The E-Myth philosophy states that recruiting is a form of marketing and sales. You are selling not only the position, but the company to potential candidates. Last week we talked about brand and what sets you apart from other companies looking to hire. This week we'll focus on using that brand in strategy to generate candidates. In many companies, the generation of candidates comes down to posting a job ad in the paper, perhaps using the radio, and calling it a day. That can work, but these days when unemployment is once again shrinking you need a more assertive strategy. Here are a few things to consider when creating a strategy for generating candidates:
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 28
August Spotlight: Is there a Hiring Drought?
We're hearing from many of our clients that it's increasingly difficult to find quality candidates for open positions. It's as if the winds have changed and instead of opening a mailbox to hundreds of resumes, as many did during the recession, there are now zero applicants. When hiring, it's easy to focus on things that you cannot control, like the economy, but this month we invite you to join us as we focus on what you can control.
Why Would Someone Want to Work For Your Company?
This week we have one simple question for you to consider when it comes to hiring: "What makes your company so special that candidates WANT to work for you?" You should always be able to answer this question, but in a candidate drought, it becomes even more important. You end up competing for candidates, which often leads to a salary or benefits war. In essence, your company becomes a commodity. There is no perceived difference between working for your company and company XYZ. The road to more qualified candidates starts with what you are offering.
Community involvement is something we see a lot of business owners do when they first get started. We mentioned it in the tried and true article because the activity typically wanes as a business matures. Why? You get busy. You get older. Your kids get older and have fewer activities. The reasons are many, but our focus is not just how "you" can be involved in the community, but how your "business" needs to be involved in the community. Once again, this is a team activity and these ideas should be shared and discussed with your staff.
This month we've looked at lead generation methods that are tried and true and many using technology. This week we're discussing lead generation that is meant to be explosive and creative. Being creative isn't always unique, but can mean using an idea you've seen done successfully and figuring out how your business can do something similar. The ideas this week are meant to be a bit more creative and create a buzz. Like all of this month's articles, we encourage you to get this in the hands of your staff and start talking about what is possible and stop focusing on what is impossible.
How much time does your business dedicate to the act of generating leads? In many businesses, the answer is shockingly low. Lead Generation is something that we all know MUST happen, but it's not something that is scheduled or planned. To create a true lead generation process, your business needs to commit to spending the time necessary for implementation. We challenge you this week to talk to your team about dedicating the time to go over the ideas we've shared this month and then schedule the time to implement a few that you like for your business
Last week we focused on lead generation ideas using technology. This week we want to take you back. Back to the ideas that were just so good you stopped using them! These tend to be ideas you used when you first started but got so busy (because they produced sales) that you just stopped using them. The challenge this week is to read them without the assumptions and prejudices that you've built up over time. It will be easy to read the list and say, "been there, done that." We challenge you to take the list to your staff and ask, "How could this work for us?"
July Spotlight: Lead Generation Ideas
Does your business have more leads than it can handle? If not then you'll want to follow along in July as we explore all types of lead generation ideas. We'll take a look at using technology for lead generation, tried and true methods, out of the box ideas, and being involved in the community. Each week we'll have a quick introduction and then the content you really want: IDEAS. We encourage you to print out these articles, take them to your sales meeting, and encourage your staff to brainstorm ways to implement these ideas.
Using Technology in Lead Generation
Whether you're a technology expert or a novice, there are lead generations strategies using technology that can help you grow your business. Here are a few of our favorites:
The past month we've talked a lot about handling customer service from the stand point of when things are not going right. We've looked at you not being the first person to provide answers, firefighting, and how things are handled when they go wrong. All of these are necessary steps for providing excellent service, but in order to provide top of the line customer service, you also need to be thinking about how you can be proactive. Customer service isn't always about handling the day to day or when things go wrong, but about going above and beyond.
To be proactive in providing extras such as sending out birthday cards, holiday gifts, welcoming packages or just thank you for doing business with us postcards, you must be organized. It's not the fun side of customer service but it is the critical, behind the scenes work necessary to wow your clients day after day. The two main steps for organizing the service you provide to your clients include: ranking and scheduling.
Without a doubt, there will be a time when your company stumbles and your customer is not happy with the service. This means your employees will need to be prepared to interact with an unhappy customer. It's easy to make the assumption that your staff knows how to handle an upset customer. That assumption might have some truth to it. They know their way to solve problems, which might include years of bad habits. The question is do they know your way? Sure, they might have even seen how you handle it, but do they know how far they can go to satisfy a client? Can they give the client a discount or refund? If they can, how much can they offer? Do they offer the discount first, or is there something that should happen before getting to that point?
Imagine this scenario: Before leaving for vacation, you leave instructions with your staff, "Do not call me unless there is an emergency." A day into your vacation your phone rings and it's an employee saying that Client X needs you to call them back. You ask if it's an emergency. The employee assures you that it is indeed an emergency. So you take time away from your vacation and call the client back, only to find out it's a simple request that your staff not only can handle, but must handle since you are out of the office.
It's easy to assume that either your employee or your client is calling wolf. From your point of view, especially since you're on a much needed vacation, this wasn't an emergency. From the employee's point of view they asked the client very directly, "is this an emergency?" When the client said yes the employee simply followed your instructions. From the client's point of view this day to day task was an emergency. They need it done today whether you're in the office or not.