Today’s guest blogger is Julie Parsons of Premium Consulting in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Julie is a member of the NPA board of directors. Premium Consulting is a boutique independent recruiting firm that provides professional and practical recruitment consulting advice specializing in retained recruitment, partial services, psychometric assessment and appraisals, outplacement and career counseling.
Independent recruiters can learn a lot from following these 5 traits of successful business and sales people:
1. They See Opportunity Where Others Don’t
Successful business and sales people are open-minded and enthusiastic. They find opportunities where others fail to see them. They ask questions, investigate problems and solicit feedback in order to find solutions to problems. When and if a problem occurs, they see it as an opportunity to learn more about the issues to be solved. They speak to customers, clients, mentors and experts to actively seek out solutions. They don’t see their lack of a particular skill set as a hindrance, rather as an opportunity to learn from others, or as a chance to go out and get help from those who are skilled in that specific area. Rather than see their business fail, they outsource a task, re-educate themselves or bring in professional help and networks to help them to succeed. Independent recruiters can use capitalize on this technique to build strategic partnerships with their clients.
2. They Add Value
A successful business person can see beyond the immediate goal of simply building their business or career. They see value in giving back to others, in working to ensure their business success is not at the expense of others, because in so doing, they continue to grow and prosper. Some simple but effective examples for independent recruiters include:
• Being available for value-add free advice
• Establishing ongoing customer communication such as an e-newsletter, Facebook page or blog that provides valuable and useful information for clients and the community (at no cost)
• Linking valued customers with preferred providers of useful services or information
• Establishing and delivering valuable information seminars for clients.
3. They Are Proactive
Successful business people don’t stop at learning about a new field, they are proactive. They take steps to get things done and they do them. They implement new ideas, solutions or systems quickly, regardless of their fear of failure. They realise that in order to progress, they need to take some risks and make things happen. This doesn’t mean they just leap into the dark with the first new idea that pops into their head. Before kicking off a new idea, solution or strategy, they identify what they want the outcome to be, e.g. generate more leads, start a new business niche or create a bigger or more loyal client base. With this in mind, independent recruiters can research solutions, talk to experts, and seek advice in order to actually implement new ideas.
4. They Build a Support Network
Successful business people realise they can’t do it all on their own. They recognise their own limitations and value the different skills, expertise and experience of others. By building a support network of mentors, advisers, experts, specialists, colleagues and friends, they have access to a combination of valuable resources, skills, experiences and talents that are beyond their own abilities. The successful business or sales person sees how their limitations can put a business opportunity at risk, and as such they call on their support network for assistance – whether that is asking a colleague to take on a job, outsourcing a particular process or employing a new staff member. As independent recruiters, how strong is your support network?
5. They Understand Their Clients
A successful business person ensures they understand their target market before trying to influence or sell a new product or service to them. They take steps to understand the needs and wants of their customer and that industry. They learn about what will influence the prospect or customer, what they really want, and then look for ways to deliver on these desires. However, the successful business person also understands this is not done by data collection alone. They understand that trust is all-important to the target market. They understand that if the client cannot trust the influencer (i.e. the business), the client is likely to have doubts and ultimately reject the connection. Successful business people take steps to positively connect with, and support their target market through regular and ongoing communication (e-newsletters, Facebook posts, blogs, emails, personal visits and phone calls) and consistently high levels of customer service. By doing this, a Trusted Advisor relationship is developed. Independent recruiters would do well to strive for that same type of relationship with their clients.
What other things can independent recruiters learn from the business and sales arenas?