Personal branding is one of the most important tools in a salesperson’s arsenal. It describes the process by which the sales professional creates and develops an identity around their name and professional reputation. For salespeople therefore, developing one’s brand is a highly effective means of communicating their qualifications, skills, expertise and values. With personal branding, the main goal is for the sales candidate to grow their reputation; which consequently enables them to grow their network more efficiently. Besides this, the manner in which the salesperson develops their personal brand is what determines how effectively they capture the interest of sales recruiters and headhunters.
One of the key elements while growing one’s personal brand is to know who you are as a salesperson, in addition to being clear on what you bring to the table. Another benefit of personal branding in sales is that it a good personal brand builds the employer’s brand as well. Here are some of the aspects you need to understand when building your brand.
Consumers, both individual and corporate, buy off of people as opposed to buying a product or service. For example, a salesperson may be selling the best product of its kind in the market but if the prospective client does not like you, they are unlikely to buy. By contrast, a consumer is likely to buy an inferior product or service because they like the salesperson or because they recognize the brand.
Personal branding for salespeople is therefore a means of getting ahead of the curve by getting your name out there and being recognized even before people meet you. It is highly beneficial in that even as you meet recruiters and headhunters, they already know who you are and what you have to offer.
The emotional connection is one of the most important elements when making a sale, yet many salespeople do not know how to leverage it for their success. This is true both when reaching out to prospective clients, as well as when looking to get recruited by a new firm. The way the emotional connection works is that as the salesperson, you want the prospective client or sales recruiter to almost instantly identify with who you are and say to themselves, “I want some of that.” Once you have connected with the sales recruiter, it now comes down to demonstrating to them that you are not all fizzle and no substance.
Other benefits of a well-developed personal band include:
These strategies help to not only get your name out there in the right circles and networks but also, to establish you as an industry specialist, a thought leader and an established professional in sales.
CRM is a tool that is used by many businesses to keep track of their sales and opportunity pipelines. When used by businesses, it stands for Customer Relationship Management. However, with its increased popularity among recruiters, it is also referred to as Candidate Relationship Management. During sales recruitment, CRM enables the recruiter to have an all-round, 360 degree view of every aspect of the process. This quality makes the CRM tool uniquely suited to track clients from both sides i.e. both the candidate and the company that is seeking personnel.
In addition to facilitating effective tracking during recruitment, CRM also provides support for both long and short term recruitment strategies on a single platform. Other benefits of CRM include:
One of the ways to get great results from CRM as a recruiter is to utilize it for consistent communication with sales candidates, both active and passive. This is beneficial in that it enables the recruiter to send targeted messages to selected people. Besides this, it helps to keep the sales recruiter in the candidate’s radar and vice versa.
The recruiter may also use CRM to integrate each candidate’s social media profile with other information collected; such as their resume and contact information. With the steady rise of social recruiting, integrating social media into CRM enables recruiters to contact candidates through their social profiles, which keeps them more relevant and visible to the candidate.
Choosing an ideal CRM depends entirely on what one’s needs are. There is no one-size-fits-all provider as what is ideal for one sales recruiter may not be a very good fit for another.
Sales recruitment has got very little to do with paperwork. Even though resumes are considered to be the primary means through which the candidate portrays their qualifications to the sales recruiter, recruiters and headhunters do not rely solely on the papers presented to them. On the contrary, recruiters are experts at facilitating mutually beneficial relationships between sales candidates and employers. In the course of recruitment however, there are a number of pitfalls that recruiters ought to avoid in order for them to be effective in their work. These include:
Dallas recruiters need to recognize that recruitment is an active task. Most of them receive hundreds of applications for the same position. In many cases however, the crème de la crème of sales professionals may not even have applied for the job. Besides this, some salespeople who could be a perfect fit for the job may not even be looking for a new job. This means that when a recruiter chooses to wait for the ideal sales candidate to find them, they are unlikely to get top-notch candidates. Instead, they would probably settle for one of the candidates that walks through their door, even when that candidate is not the best fit for the employer.
The employer may perceive the candidate as poorly suited to the job and in such cases, not only is the salesperson likely to have a very short-lived experience at that company, the employer is also unlikely to hire that recruiter again. Instead, get out and recruit actively. This is a good way to facilitate repeat business and increase your income.
Charisma and likeability have their place in sales. However, not every likeable individual can make an exceptional sales professional. There are many reasons that could cause you to ‘like’ a sales candidate. Maybe you like the way they dress or they remind you of someone else. You could even be attracted to them. In other cases, you could be empathizing with them because they really need a new job due to personal circumstances. In such cases, it is possible for those aspects that you like about them to cloud your judgment and cause you to recruit sub-par professionals.
The flip side of this coin is failing to hire a sales candidate because you dislike them. They may be wearing a strong cologne that you do not like, which could turn you off from a candidate who is uniquely qualified and suited to the position. As much as possible, separate your prejudices and biases from the process. Ensure that every decision you make benefits the two parties that have a stake in the process, i.e. the employer and the sales candidate.
Dallas Recruiters recognize that there is more to being a salesperson than selling. A sales candidate may be great at selling and yet unable to generate their own leads. To avoid this pitfall, provide comprehensive details on what the position is going to entail, and work to specifically seek out those qualities in candidates. This is necessary so as to select an all-round, ideal candidate for the position.
Clear communication and objective thinking play a major role in sales recruitment. The extent to which Dallas recruiters are able to employ these qualities therefore goes a long way in determining whether their recruitment strategy is boosting or undermining their success.
Recruitment and sales are similar in a number of ways. This is especially so when the recruitment is for sales. The most conspicuous similarity between these two is in their intended purpose. While sales recruiters are responsible for prospecting for top candidates to place in sales positions, salespeople source for business contacts and clients.
Sales recruiters are charged with the responsibility of selling their services to candidates and corporate clients, just as salespeople are responsible for selling to potential clients. Besides this, clients have the option of getting the same product or service from any company apart from the one the salesperson represents, in the same way that candidates have the option of looking for recruitment services elsewhere. For this reason, many of the strategies that make exceptional salespeople can be applied by recruiters to facilitate their success. Here are the top three:
A simple strategy that enhances success both in sales and in recruitment, is to be clear about what you can offer that the candidate or client may not be able to get anywhere else. For sales recruiters, the thing that most separates you from your competitor is your culture. This is true whether you work for a recruiting company or by yourself. Culture is the unique personality of a company. It is this quality that determines how the company treats candidates and corporate clients, as well as how they are going to represent both of these parties.
Success in both recruitment and sales is dependent on relationships. It is important for the sales recruiter to establish a good relationship with the candidates; thus fostering the sales candidate’s trust that the recruiter will take care of their best interests. On the other hand, a sales person is successful when they are able to close a sale and/or get the contract signed by their client in order to seal a deal. For this to happen, he/she needs to establish a solid relationship with their potential client. In most cases, this relationship is formed at the cold-call stage and culminated as the deal gets sealed.
Just as it is essential for a salesperson to know their product, it is also important for sales recruiters to know the job that they are sourcing candidates for. This is helpful because what you communicate to the candidate within the first few minutes of interaction will determine whether they are going to stick around or walk away. The ‘inverted pyramid’ method is very effective in these cases. This is where the recruiter provides the most vital information first, and then works their way down to less crucial information. This way, the candidate is immediately captivated by what you are sharing with them, and they are more likely to stick around and hear more.
Understanding the similarities between recruitment and sales enables recruiters to incorporate into their skill set, some of the very qualities that they look for among sales candidates.
The success of the recruitment process hinges on the information each of the parties has, and how well they are able to communicate it. Some of this information includes:
Another area in which it is essential for the sales candidate to demonstrate information is in product and competition knowledge.
Product knowledge is an in-depth understanding not only of the company looking to hire, but also of the product(s) that they sell. It therefore encompasses knowledge of:
In fact, Dallas headhunters argue that demonstrating comprehensive product knowledge goes a long way in favorably tipping the scales for the candidate, even when there are candidates who appear on paper, to be better qualified.
This information is highly valued by sales recruitment professionals because, it is only when the salesperson knows their product in and out that they are able to accurately pitch and sell it to potential clients. Additionally, it puts the salesperson in a position to comprehensively answer any questions that potential clients may have, thereby increasing the chances that they shall convert their leads to sales.
Nevertheless, salespeople need to exercise caution when talking with potential clients about their product. They ought to be careful not to focus so much on the product that they fail to address the needs of the client. An effective way of doing this is by describing the features of the product while directly relating it to how the client can use it in their own lives. This way, the focus is not on how great the product is but rather, on how it is ideal for meeting a specific need that the client is experiencing.
Competition knowledge is where the candidate demonstrates an understanding of other companies that offer the same or similar products as the company looking to hire. This enables the salesperson to persuasively pitch the product to clients while contrasting it with those offered by the competition. However, this is not the same as putting other products down. Clients may view that as a cheap shot and it often turns them off.
Instead, the salesperson ideally seeks to contrast the two products from an objective point of view. For instance, while a competitor’s product may be sold at a lower price, it may also be of lower quality. Such information falls under competition knowledge and it enables the salesperson to represent their product with confidence. It also makes it possible for the salesperson to clearly communicate the edge that their product has others in the market.
Demonstrating product and competition knowledge is an effective strategy in overcoming any objections raised by potential clients. Additionally, it inevitably raises the opinion of Dallas headhunters during the recruitment process. Comprehensive product and competition knowledge help to boost the candidate’s confidence; as a result of which he/she portrays a lot of enthusiasm when engaging with sales recruiters.
Mentorship is an important element of any professional’s life, and especially so for salespeople. This is because it is through a good mentor that the sales person is able to see his/her potential career trajectory and pursue it both actively and relentlessly. In effect, having a mentor helps to effectively accelerate the salesperson’s career. In the process of sales recruitment, here are the top 4 ways in which mentors are highly beneficial:
Ideally, a sales mentor is a professional who has successfully worked in the sales industry for a prolonged period of time. This is because one of the main benefits of having a mentor is being able to learn from the experiences that they have had in the industry. On one hand, positive experiences enable the salesperson to apply similar strategies in order to obtain successful results. On the other hand, having information about the mentor’s negative experiences makes it possible for the salesperson to avoid the same pitfalls. All in all, both of these aspects help to hone the salesperson skills and expertise, putting him/her at the top of the ‘Most Wanted’ list for companies and headhunters during sales recruitment.
For salespeople, mentors are one of the most reliable sources of relevant and actionable information. While a sales mentor may not tell the sales candidate what to do or which offer to accept during the process of sales recruitment, they are in a unique position to objectively analyze different offers and provide the candidate with the pros and cons of each. Additionally, sales mentors are able to offer insight and guidelines on how to negotiate a great deal that is tailor-made for the sales candidate, once he or she has demonstrated that they are the best candidate for the sales position.
Having a mentor puts you in their network, which in turn makes all of their connections available to you. This puts you in a position of great power during sales recruitment; and with great power comes great responsibility. The main responsibility here for the salesperson, is to utilize and optimize these connections without abusing them. For instance, when seeking help from any of the contacts within this extensive network, it is important to be very specific as to what your job placement needs are. This communicates that you are decisive and that you recognize the value of your connection’s time.
Mentors act as a recommendation, implied or otherwise. During sales recruitment, your mentor may recommend you to certain recruiters and headhunters, which essentially means that they are backing you up with their name and reputation. This demonstrates that they are confident in your skills, abilities and qualifications, which in turn helps to give the sales recruiter a positive impression of you; prompting them to give you a closer look.
In seeking out a sales mentor therefore, it is important to consider their reputation, as well as ensuring that they can be available for you. Availability is an essential aspect because mentorship is an ongoing journey requiring a strong professional relationship.
With LinkedIn being the most popular medium for recruitment and career networking, there is a lot of competition for the same resources. This means that recruiters are constantly looking for ways in which to stand out. Here are the top three features of a profile that is optimized for sales recruitment:
In many cases when a user performs a search for any recruiting firm on LinkedIn, most of the profiles that come up are those of employees who work within the firm. In as much as the company profile is a source of information about the company therefore, employee profiles also play a part in the user’s perception of your sales recruitment firm and by extension, your professionalism and ability. Some of the aspects which every firm ought to emphasize with regard to employee profiles are:
Another way in which to fully optimize the benefits of your LinkedIn profile is to keep it consistent with the pages that your firm has within other social media. This is because when searching for information about you as a sales recruiter, users are also likely to visit all the profiles that you have online.
One way to maintain consistency is by using the same profile picture across all social media. In addition, who you say you are and what you say you do also needs to be consistent. However, it should be noted that it is possible and highly effective to pass the same message in different words. As much as possible therefore, avoid using the copy-paste function where everything is exactly the same everywhere the user goes. This can easily be perceived as laziness. Instead, use your imagination and creativity to keep users interested and engaged in what you are offering in sales recruitment, while keeping the keywords the same throughout.
As a sales recruiter, your clientele is in two categories. On one hand, you have the sales companies looking for sales professionals; and on the other hand you have sales candidates who are looking for placement. By demonstrating your success at job placement, you are able to communicate to both of these parties that you are highly skilled and successful in meeting their needs. On LinkedIn, you may do this by:
Your LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity through which to provide insight into the firm’s culture. These include your strengths, best practices, awards that you have received and anything else that you are proud of. Sales companies and candidates will come to you because they have a better feel of who you are, as opposed to perceiving you as a corporate shell.
Sales recruiters are in the business of finding highly skilled and effective professionals to join various companies and organizations. This is a crucial responsibility and they therefore have the skills and resources necessary to not only find active job seekers but also, to find top-notch salespeople even when they are not actively looking for new positions. This type of sales candidate is commonly known as the passive candidate.
A high percentage of potential candidates are passive and they usually already have a proven track record in sales. On one hand, these candidates are often quite comfortable and fulfilled at their current positions while on the other, Atlanta recruiters recognize that the candidates also have a keen eye for great career opportunities.
As a sales candidate who is comfortable but potentially open to a new opportunity if the right one comes along, here is how to get found by the right recruiter:
A proven track record is not going to work for you unless the right people know about it. With social recruiting increasingly on the rise, it is essential to keep your profile updated on Facebook and Twitter. More importantly, your professional profiles on LinkedIn and Google Plus need to be up-to-date and extremely detailed.
When detailing your professional achievements, keep it simple and easy to understand. This includes avoiding industry-specific jargon as much as possible. Additionally, make it easy to scan your profile at a glance because the sales recruiter is potentially going to be going through hundreds of profiles. Bulleted lists are highly effective for this.
Even as a passive candidate, it is important to be able to recognize a great opportunity when it is presented to you. This is only possible if you know what you want; which comes from understanding where you are and where you would like to go. This way, when the Atlanta recruiter approaches you with a good opportunity that does not necessarily feel like an exact fit for your needs and the direction that you want your career to take, you are able to turn down the offer while maintaining the relationship. When you know what you want, you can make sound decisions based on reasons that you are able to articulate clearly.
Knowing what you want also constitutes knowledge of what you do not want. These can consequently be put forward to the sales recruiter either as concerns, negotiation points or outright deal breakers.
An effective blog is one of the most effective social media in establishing yourself as an authority in the sales industry. This is because:
Google Plus is a revolutionary platform on which corporations and individuals are able to build social networks and profiles, in addition to sharing information effectively. With the building and maintaining of relationships continually being shown to boost the success of business, sales companies are increasingly using Google Plus to share content, remain in touch with their clients and other businesses, in addition to sourcing for sales candidates through recruiters and headhunters.
Among sales recruiters, social recruiting has proven to be one of the most effective and convenient means through which to get top-tier candidates for sales positions. This is where recruiters use social networks to source for candidates, with Google Plus fast becoming one of the most popular mediums for this. The reason for its popularity is that it is integrated within numerous services like Mail, Docs and Search; thereby enabling recruiting firms-as well as sales candidates-to incorporate their overall online identity within a single platform. Here are the top three ways through which sales recruiters optimize Google Plus.
As a recruiter, it is important that your Google Plus cover photo be personalized and eye-catching, with a clear call-to-action. This helps to immediately communicate the services that you are providing, which in turn makes it easier for you to be found by corporate clients and potential sales candidates alike.
Besides this, Google Plus makes it possible for you as the recruiter to link back to your website and/or blog. This helps your followers to get more information about you and how you can help them. It is best to include this (and other possible) links in the ‘About’ section of your profile.
The ‘Circles’ feature is unique to Google Plus and recruiters can use it to efficiently organize their followers into groups, based on the relationship that they have with them. For instance, sales candidates and sales professionals could be in one circle, businesses and corporate clients in another, with friends and family being placed in yet another circle. This feature therefore makes it possible for the recruiter to share information with highly specific groups, as opposed to, for instance, sharing information about available positions with all followers, including clients and family.
On Google Plus, ‘Hangouts’ is software that facilitates video chat and communication among as many as ten users. This feature makes information-sharing easier and more effective for recruiters. For instance, you may hold a session with sales candidates; sharing information about your expectations for certain positions, answering questions and providing qualifications. In fact, recruiters are increasingly using the Hangouts as an initial ‘sit-down’ with candidates and consequently, as one of the first steps in the vetting process for various sales positions.
In order for the recruiter to fully optimize Google Plus for sales recruitment, it is important to spread the word about your G+ presence, which consequently enables more users to follow you. You may do this through your website and/or blog, as well as your Facebook and Twitter business pages.
In response to our post last month, Five Effective Skills Among Sales Recruiters, we put together this Infographic:
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