Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'sales'

Business Development, For Managers

Have You Thought of Using ‘Participation’ As Your Sales Metric?

Sales Participation chart - free

Ongoing management — low performers, mid-level performers and even high performers need it. It does not assume high performance, and once high performing, does not assume it will always continue. Everyone needs to be managed on a consistent basis. In sales, the goal of ongoing management is participation rate.

Whether your agency has a separate sales team or every recruiter is dialing for clients, a critical metric is participation rate. Participation rate is the percentage of team members who are at or above plan. For a sales team, participation rate is easy to calculate. On a team of 10 people where four are above their sales plan on a YTD basis, the participation rate is 40%. 


Lessons Learned From My Years Interviewing and Hiring Sales Professionals

sales target-free

I was blessed to have lunch a while ago with two of the brightest young minds in the city of Denver. They were both candidates of mine I placed as sales reps with the same client just about a year ago. The day they were both onboarded, my client of 20 years expressed his gratitude to me, coated with a blanket of caution.

Dave, the VP of sales at this prominent data storage industry institution, told me that he was certain one of the two would go on to be a superstar. The other, he suspected, I would likely need to replace within about three months per my (retainer) agreement with this wonderful client of mine. The challenge, of course, was to quickly discover which one would be future hero, which one to be goat.

Fast forward to my lunch meeting, where we celebrated their success and their recent closure of one of the biggest new deals in the  company’s storied 17-year history. Turns out both of them were, and still are, prolific

Ask Barb

12 Ways to Improve Your Sales

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

What is the quickest way to increase sales next year? This last quarter has not been our best, which has me concerned over the first quarter of next year! I’ve thrown out contests that no one wins, I’ve been overly nice to my team and they take advantage of me, and when I micro-manage I lose people. Help!

Patricia C., Toronto, CA

Dear Patricia:

It is important that your management style is consistent and that you don’t try to change too many things. Nothing will be implemented long term. I’m going to give you several ideas. My suggestion would be for you to select one idea from the following list and implement it for 21 working days so it becomes a new habit.

Here’s my list:

Ask Barb

A Sales Process That Works = Success

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How do I teach my sales team to close more placements? We are consistently blindsided by surprises that prevent our deals from closing.

I’ve observed my recruiters as they work their desks and they seem to be doing things right. Is it just that candidates are more difficult and clients are more demanding? It is just not one person who is having problem closing deals, it is my entire office.


Brad S.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Don’t Seem to Know. Know

Dear Brad:

I have a few concerns after reading your question.

You stated that your recruiters “seem” to be doing things right. That reveals that your recruiters are not working from the same playbook. There is a placement process that must be followed so details don’t fall through the cracks. Having everyone working their desk following the same process

Industry News

New Bullhorn CRM Designed to Aid Sales Growth, Spot Trends

Bullhorn CRM screenshot

Bullhorn CRM screenshotNo longer a temporary fix for a sudden spurt in a company’s workload, contingent staffing has become such a strategic part of the corporate workforce mix that predictions are temps will soon account for more than 20% of the Fortune 500 headcount.

With that growth comes a need for greater sophistication by staffing firms to predict client demand, enhance productivity, and uncover opportunities from the dozens of client and potential client contacts a busy agency makes every day.

That’s what Bullhorn’s newest iteration of its CRM was designed to do.

Ask Barb, The Business of Recruiting

How Long Do I Wait For First Production?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How long do you give a new recruiter, before you realize you may have made a bad hiring decision? My new recruiter has had no production going on five months, but he seems to be close to closing his first deal. I hate to lose the money I’ve invested so far in his compensation and training. How much longer should I ride this out?

Barry N.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
How-To, Jeff's On Call!

7 Ways to Get Hiring Managers to Say Yes

Placements and the law logo

Require the client to listen to a presentation.

“Oh Jeff, you sound so forceful!”

I really am about this. I’ll show you how to make that hirer listen!

Let’s start with the basics: It costs a hiring authority time, effort, and eventually, money, to hire a candidate. Initially, you compete with the inner thoughts and feelings occupying his or her attention. Then she has to relate your presentation to some prior experience to picture the candidate. As if that’s not enough, she also has to be patient. You’re slowly painting a picture, one brushstroke at a time. But it’s received hundreds of times faster.

There’s much that can be done to get the client to listen more attentively to a presentation. Placement is an art, not a science. Since you’re in charge of each brushstroke you paint, you control strokes and select the colors. This PTL is designed to show you the seven techniques.

Business Development

How I Nearly Lost My Business When I Stopped Marketing

hand marketing buttons-free

hand marketing buttons-freeRecently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?”

It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.

The lesson: Don’t ever stop marketing because you think you’ve reached the point where you don’t need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”

My Story

Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we


The 9 Elements of Resiliency and 6 Steps to Building It


make it happen training - free milesEditor’s note: These tips are excerpted from The TRACOM Group’s workbook, “Developing a Resilient Mindset.” 

Filter — How you filter information and interpret the world.

  • Personal Responsibility is the belief that successes or failures at work are determined by one’s own talents and motivations as opposed to external forces such as luck or good timing. Those who are high in personal responsibility believe they control their own destiny and attribute events to their own traits. Rather than relying on external factors such as luck to achieve objectives, they look inward to their own talents and motivations and attempt to exert control over situations.
Ask Barb, For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Cut Expenses, But Change Comp Plans Cautiously

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My overhead continues to increase while profits have leveled off. The only solution I see is possibly restructuring the compensation and commission plan I have in place for my sales team. This represents my highest costs and in some instances payroll is where I’m losing the most money. I do have concerns about how to present this to my sales team without having a mass exodus.

Marty G., New York, NY

Dear Marty:

There are several things you can do to resolve your current situation.