, having successfully matched over 1,200 clients with pianos. Erica is a trusted adviser to musicians everywhere and prides herself in matching artists to their instruments.

Erica was the top sales representative for Steinway & Sons worldwide for eight consecutive years, selling over $41 million dollars in pianos. She was able to overcome the roadblocks in creating a sales message that appeals for both first-time purchasers who are hesitant to make the purchase, and experienced players looking for a constant companion.

Feidner has the ability change her sales approach to suit the stage at which her prospective purchase is approaching the sale. She meshes her skill as a piano teacher, which her business acumen and piano knowledge.

In 2014, she joined the world’s top piano retailer, the Faust Harrison Pianos. Erica Feidner believes that each piano has a unique soul, that is why it is significant to know what a client longs for.

This is the fifth part of our 14-part series on the Top Salespeople of All Time. Are you afraid you’re going to miss an update? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive a weekly update from Curta Precision Recruitment.


Top #Salespeople of All-Time: Joe Girard


Having sold 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership in a 15-year period, Joe Girard has been widely regarded as the world’s greatest salesman and has even been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

It was in 1963, that a 35-year old Girard walked into a Detroit dealership and beg a doubtful manager for a job as a used car salesperson. He sold a car on his first day and by the second month the other salespeople wanted him fired because he was too good. He moved on to another Chevrolet dealership where he worked until retirement. It was there that he set consecutive sales records over a 12-year period.

In 2001, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. He attributes his success to sending out 13,000 greeting cards per month to stay in touch with clients.

This is the fourth part of our 14-part series on the Top Salespeople of All Time. Are you afraid you’re going to miss an update? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive a weekly update from Curta Precision Recruitment.

Top #Salespeople of All-Time: Dale Carnegie


Dale Carnegie was an American writer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Born into a lower class family farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People which is a massive bestseller that remains popular and relevant today.

One of the core ideas in Carnegie’s books is that it’s possible to change other people’s behaviour by changing how one’s behaviour toward them.

After finding little success as an actor, Carnegie returned to New York City broke and living at the YMCA. It was there he got the idea to teach public speaking, and persuaded the manager of that particular YMCA manager to allow him to instruct a class for an 80% return of the proceeds.

Carnegie had tapped into the American desire to have more self-confidence, and by 1914 he was making $500 a week, which equates to almost $12,000 with today’s inflation. One of his most famous and successful sales moves was to change the spelling of his name from “Carnegey” to “Carnegie”, which at the time was an influential name because of Andrew Carnegie.

This is the third part of our 14-part series on the Top Salespeople of All Time. Are you afraid you’re going to miss an update? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive a weekly update from Curta Precision Recruitment.

Top #Salespeople of All-Time: Mary Kay Ash


It’s hard to believe that the founder of Beauty Empire, Mary Kay started her sales career selling books door-to-door after World War II.

While working at Stanley Home Products, Mary Kay Ash became frustrated after a man she mentored was given a promotion over her. She retired in 1963 and sought out to write a book that would aid women in business. That book became the business plan for her ideal company, and in turn laid the foundation for Mary Kay Cosmetics.

She considered her “Golden Rule” the founding principle of Mary Kay Cosmetics and the marketing plan was designed to allow women to advance by helping others succeed. She advocated “praising people to success” and encouraged the women in her company to keep their lives in good balance.

At the time of her death in 2001, the company had 800,000 representatives in 37 countries with total annual sales over $200 million. As of 2014, there are more than 3 million consultants worldwide and Mary Kay herself is largely considered one of the leading female entrepreneurs in American History.

This is the second part of our 14-part series on the Top Salespeople of All Time. Are you afraid you’re going to miss an update? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive a weekly update from Curta Precision Recruitment.

Top #Salespeople of All-Time – David Ogilvy

top sales people of all time

David Ogilvy is often referred to as the father of advertising and was one of the most sought after Ad-Men of his time.

His success in advertising and sales came from his ability to gather information about his consumers, treating them like human beings instead of morons. He is famously quoted as saying, “The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” He disliked loud, patronizing ad campaigns and believed consumers should be treated as though they are intelligent.

He listed himself as a research director, knowing that the information he could glean from consumers was priceless. He prided himself on being a creative who could not only be an original thinker, but also sell what he created.

David Ogilvy is the first in our 14-part Top Salespeople blog series. Stay tuned as we will be posting daily. If you miss out at all this week, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Links are in the menu above.

Never Skip Your Homework – #SalesTips

In Ardi Kolah’s book The Art of Influencing and Selling, one of the quotes that stood out to me most was that, “Success is dependent on doing your homework.”

I’ve written before that the art of selling hinges on curiosity and that requires a little bit of homework. Just being curious isn’t enough, but the willingness to put the work into searching for answers is what will win you a negotiation.

Ardi Kolah continues on letting their readers know that sales are about, “being ruthless in qualifying in and qualifying out…” and any good recruiter knows that qualifying means doing some research. If you’re focusing your resources on those you know may have already opted into your product, then there is a great chance of achieving a positive sales outcome.


As a recruiter, I am constantly trying out new tools to optimize my business and in turn have tried out some great software systems, and some less than great. Anyone who has followed me for more than a year knows that I dislike Bullhorn as a product and that there is definitely room for improvement.

Any account manager doing their homework would know not to waste my time when it comes to pitching Bullhorn as my main ATS system.

This however, didn’t stop a rookie salesperson from calling me one morning and all but admitting that he had no idea who I was and definitely did not do any research on my brand or history with Bullhorn.

This is what will not only lose you potential customers, but also damage your brand in the long run.

If you want to make a sale, do your homework. This could be a quick Google search, to an in-depth brand analysis. When you call someone to pitch your services, you are taking up their time. Nothing will annoy a business owner or potential client off more than someone who starts their business relationship by wasting their time.

If as a customer I can understand that your product will save me time and money, then I will buy from you. But if I have to wade through endless follow-up calls and run-on pitch right off the bat, you are already showing me that you and your product have no interest in my business. Don’t waste my time, because my time is money.

Quoted directly from The International Negotiation Handbook:

One of the most important aspects of a successful negotiation is preparation. A negotiation can be won or lost in the preparation phase… Inadequate preparation can cause irreparable damage to relationships and the possibility of future negotiations with the parties involved.

In much less words, not doing your homework will damage sales and your brand in one fell swoop.

Curta will be holding our Selling in the Knowledge Era again on October 19th from 9-12 PM EST. We had great feedback with our last class and cannot wait to get feedback from our follow-up coaching call. For information on the course click through here.

Cultivating Curiosity – How To Sell Effectively

In Chris Guthrie’s I’m Curious he starts with pushes a good negotiator forward:

Good negotiators must understand their counterparts’ perspectives, interests, and arguments to do well at the bargaining table. To understand one’s counterpart a negotiator needs to be curious about what her counterpart has to say. In other words, a negotiator should cultivate a stance of curiosity. (I’m Curious)

My curiosity is what drove me to recruiting. My urge to know what’s going on in every industry, how the marketplace was shaping up, and how big business ran on a day-to-day business has help me close more deals in my career than sheer talent. I’ve always wanted to know how your business works and how it could be more effective. I want to know every piece of your business from top to bottom, and it’s this curiosity and willingness to learn that has made me a great salesperson.


From a training point of view, curiosity is the holy grail of education and what makes you an excellent student. It’s this curiosity that endears you to clients, candidates and team members. It is the attribute that makes you seem genuinely interested in what any given person is telling you. Curiosity is one of the most overlooked attributes any given person can have, but this modesty gives others the idea that you would like to genuinely know them and their business. (TeachThought)

Self-taught designer Tobias van Schenider says that everything starts with a willingness to learn and curiosity, and that cultivating and sustaining your curiosity starts with surrounding yourself with people who are “better” than you and make you feel good about what you’re doing. (LIFEHACKER)

Tobias is right, cultivating curiosity can come from having a genuine enjoyment and interest but there are also other ways to open your mind and feel that same urge to learn about business around you.

It’s important to keep an open and curious mind. Be open to learning, and relearning about your potential client or candidate. You should be prepared to adjust the profile that you already have in your head.

Don’t just accept things at face value. If you take everything as you see it, you’ll never push beneath the surface and really figure out why is something works that way.

Ask questions. Part of actively listening to your client is hearing what they are saying to you and asking questions about why it’s like that, or where that comes from.

See learning as something fun. Don’t walk into this as a sales call, don’t stress about business development. This is just a conversation with someone in your industry. This is a networking call and you’re just taking the time to dig into their business and how it works. Enjoy the learning process because even if you don’t pick up business, you’ve learned about yet another company in your industry.

Curiosity is the basis of my sales training and what has made me so successful in my career. While I can’t teach curiosity, I can foster it and this is ultimately what will make you an elite sales professional.

We are holding a Sales Training Course on September 21st, 2015 for information about the syllabus, please visit our website or contact us directly for more information.

Our Selling in the Knowledge Age is going to be running from 9 AM EST – Noon on September 21st. For an in-depth look at the syllabus, please check out our website or contact myself directly at rebecca@curta.ca.

Become a Subject Matter Expert…


…And Fast-Track to Higher Billing

As Recruiters we are reminded how challenging our jobs are almost every day. Luckily, with experience comes perspective. So after two decades, I have amassed many “challenge killing” techniques from work colleagues, managers, mentors and coaches.

One of my favorite techniques can answer many questions. “How can I build my candidate pool fast? How can I build my client’s respect? How can I double my production? How can I get more referrals? How can I speed up my sourcing, screening and matching?” It’s hard to believe, that one technique will answer all of these questions.

This technique or strategy came out of necessity. The agency I worked for during the late 90’s had so many client requirements that it was difficult to focus. I learned early in my career that you should target requirements with a high fill potential, but everything at that time was hot. Great for the company, but I was seeing a lot of second prize ribbons, with limited placements.

To give myself a better chance of success, I watched the recruiters who were making more placements and tried to figure out the formula for success. One thing I noticed was Account Managers would go to specific Recruiters depending on their requirements. So I asked why. What they said hit me like a load of bricks. “I go to that particular Recruiter because they are the office expert for the skill I need.”

It was so simple. So I spoke with these recruiters and soon found out some of the other benefits of becoming a Subject Matter Expert (SME). What they were doing was basic. They chose a specific skill or position, (Project Manager, Business Analyst, Java Programmer) that clients were always asking for. They focused all of their efforts to become an expert in that skill starting with sourcing.

I found that focusing on one skill and becoming a SME lead to;

  • Faster sourcing as I knew what companies to target and how to get to the passive candidates,
  • I was building a more focused pool of quality candidates faster,
  • Candidates had a greater trust in me because I knew what I was talking about,
  • I was getting more referrals as candidates trusted me with their network
  • I was getting better qualified candidates as I was reaching more passive candidates,
  • I had a deeper understanding of the core skills and also specializations for these roles,
  • My screening/profiling was faster. I could tell the difference between a solid and weak candidate,
  • My matching was faster. I knew what would work for each client,
  • I was trusted in the office as someone who had the ability to present the best candidates,
  • Account reps came to me directly on these roles. I was getting “special” treatment,
  • I could skill-market every day as I had a steady stream of high quality candidates.

Once I became a SME, it didn’t take long to double my placements and I stopped worrying about the revenue roller-coaster every month. The most significant lesson I learned from this strategy was I could have control over my schedule. I had stopped being a reactive recruiter who was ruled by his e-mail and chased requirements all day. I evolved into a proactive recruiter who stayed focused on daily habits that drove quality candidates through the process and ultimately to hire.

The bottom line is you can take charge of your day and eliminate a ton of time consuming challenges by focusing on one niche. Sure, it takes some discipline and a learning curve. It doesn’t happen overnight. But if you stick with it, you’ll build yourself a great foundation of ready candidates, happy clients, and better placements. Plus, you’ll end up with more time and more money in the bank.

Don’t work hard, work smart!


David Mandar

What Would Harvey Specter Do?


As Recruitment Professionals we all consider ourselves some form of a “Closer.”   A guru that we could all learn from is Harvey Specter, from the TV show ‘Suits’.  Harvey is a revered lawyer, known as ‘the best closer in New York City.’  As one of the main characters and a partner in the firm, Harvey proved to us that with a certain amount of talent, and a strong ability to think outside the box, we can be very successful.

10 things we can learn from Harvey Specter:

  1. Don’t get emotionally attached!  As a Recruitment Professional, your job is to find the best person to take a company to the next level.  Your clients are not your friends, they are clients.  Your candidates are not your fans, they are your product.  When the deal is done, get out of the way and let everyone else get to work.
  2. Know people, better than they know themselves.  We trade on our relationships every day.  If you set up an interview before knowing everything there is to know about both parties, more fool you!  Knowing the smallest details about all parties will allow you to defuse potential bombs you may ignite by setting up an interview.
  3. Keep pressing until it hurts. Then you know where to look.  Clients make bad hiring decisions and candidates make bad career moves.  Don’t shy away from uncovering these mistakes.  You will be saving everyone time, and will be able to close deals easier.
  4. Be tough but fair, and call it like you see it. You don’t make money on unfillable orders so don’t waste your time trying to. You don’t make money fighting off calls from candidates who should have been disqualified two weeks ago.  Take the time, right there and then to set expectations.
  5. When someone has a gun to your head, take the gun away from them.  We all feel pushed when we are trying to close a deal at the eleventh hour. When the candidate or the client is holding a gun to your head by trying to force an impossible situation TAKE THE GUN AWAY FROM THEM.  Say “NO”.  You will be surprised how quickly people become willing to work together when you take the power back.
  6. Take responsibility.   A client forgetting an interview or a candidate telling an off color joke is our responsibility.  You are responsible for making sure everything is done, and everyone is prepped and debriefed properly.
  7. Don’t tell them what they want to hear.  Tell them what they need to hear.  A bad hire or a bad career move will cost everyone in the end.  Be the expert you are in the process, and explain the consequences of a bad move.  Not everyone will like your ideas, but they will respect them.
  8. Don’t play the odds, play the man.  Better known as “Candidate Control” or “Client Control.”  If you don’t know what Candidate Control or Client Control is, you need to find a Recruiter Training class to get into ASAP.
  9. Always hire up.  This goes for you, and your hiring managers.  Whether you want to grow personally or you want your company to grow, always hire someone smarter then you.  You say,  “But there is no one smarter than me!”?  I am sorry to say there is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder.  Maybe you want to rethink that position?
  10. Loyalty is everything. ~ To your clients, candidates, internal staff. Need I say more?

Next time you are faced with a tough moment just think…#WWHD?


The Recruiter’s Coach

Why Do I Market Candidates?

I have a long successful career on establishing profitable business, breaking new industries, and turning a profit when the rest of the recruiting/staffing industry is still trying to recover from any given recession they might be experiencing.   When asked how I consistently do this with repeated success, I explain   “I Market Candidates.”    

Here are some of the reasons why I market candidates:

  1. Get To The Point ~ When I call into a manager and explain that I have a highly sought after candidate that is “interested in working with them above anyone else”, of course that manager is going to listen!  If that manager is struggling to fill his opening, I now have a jump on the rest of my completion because I already have a candidate in position.  If the Manager is not looking for this particular candidate, that is ok too.  Often a manager will give you another order or possibly even give you a “heads up” on another opportunity for your candidate.
  2. Drive Higher Fees ~ Over the years we have all become accustomed to quoting our clients a percentage of salary for a candidate.   When I am marketing a candidate, I quote my client a ‘flat fee’ for my service, calculated as 25% of the candidate’s highest salary expectation. This enables my client to negotiate a fair and equitable salary with my candidate, and I still receive top dollar for my services.
  3. Proves My Expertise ~ Marketing Candidates works best when the Recruiter is niched.  By bringing candidates TO the customer, I show that I am an expert in market information, available candidates, a company’s inner workings, and upcoming job openings.  With this specialized information, I present to clients as the Market Expert.
  4. Build Stronger Relationships ~ Hiring Mangers and Candidates all need help with their careers.  Whether they need my coaching on dealing with a new boss, or if they would like advice on how to move up the corporate ladder, keeping my door open to everyone for these small requests has me front and center when they need to hire or find a new job.
  5. Close Deals Quicker ~ There will always be 25 steps in the Recruitment Process, and skipping even just one step is not an option.  What is a variable is how quickly you skip through the steps.  By the time I begin to market someone, I have already sourced, screened, interviewed, reference checked and written up the candidate.  All my hiring managers have to do now is get the candidate through the interview stages and pick the start date.  When set up correctly, I find the candidate and the hiring manager often work closely together to smoothly complete the hiring. 

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that good candidates are cash in the bank, and Job Orders should be filed as “Bad Fiction” in the nearest circular file.

Special Note:

If you are interested in knowing how to market candidates, please join the RBS “Building Business ~ Marketing Course” given on select Friday’s during the summer. 

  • On July 12th our special class for Owners and Independent Recruiters is completely booked.
  • On July 26th we are holding a customized class for Women in the Staffing and Recruiting industry.  (We still have a few spots available for this class.)