How would you like to sell more by selling less? I probably had you at the first half of that sentence, huh?! Sales are the lifeblood of any company, save for a few in Silicon Valley perhaps, but for sure working the phones and pounding the pavement keeps the lights on at staffing companies. Let me offer up a little nugget though that might help re-frame the process, and get better results.
Just an hour before I began to write this post, I received a quarterly marketing newsletter from a search firm. This is how it begins. Once a year we reflect on what we've accomplished. We are thrilled to report another successful year, and share our list of accomplishments and engagements.
So what's in it for me? How does that add value to the way I do business? It's all about them, written from their point of view, seeing the world through their lens. It is the exact opposite of customer-centric messaging.
Here's another anecdote. I was recently contacted by the head marketing person at a company that needed some quick media training for their CEO prior to a big TV interview. As part of my due diligence, I looked at previous interviews, their website and their sales and marketing pieces. The stuff was all well done, and it was all about them. Completely. 100%. The only information they impart is about their products and their company.
What if instead of simply selling, you try to educate? What if instead of telling a potential client or customer about how great you are you instead start off by asking questions? Have you used a staffing company before? Why or why not? What was your experience? Do they understand some of the basic benefits of contingent labor? Can you help them understand how to classify workers? Are they confused about the Affordable Care Act? Okay, forget about that last one. We all are.
The point is, you aren't trying to sell them anything, you are merely trying to mentor and educate them and give them some of the benefit of your accumulated knowledge about staffing.
Maybe you could write a downloadable white paper that resides on your website called "How to select a staffing company." Don't make it a commercial. In fact don't give a plug or pitch for your company at all. Just teach. Help someone with what they don't know.
Think about it. Do you like to be sold? The answer is no. Nobody does. Now ask yourself this question. Do you like to be helped? The answer is yes. Most people do. The difference between the two is subtle, but impactful.
Tell a story
Now, you can increase the effectiveness of this education process even further with a well told story.
This takes the customer interaction away from data and facts, away from processing and organizing, away from skepticism and transactions, and instead guides them to the place where emotions and feelings reside and where your customer finds connections with you.
When you wrap your mentoring with a story, resistance begins to fall and
fade. You break down the feelings of “being sold” in the mind of a customer.
Remember it’s not about you, your company, or your staffing services. It’s about meeting your customer's needs and adding value.
When you start paying more attention to your customer needs than your revenue needs, you’ll find you have fewer revenue problems.
Because you won't have to sell. They'll want to buy. So stop selling. And sell more.