Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If selling is so simple why can’t everyone do it?

Fantastic article by Gavin Ingham . certainly makes me think about the people I have hired who have not succeeded in Recruiting. I'll ask everyone at Bond Street Group to read it. Success in our business is linked to a combination of skills and experience but exceptional performers all have the attitude Gavin articulates. What he describes as the required attitude is something that no amount of training can substitute for it.

credit crisis - best explanation yet - NYT today

Can’t Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club
Published: March 19, 2008 NYT.
This may not be comforting, but your confusion is shared by many people in the middle of this financial crisis

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What kind of word-of-mouth advertising drives sales?

— Martha Lagace writes on the HBS blog:

"According to new research by HBS professor David Godes and Yale colleague Dina Mayzlin, word of mouth that is most effective at moving sales forward "is created by less loyal customers, not loyals, and occurs between acquaintances (not friends)." As for whose opinions most make a difference, the researchers found a wrinkle in the common wisdom that opinion leaders are what count. While it is true that opinion leaders carry great weight among very loyal customers, their word of mouth may be less influential among the less loyals. Rather, a wide social network may be the key. Godes and Mayzlin describe more in their article "Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test," forthcoming in Management Science."

No surprises here. What has changed over the past few years is the ease with which you can maintain substantive acquaintances. Some of the most successful people I know were successful at building a tremendous social network before email, myspace, friendster, facebook and linkedin. Today's tools suggest the playing field has been levelled and the social skills required to build a successful network have been dimunized by technology. If you can't do it now then you should find a profession that does not require relationship building and social networking skills. But a true differentiator between mediocre and exceptional performance in business is still and will continue to be tied to your willingness to pick up the phone and your ability connect directly with someone. More importantly, to inspire someone that is not already a friend or acquaintance to meet with you. My partner would call this "old fashioned sales skills".

Monday, March 17, 2008

solve my problem and land the job

Ovation Travel CEO Paul Metselaar says:

"You can't believe how many resumes are sent to me by people who want to meet with me but who don't make any effort to understand our business. About three years ago a woman looking for a marketing position spoke to some of our executives and then came to me unsolicited with a proposal to lead an effort at our company to market travel services to hedge funds, she has been with us ever since."

Hiring managers are used to reviewing a resume and maybe a cover letter. 99% of candidates play along, hope for the best and then often complain about the poor response they get to submissions. Smart questions and good ideas impress people. If you have the experience and come to a hiring manager with good ideas about how you can improve their business you will certainly stand out and are likely to get the job. We recently started requesting this info from candidates for some jobs prior to submitting them to our clients. I have been impressed with the response. The process gets the candidate and the recruiter thinking about our clients business, improving efficiency all around and adding value to the process.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Economy Impacts Hiring - revision

One day after my last post, Bear Stearns implodes and the fragility of the hiring market in New York was exposed like a bad rash. While the unemployment rate for college grads remains in the 2% range we may clearly be in the midst of a significant hiring slowdown that would create shakeout in the recruiting market.

In anticipation of possibly significant Wall Street layoffs, strong staffing managers in the NY market will become increasingly sensitive to the performance of their recruiters and salespeople. Change in the market presents an opportunity for a strong manager, salesperson or recruiter. If you have the skills, high aspirations and the corresponding dedication the payoff can be better in a weaker economy. For underperformers, it could quickly become a time that expedites the opening of the exit door. Equally at risk are professionals impervious to the required adjustments of a changing market.

What our managers are looking for from our team is:
1. Consistent new client activity
2. Increased responsiveness to existing work flow and clients
3. Dedication and Commitment to excellence and teamwork