In the ’90s, I worked as a salesperson for a tech distributor — one of the biggest and most well-respected companies in the industry. My job was to manage a base of reseller accounts, understand their needs, recommend technology products and negotiate prices. I consistently met or exceeded my sales goals. I thought those results meant I was an excellent salesperson.
However, when the tech bubble burst, I realized my success was less about my skills than it was about being in the right place at the right time. I was a reasonably pleasant person to talk to and capable of learning about a broad range of products, but I wasn’t really selling. I was taking orders. That’s fine during a boom, but order-taking won’t get you through a bust or a recession. Fortunately, I shifted into a marketing role where I could leverage my writing skills to help vendors gain market share and provide the support sales teams needed to sell more. I thrived in this environment for many more years before making my way to Haley Marketing in 2013.
What Does My Background in Tech Sales Have to Do With Marketing for Staffing in 2023?
By all indications, 2023 is predicted to be a challenging year for staffing. If the economy stagnates, closing sales will become more difficult. As a result, any order-takers among your sales staff are likely to self-select off your payroll as their paychecks dwindle. This will leave you with a core sales team of skilled and truly driven professionals. However, even the best salespeople need support to succeed.
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, with marketing taking on a role similar to a caddy in golf. Just as caddies study the green, assess the wind and hand the golfer the club they need to succeed, marketing sets salespeople up for success.
Gone are the days of cold calling with a Thomas Directory in hand. Mobile technology has made it easier than ever to screen calls, making it increasingly difficult to get past gatekeepers. In 2023, “dialing for dollars” just doesn’t work. Rely on marketing to help salespeople reach clients in new ways, setting them up for success in the ever-changing landscape of modern business.
PREMIUM CONTENT: US Staffing Industry Forecast: April 2023 Update
Get Prospects to WANT to Call You
Effective marketing campaigns can make every call a warm call or even inspire clients to pick up the phone and call you. One effective way to attract clients is to give away free advice. Write informative blogs, create a newsletter, conduct webinars or host a podcast. The important thing is to focus on what potential clients and candidates want to know, not to brag about your business.
Lay the Groundwork for Your Sales Team
Provide your sales team with a foundation of support so they can answer questions with confidence and understand the pains employers and job seekers are feeling. Good marketing demonstrates that you understand the problem and are prepared to help them solve it. There is no sense in salespeople trying to sell the best hammer in the world if their prospect needs a tool that will tighten a screw. Target your marketing to the needs of your target audience to ensure sales success.
Five Ways to Build Relationships With Clients and Prospects — and Drive Staffing Sales
Offer free eBooks. Create eBooks that address your prospects’ pain points or highlight your expertise. These eBooks can serve as effective lead-capture tools to help you stay in front of your target audience.
Use email automation. Automating your email campaign can keep your name in the inboxes of your clients or prospects.
Write industry-specific articles. Add blogs to your website or write articles for industry publications sharing helpful ideas on how employers can survive and even thrive through a sluggish economy. For example, explain why a recession could be the best time to increase temporary employee usage.
Speak at and host webinars. Consider volunteering for speaking engagements or hosting informative webinars. You can also be a podcast guest to establish yourself as an industry expert.
Use social media strategically. Keep your brand top of mind by creating a game plan for a consistent and effective social media presence.
Download the Level Up eBook to learn how to generate more leads, improve productivity and close sales in any economy.