We all know the feeling well. The job market is being squeezed, financial markets are at an all time low and your clients don’t want to use recruiters. When they do come to you they try to squeeze the fees, you are not making many placements and you are looking for the answer, some help, anything!!
When the markets are like this you tend to spend more time analysing your sales staff activity. It is easy to see who is doing what, who is trying their hardest to create something out of nothing and those that are just stumped for ideas, or worse, just can’t be bothered.
With your experience of boom and bust recruitment markets you talk to your staff and you make suggestions, set targets, even have the odd competition in order to give your sales activity the shot in the arm it needs.
Then you pray (joke).
But in a strange way it’s easy to handle contractions or downward trends in the market, even market shocks can be navigated but what if everything is going well? Maybe we are just getting used to it?
But what if the markets are buoyant, your clients are calling in mandates, your teams are making placements, but you know in your heart of hearts that they could be producing more?
What about your top billers – what if they are making a ton of placements, but you know they are not even out of second gear? You know that if they put their foot on the gas they could take it to the next level. How do you get them to listen to you and to do it?
How do you get more out of people when they are doing OK?
You must remember that mediocrity will kill your business. It’s the consultants that just about do enough in the good times and very little in the bad times that are the ones that truly damage your business.
But some consultants just need a little bit of attention in order for them to get that extra 10% rise in revenue and to make it more consistent.
Time and again we have seen great results if you give people these three magic ingredients: –
- More one-on-one attention and guidance
- Structured training
- Clear targets and a realistic timeframe.
For those that are doing ”ok” when it comes to fee generation, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to encourage them, to guide them, and ask them for 10% more effort on a daily basis. That extra effort combined with these three points will get the “ok” biller up to above average and more regularly.
How do you ask your top billers to do more?
This is the toughest one of all. How do you convince a person who is a billing machine, that has all the commission they ever dreamed of, that has clients that love them and more interview activity than anyone else in the company that they could actually be doing more?
How do you get them to give an extra 10%?
It’s a tough one, but I have found you need to speak to them regularly; you need to involve them more in the business and really find out what drives them. Is it to make more money? Is it to become a partner in the business?
Whatever it is that really motivates them, once you know that, this is what you can use to get more out of them.
It may mean giving them slightly more commission, it may mean selling them equity in the business eventually, but whatever it is that gets them to work that little bit harder you should do it, as it is the business that will thrive in the end.
How do you instil a “winning” culture?
Now you have got that little bit extra out of your OK performers and your High Flyers, how do you make it consistent?
Well, consistency is the key, keep talking to them, constantly train and improve them, show them that no one cares more about their results than you.
This will instil the winning culture you so crave. I hope it works for you as it has for us.