All posts tagged: selling

Rejected by a Talented Candidate? Do This

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It’s inevitable that someone you want to interview or hire will say “no.” However, that “no” isn’t permanent. You can get a talented person to change his or her mind by applying a powerful principle of selling.

I first witnessed this principle during a conversation with a longtime client. He called to say there was somebody else. Another company had approached him, offering similar services for 5% less.

My client explained that he had to watch his budget and decided to seriously consider making a change. He further explained to me that he didn’t really want to, but if I couldn’t meet that price, he’d have to go with the other company.

Now of course, I felt a bit betrayed. Rather than give in to this feeling, which was valid but unhelpful for solving the problem, I kept the conversation going.

“Harvey, I want to thank you for calling and being candid with me. I’m curious. What would it make it worth staying with us, paying what you are now?”

There was a pregnant pause. He didn’t just dismiss the question out of hand, which was a good sign.

“That’s an interesting question,” he said. “There is something. Our payables department has been on us about getting longer payment terms to help with cash flow. If we had a bit longer to pay, that might make it worth that 5%.”

Playing off his idea, I simply asked:

“Okay, what’s longer?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe 10 more days?”

Harvey’s voice had gone from conciliatory and resigned to hopeful in a matter of seconds. Now, instead of prompting me to adjust my price or lose him as a client, he asked me for accommodations in order to maintain our relationship. This created a productive conversation in place of a “break up” phone call.

Harvey’s company had always paid on time and often, in less than 30 days so his request was by no means unreasonable. Now, I needed only one more question to close the deal.

“If I can get you those 10 additional days, then can we continue working together in the way we always have?”

“Yes, Scott. Thank you! That’s such a relief. I really wasn’t looking forward to the transition.”

I remember ending that phone call with a smile on my face. I had just experienced the value of allowing Harvey to sell himself on an idea, rather than trying to do the heavy lifting myself. I let the better salesperson sell. Him. Not me. He sold himself on changing his own mind.

Yes, I kept Harvey as a client. More importantly, I’d experienced a powerful sales principle. A principle that became an important focus in my recruiting and hiring. That principle:

Buyers always believe themselves, but only sometimes believe you.

Job candidates are buyers. They’re buying into opportunities. When they say “no,” they’re the most qualified person in the conversation to change it into a “yes.”

How does this work in recruiting and hiring? Well, there was the project manager who wanted a higher salary than we could offer. I asked, “What would make it worth taking the job for what we originally offered?” He talked himself into that number after asking for an extra week of vacation.

Then there was the accountant who didn’t want to drive across town for a job. I posed the following: “Under what circumstances would you consider commuting that far?” The accountant offered up the idea of a flex schedule sealing the deal for her to accept the role.

Candidates always believe themselves, but only sometimes believe you. Let the better salesperson sell, especially when it’s a candidate who just said “no.” If there’s anyone who can get them to change their own mind, it’s them, not you.

Scott WintripRejected by a Talented Candidate? Do This
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Advice From a Sales Expert on How to Get Top Talent to Pick Your Job

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Tony Mayo is a sales expert and executive coach to business owners. In this interview, he delivers golden nugget after golden nugget on how to effectively sell during interviews. Get your pen ready, because you don’t want to miss a detail.

Here are the additional resources Tony spoke of in the interview:

Tough Talk – Conversations That Make A Difference

WEBINAR: The Conversation Contract™

WEBINAR: Be More Curious, Effective, & Empathetic

Scott WintripAdvice From a Sales Expert on How to Get Top Talent to Pick Your Job
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Noise Canceling the Competition

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageCompetitive golfers and dancers keep their competition top of mind, knowing their influence can undermine them at any moment. Just the noise from these competitors can cause them to slice a drive or miss a step, creating a lost opportunity which ends up losing the match. The competition ends up stealing their trophies, their winnings and even their self-confidence and pride. The real power of these competitors comes from where they live—right between the ears. That’s why we often hear people saying they are competing with themselves, as they know that the only real competition, the thing that can get in their way, is their own thinking.

Just like these athletic professionals, competition for customers and candidates is not on the outside, but in our own competitive thinking. The other companies who provide similar services are not competitors, but merely potential distractions. What they do, how they do it, the price they charge and any games they play only matter if we let it.

There is enough noise that comes from the critic that lives in the human head. Isn’t it best not to add to the cacophony by simply ignoring what other people do?

“You can allow the noise from the competition to fade into the background. You can choose to act as if you were the market of one for the people you want to serve.” – Bernadette Jiwa, Marketing: A Love Story

Scott WintripNoise Canceling the Competition
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Megavitamins for Customer Relationships

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The Verbal Vomit

It’s often said that salespeople should listen more than talk, however, those spouting this wisdom typically are the ones who continue to inundate those around them with voluminous amounts of words. In fact, most salespeople spew a stream of factoids, details, and feature-benefit chunks of information all over prospective clients.

No one likes to be thrown up on, and it’s certainly no way to start or grow an important relationship. Instead, our industry must adhere to a better standard:

Say little, ask a lot.

When you live by this rule, you always hear more while keeping the buyer engaged in a much more compelling conversation. Since the buyer always believes him or herself but only sometimes, if ever, believes you, you’re letting the better closer close. And, when you consistently conduct yourself in this manner, important comments you make are actually heard versus dismissed, since you’ve demonstrated that you share only important details.

Not only is this standard soothing to buyers, like a spoonful of Pepto Bismol, it’s also a mega-dose of vitamins that establishes and grows healthy, long-lasting partnerships.

Scott WintripMegavitamins for Customer Relationships
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The Tesla Approach to Staffing and Recruiting

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageCar fanatic or not, there is a lot to like about a Tesla and how this electric vehicle is a model for better business. Acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds, which the Model S can now achieve, is the kind of rapid velocity staffing and recruitment customers can experience when firms shift from reactive to active recruiting. Most buyers need that talented person yesterday, so speeding that individual to them to start work today is how a growing number of firms are zooming past their competitors.

Even though automobile dealers have lots of power and sway (too much if you ask me), Tesla powers its sales without caving in to the traditional, commoditized dealership model, choosing instead to sell out of stores in upscale shopping malls. The best staffing and recruiting firms also avoid the commodity game by negotiating value, not price, while approaching buyers in ways that attract attention instead of repelling them from even answering the phone.

Visit one of those stories and you find that less is more when it comes to the components that allow Teslas to achieve rapid velocity. Unlike a gasoline engine with hundreds of moving parts, Tesla electric motors have only one moving piece: the rotor. It’s this lean simplicity that helps make it so fast and nimble. Getting lean in our business, especially in eliminating all the wasted time and effort in the recruiting process (called Lean Recruiting), speeds talent acquisition, allows candidates to get to work more quickly, and staffing and recruiting firms to be more equitably rewarded for the value they provide.

Acceleration, innovative selling, and lean systems―three components that make Tesla leading-edge and can make your firm a leading provider.

Scott WintripThe Tesla Approach to Staffing and Recruiting
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Shut Up and Sell

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageIn just two minutes the salesperson had gotten the client to say “yes” to giving his firm a shot at filling their needs. Had he stopped there, all would have been right and good in his world. Unfortunately, he continued to talk, extolling the features and benefits of the staffing services provided by his company. The “yes” turned into a “no” after the customer recanted, deciding to take time to think over his decision. Now that customer is buying from another firm, one I suspect whose salesperson didn’t kill an affirmative decision.

Often, salespeople don’t know when to shut up, especially when they’re focused on what they plan to say instead of hearing what the customer needs to share. Instead of deals that are done, their over-sharing causes business opportunities to come undone.

Selling is not telling, and even though many salespeople will say they know this, they keep talking anyways. When we shut up and sell we ask first, listen second, and only comment briefly (nine seconds or less is the rule) once we thoroughly understand what the customer needs and wants.

Shutting up may not be the most exciting way to sell, but the results it achieves are exhilarating.

Scott WintripShut Up and Sell
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