Given the large networking element of the industry, recruiters can benefit massively from attending and organising events. Considering the volume of potential candidates that attend niche conferences and meet-ups, industry events can be invaluable for securing leads, which is the ultimate goal for any sales driven enterprise, after all.
Sales is simple. Success is simple. Life can be simple. It is people who make it complicated. When I speak at conferences or work with individuals in coaching sessions, they often ask for the “advanced” stuff, explaining that they are good at what they do and that they already know the simple stuff. They are not interested in looking at the basics and checking that they are not missing any tricks.
One of the first rules that I learnt in sales was ‘don’t knock the competition’. It makes you look petty and gives the impression that your product (whatever that is) isn’t good enough to stand on its own two feet and beat the competition in a direct comparison.
So why is it that recently there has been so much emphasis on making statements about how bad your competition is in servicing its clients?
Now that would be unique… different… and would make a company stand out against their competitors! If you review the definition of unique you will find explanations such as:
- Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else
Based on the definitions above — where companies find themselves with high competition, with similar solutions, similar pricing policies targeting similar customers and clients — is there really such thing as a Unique Selling Point?
The other day on LinkedIn, I noticed a question in my news stream — it was from someone I did not know and it was asking about pricing for sales. Maybe it was the way it was worded, or maybe it was because pricing and beliefs about money cut to the core of what I talk about, but I decided to have a look at the comments and replies that the person had received.
“Gavin, we have a great product, clients like it, people want to buy it, but it’s too expensive. Our competition are cheaper and, although they’re not as good, provide better value for money. Because of this, the prices that we been asked to sell at are just not realistic.”
I had just finished my talk at his sales conference and I looked at the salesperson in front of me. He looked earnestly back, awaiting my answer. Sometimes, I think that people want me to wave my magical sales, light sabre and sprinkle them with some kind of sales, Jedi dust! Unfortunately, I had forgotten to pop it in my pocket as I left home that morning, so I had to settle for a bit of good, old fashioned questioning…
Ok, I know it’s a slightly odd title to have in a recruitment blog, but as the comedian once said, “a funny thing happened to me on the way here today….”
Actually, I was shopping for sunglasses. What unfolded, was a lesson to me that had distinct parallels with recruitment.
If your client decides not to proceed with one or any of the candidates you present as part of your shortlist, 9 times out of 10, the reason they will give you is that “they didn’t quite meet the brief”.
However, often it’s not that “they” didn’t quite meet the brief at all. In fact sometimes your client may not have even looked at the candidates’ CV. Believe it or not your client will frequently make a ‘first round’ judgment call based solely on the information included in your candidate profile, recruiter’s summary, or consultant overview.
Here’s the thing, no one reads your political posts or listens to your comments that disagree with their opinions and thinks, “Wow! You’re right, I’m changing my mind”.
In fact, there is a fairly strong case that by carping on and on and on and on (and on and on and on…), that you repel people who do not agree with you, reinforce their opposing opinions, and entrench their position.
A couple of weeks ago I got a poorly worded, grammatically inept marketing email clearly sent out to thousands of recipients. “Dear Sir/Madam”, gave it away…