In the past year I left my niche and switched over to IT, which was a disaster for my business. We’re now back placing in manufacturing and things have picked up. However, my team lost so much momentum that I don’t know if we can pull out a strong quarter. As the owner, I feel very scattered and don’t know where to focus myself or my team.
I would appreciate it if you would give me three things you would do, if you were me.
Pat F., Valdosta, GA
You are back placing in the niche where you have three great advantages:
- Knowledge of the Niche
Become the client development rainmaker focused on writing job orders or contracts in manufacturing and focus your team on surfacing top talent for the orders you generate.
Step One: Conduct revenue modeling to determine your best business (i.e. where you made placements in manufacturing in the past). Then target 85% of your marketing calls at that exact business, starting with your past and current clients (who fit your best business criteria). Ask them about challenges they face in 2012 and position yourself as the solution to those challenges.
Step Two: Develop a strong client referral program. Referred business is the best business. Explain that their referrals will not compete for the same talent (they will always have top priority). If they can’t accept a monetary referral fee, consider donating to their favorite charity in their name or discounting a future fee or contract.
Step Three: Plan your outgoing calls before you leave work and have your entire team do the same. In addition to planning, keep numbers, stats, and ratios. After the first quarter you will know exactly what results you, as well as your team members, need to consistently hit or surpass goals set. Remember to focus on send-outs, which is the most important number to monitor (first interviews only)!
Let me know if this helps turn things around quickly for you.
Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS
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