The following is from an email I sent to our team here at Masiello Employment.

Good Morning,

I was reading an article this morning with the above title in the September Staffing Industry Review magazine and by the time I was finished, I felt encouraged and realized I had highlighted most of the article.  I would now like to share some of my thoughts with you.  Some of these ideas are those you have heard, so this serves to re-emphasize; other ideas are new to all of us, which hopefully serves to motivate.

Understand Your Clients’ Issues

Darlene Minatel, VP of national sales for Manpower, says “If you don’t understand what your clients’ business issues are, then you won’t succeed.”  Plain, simple, true.  So how do we do this?  Start by asking them, and by using probing questions:  What is your biggest problem with staffing right now?  What’s your biggest expense today?  What is your staffing strategy?

Asking these questions of your clients and prospects is crucial.  Masiello provides Customized Staffing Solutions.  Have you ever asked yourself what that means?  What is a good example of a “customized staffing solution” you have provided?  I can tell you what it doesn’t mean… it means we don’t just take and fill orders.  A new company calls with a job order or potential job order… you are excited, you have people in mind… but slow down.  Ask the hiring manager or business owner “What is the value you see in utilizing our service?  Why have you decided this is the best route?” You will not be talking yourself out of a sale, you will be gaining the trust of a new customer.

Stop Selling a Product.  Start Selling Solutions.

Results At Work is what we put in our logo.  That is our phrase, but it is more than a play on words.  It states that we want positive results for our customers and that we know how to get them.  Most staffing customers, hiring managers, business owners, narrowly define staffing as “I need a widget maker, please find me a widget maker.” In that line of reasoning we are always the worst case scenario because they view our service as nothing more than advertising for jobs, and sending over one of our “temps” we have on call.  Staffing customers know little about the before, the during and the after of the staffing process, and they know even less about the true cost of hiring.  Tell them!  We are not a last resort, we are the first people to call.  If we allow our customers to see us as only order fillers, we not only commoditize our product but we miss an opportunity to show our customer how much value we really can (and do) provide.

Networking and Cold Calling

Don’t be afraid to call existing clients and say, “Who else do you know that might benefit from our service?”  This shows your client you want their help, you trust them, and you respect their opinion.  I encourage all of you to attend breakfast meetings and after-hours events through your Chamber of Commerce.  We pay for memberships to the CoC in each of our areas… do we know what kind of commerce they can help us find?  Is your local Chamber not very active?  Are they lacking in the opportunities for new business development?  Well as a member, you could offer to teach a one hour (free) workshop each month on hiring challenges.  I will be hosting a workshop in Keene as part of a Plus One program, for businesses that are ready to hire their first employee.

You can’t be afraid to pick up the phone and cold call.  The phone is your friend, it is on your desk, your potentially new best client is on the other end.  The businesses aren’t sitting around wondering about us and how we could help them in the future.  When is the last time a business called you and said “We are just exploring our options.  We may need to hire in six months and wanted to be prepared.”  Maybe that has happened… but much, much more often the call involves needing a person yesterday and they feel they have no other choice in finding a person but to “get a temp.”  Shoot down these objections and emergencies by contacting these businesses long before they are angry about the staffing needs they have and can’t fix.  Stay top of mind.  Call, drop by, leave a pen and a business card or some local treats.

Remember to respect people’s time.  People are busy and they are short handed. You don’t want to bug them.  Drop off sales brochures at front desks… you may receive a thank you call, or at the very least give yourself a reason to call them and ask if they received the brochure.

I hope you find all of this helpful.  I keep thinking that if we can sell successfully in this economy we are going to be well equipped when things get better.  Think of it like playing for the NFL for a while, and then going back to play varsity at your high school.

For information about strategic staffing and to better understand how MESI can help your business’s bottom line, contact me at jchagnon@masemp.com or call me at 603-358-1000.