Social networking is a vital tool for every brand and is quickly changing the face of how we do business and how we hire. In fact, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest could just find the candidate you need to propel your business to the next level.
When it comes to recruiting the best talent for your company, start-up and experienced CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders will tell you that using one resource to find the right person at the right time is never enough!
Each social network provides its own diverse platform to find candidates for various roles, but how successful is employee sourcing via social media? And which network is the best for recruiting? This essential guide explores social media recruiting success rates and provides top tips for those looking to recruit socially.
After its recent 10th birthday, Facebook is reported to have 1.23 billion active users, making it an obvious choice for social recruiters looking for success. However, whilst Facebook’s active member statistics remain unrivaled, LinkedIn has become the rising star of the social recruiting world.
LinkedIn currently has 277 million users, and with 2.1 million groups (and counting), the network has become a firm favorite for job seekers looking to find work in their respective industries. The social network has become particularly successful for recruiters looking for more experienced candidates: 62% of LinkedIn job seekers are over the age of 40, and 51% are earning salaries over $75,000 in their current positions. Conversely, LinkedIn has also become a vital resource for recruiters looking for college graduates.
LinkedIn is officially the most popular network to find and vet candidates, with 94% of social media recruiting taking place here in 2013 alone. Google+ and YouTube however were deemed the least effective.
2013 was deemed the Year of Social Media Recruiting and according to the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 94% of business owners used internal and external social networking to find talent and strengthen their recruitment strategy.
The use of social media has not only proved successful in finding the right candidate for the job, but has also impacted on wider recruitment process for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The use of social recruiting has essentially streamlined how companies find and vet candidates, reducing the amount of time it takes to hire, improving candidate quality, and increasing the number of candidates that apply for the position. Social media recruiting has also seen the number and strength of employee referrals improve ten-fold.
So what rewards have recruiters and business owners reaped from using social media to source talent? In 2013, social recruiting was responsible for finding 42% of applicants, and 14% of hires, whilst the same percentage of hires stayed with their respective companies for more than three years.
For those new to social recruiting, the transition from brand page to hiring portal can be a difficult one; many recruiters and business owners make a few mistakes along the way in their search for top talent. With so many networks out there it is easy to lose sight of your strategy.
To help you stay focused here are the top mistakes to avoid in order for you to reach your full potential:
Have you successfully used social networking for recruiting and screening purposes? What has been your best approach? Let us know in the comments section below.
About the author: Brittany Thorley works for Forsyth Business Centres, helping companies of all sizes find the solutions they need for business growth and success.]]>
You may remember the first installment from last August, when my business partner, Shawn Busse, interviewed Business Turnaround Specialist, Howard Mann.
I’m thrilled to share today’s Accelerator Interview with you – I had the opportunity to speak with local business legend (and one of my mentors) Jill Nelson, the founder and CEO of Portland-based Ruby Receptionists.
If you are a business person in Portland, you’ve no doubt heard of Jill Nelson – and if not Jill, at the least her business, Ruby Receptionists. Ruby embodies all of the ideologies that we teach our clients at Kinesis about marketing from the inside out – creating a great culture through living their mission, vision, and values. And as a result of being a savvy, purpose-driven company, Ruby has made astounding, sustainable progress – seeing double digit growth, year after year, for 10 years in a row.
Jill has received mounting acclaim as a leader in the business community, local and national alike. She was named a 2012 “Customer Champion” by 1to1 Magazine and was featured as Portland Monthly‘s April 2012 “Rainmaker.” In 2010, she was honored with a Portland Business Journal ”Orchid Award” for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community. Jill is currently Finance Chair of the Portland chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, who awarded her as its 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year.
But what’s truly amazing about Jill’s company is how she’s revolutionized a tired business model (the Call Center), leveraging culture to create a unique value proposition and differentiating their services from the competition.
2012: $7.8 million
2013: ~$11.4 million
2012 over 2011 growth – 50%
2013 over 2012 growth – 44%
Projected 2014 growth over 2013 – 35%
From 2011 to 2013, revenue grew 116%
Annual marketing: Ruby invests 5.7% of revenue on marketing
Read more about Ruby in this recent Business Insider article.
NOTE: If player doesn’t load in a few seconds, try refreshing your screen.
Click here to download the transcript.
Want more insight into the Ruby culture? Watch this video!]]>
You may not be brilliant at breakfast now, but with the right regime and the right tricks, you can actually turn this into your most productive time. Here are some tips that will help you get up on time and start producing great quality work – brain fog be damned!
First things first: the single most important factor here is that you get a good night’s sleep. Getting to sleep on time will help you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go, and it will help to reduce that brain fog as much as physically possible.
And a good night’s sleep doesn’t only mean getting your eight hours. It also means trying to go to bed at a consistent time (the body likes regularity in this regard), it means getting good quality sleep, and it means avoiding dosing past your alarm which actually makes you more groggy.
If it takes you two hours to get your brain in gear, then waking up an hour earlier will mean you’re more productive an hour earlier too. Shift your schedule back a notch and you should line it up better with the times you want to be productive. That’s also another important reason not to hit snooze!
Several things you do now can help to invigorate you and wake up for the day ahead. If you’re a dedicated type, then nothing will get you started better than a morning workout followed by a cool shower. Also important is to have a big breakfast that’s full of fiber and carbs – a high-fiber cereal with fruit on top is ideal, along with a boiled egg.
Finally, that cup of coffee really will help you to wake up and to improve productivity throughout the day but don’t overdo it or the effects can be lost. Have your first mug of coffee about 30-45 minutes before you want to start work, as that’s how long caffeine takes to be synthesized by the body.
Additionally, try to use the right strategies to get yourself into work the next day. One example of this is to set your homepage to the first page you need for work everyday. That way you won’t be tempted to have a quick search on Google, or to start watching YouTube videos.
Another useful tip is to leave some work unfinished from the day before. This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually a useful way to trick yourself into working. The human brain hates to leave things unresolved.
Finally, make sure that you warm yourself up into work. You’ll find that the words don’t flow at first when you start writing – so it can help to do some exercises which might include writing a shopping list. Schedule relatively easy tasks for the start of the day too so that you’re not approaching the most monstrous jobs with a half-asleep brain.
And there you go, you’re now brilliant at breakfast!
About the author: The founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group, Greg Fisher, is the brain behind this article. When he is not busy working, he enjoys reading tech magazines or playing a good game of chess with his friends. He has a strong affinity for creative writing and an undying allegiance to eco-friendly living.
Note: This post first appeared at Business2Community
Being a business owner is an incredible journey. It is thrilling to build a company, shape the future, fuel economic growth, sell your offerings to thrilled customers, and create a team of remarkable people.
It can also be demanding, overwhelming, frustrating, and very stressful. To survive for the long haul as an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you create a work-life balance and make an intentional choice to be happy.
Everybody starts out in a different place with a different amount of knowledge they bring to the table. And, each person is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea what someone’s background might be, or what their struggles have been. Their company sells different products, attracts different people, and has different strengths and weaknesses than yours. So don’t worry about them – making comparisons is a complete waste of your time.
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. And there are factors that will take you into the dip that are beyond your control. The economy, trends, outside influences on client companies, shifts in your employees’ lives, competitive influences, and many more pressures will impact your company.
Keep your focus on those things that you actually control: 1) your thoughts, 2) your (re)actions, and 3) your words.
Running a business can be a lonely job. Even the people who love you the most – your spouse/partner and family – may not understand how you are thinking or what you are facing. Nobody gets the crazy mind and life of an entrepreneur like another entrepreneur.
Gather a group of people who are in the same boat and can offer you advice, commiserate with you, point out pitfalls ahead of time, and be a sounding board. Your circle of like-minded entrepreneurs are the perfect choice when you want to have a beer and brainstorm your next great idea to “take over the world.”
While growing your company might sometimes seem like the most important thing in your world, never forget that the CEO (aka you) is its most important asset. You have a body and spirit to take care of by eating well, exercising, spending time with your family, getting outside, and taking vacations.
So, be willing to say “no” sometimes so you can focus on yourself. Remember, you want to be able to keep this up for years to come. Take care of you so you can take care of your company.
Yes, you have aggressive growth goals and a big vision to meet. It’s a wonderful quality to be enthusiastic and willing to take on big projects. But, pace yourself and your people. Growing your company is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t stretch yourself or your team to the breaking point. Overshooting capacity and uncontrolled growth is one of the top 10 reasons why businesses fail. Avoid being a statistic by making the commitment to grow gracefully.
Don’t waste precious energy on gossip or complaining. Before you begin to tell a story about another person or company, ask yourself: 1) Does this foster our growth? 2) Am I being kind? 3) Is there a way I could express gratitude or positivity right now? and 4) Would I want somebody talking about me in this way?
If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, stop immediately and then go do something that makes you feel good instead. Call a client to see how they are doing, take an employee out to lunch, or go out for a coffee with an entrepreneur friend.
Take the time to say “thank you” every day. You can thank your family, your team, your clients, and your business friends. Set aside time each week to hand write thank-you cards to people who have helped you.
Do something surprising and sweet for someone who isn’t expecting it. Make it a habit when you wake up to think about what you are thankful for, as well as a few minutes before you go to sleep.
When you practice gratitude on an everyday basis, you cultivate a chronic state of happiness.
As an entrepreneur, you are constantly connected to your smart phone, laptop, tablet, desktop computer, etc. You are bombarded by emails, social media, blog posts, videos, Tweets, and dings. And sometimes the “wired world” feels like it’s your whole world. It’s not. Set aside your devices and carve out quality time with the people that really matter to you. Take the time to read a real book or take a walk in nature.
Unplug and relax.
Running our business can be so heavy at times causing stress, heartburn, and sleepless nights over cash flow issues, a troublesome employee, or something that didn’t go well with a client. Try to lighten up (I know it’s easier said than done).
In some ways, many of the situations in our company are absurdly comedic. Look at events with a fresh lens and simply laugh away the stress. When we laugh more, even the worst scenarios get a little lighter and less worrisome. Sometimes a lighter view can even help us get enough distance to find a better solution.
Every day, find more reasons to smile.
Keeping “bad apples” on your team poisons your other employees’ ability to excel. Let’s face it – you’ve already identified those individuals and know it’s time to let them go. The only reason you are hanging on to them is because you feel emotionally attached.
I’ve never had a business owner say to me, “Wow, I really fired that person too fast!” By letting them go, you allow your top performers to accelerate their game with no one to hold them back. As a result, you’ll see an exponential growth in productivity and profit. Plus, your company will just be a nicer place to go to work each day.
Yes, there are some days that are just downright abysmal. But even on the bad days, you have a lot of choices about your attitude, approach, feelings, and actions.
And luckily most days are good and some are downright amazing! Take time to celebrate the wins and enjoy what you are building. You are an entrepreneur and that right there is something to be thrilled about!
Committing to the above actions can help you become happier, healthier, and more successful as an entrepreneur and in your everyday life.
What other tips to you have for being a happy entrepreneur? Share your tips in the comments section below so we can learn from each other.
The best managers can’t be defined by specific personality characteristics. While some of them are calm and soft-spoken, others could be more accurately described as a extremely extroverted and wildly enthusiastic. Regardless of their personality, the very top leaders have something in common – they drive bottom-line results for a company because they work hard to improve the lives of their employees.
Great managers know that to keep their team performing at the highest level, they not only have to hire A players but they must work on an ongoing basis to create a workplace environment where employees are truly engaged. Engaged employees are more productive and motivated—they produce higher-quality work, take fewer sick days, and stay with your company longer.
The good news is that there are many things managers can do to develop an environment that makes people feel genuinely happy and productive. Below are 5 tips to help you be an extraordinary boss who helps your team thrive:
1) Facilitate team member camaraderie
To help your team to perform at their best, take the time to facilitate cooperation and commitment. You can do this by regularly asking about your employees’ families and hobbies outside of the office. Take team members out to lunch or coffee together. Encourage group connections by having team happy hours or bowling dates.
The point is not to become best buddies; rather it’s to establish common ground among colleagues. The more you connect, the better you’ll perform together inside the company as a team. When people learn about each others’ interests and can share informal conversations, they build trust and are more willing to have productive dialogue on projects – even when they disagree.
2) Set individual and team goals
Each person you manage has a specific role to play to ensure your team’s overall success. Creating quantifiable expectations for your employees will empower them to monitor their own performance. Make sure your team members are clear about what they need to do to reach their goals and that they have all the resources necessary to do their jobs. Reward and encourage people when they are doing a great job and making progress. A little appreciation goes a long way
Track how far your team has come since the beginning of the year and show how far you have left to go. Are you on schedule, behind, or ahead? Be honest about your progress and have regular check-in meetings. Don’t wait until near the due date to signal that you are running behind. You can ensure that these metrics are meaningful by tying them to company goals.
3) Allow team members to be creative
Once you have given your team members the tools and information required to do the tasks necessary to get the job done, give them some leeway in how they choose to complete their tasks. There is more than one way to get a job done – people may not choose to tackle things in the same way. But by taking a new approach, your employees can get the same (or perhaps an even better) result. Free up your team to flex their creative muscles to find different solutions to an issue or a problem.
4) Offer training and development opportunities
Don’t let your team stagnate because they lack the opportunities to learn new skills. To keep them motivated, give them new responsibilities that challenge them. Find or develop training programs that meet your team members individual career goals. When used properly, this strategy can help improve your organizational culture and may even help to pave the way for strong performers to move on to more challenging positions.
5) Provide feedback and reviews regularly
Too many managers look at feedback as something that is only given when a team member makes a mistake. Instead, ongoing reviews are something that should occur regularly. They should include recognizing team members when they have done well on a project, handled a difficult customer with finesse, or come up with an idea that will save the company time or money. Great managers also help their staff get over areas where they are stuck by providing a listening ear and constructive advice.
When your team members have done well, share their successes publicly. Other members will be motivated by their teammate’s success as well. However, if you do have to discuss a performance issue, make sure that the discussion is held in private. Keep your comments to the job itself, without criticizing the team member’s personality or anything else that could be construed as a personal attack.
Being an incredible leader means inspiring your employees to reach for more. And it means supporting them by providing them with the guidance and resources to accomplish their goals. Commit to putting the above behaviors and systems in place, and your employees will do their work with pride, increasing their dedication to your business and your customers.
Remarkable management is easily within your grasp and you can begin to make changes today. As a result of creating a fantastic workplace with engaged employees, your company will accelerate!
Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below to share other secrets to being an incredible manager.
About the author: Sophie Eagan has worked in HR for much of her life. She believes it is extremely important for all businesses to drill in team work so the company runs smoothly. For maximum efficiently, she recommends a program called 360 degree feedback which collects data from the employees themselves.
When I first began learning how to play music, my middle school band teacher told our class that an orchestra is only as good as its weakest musician. If the player who is always out of sync and playing in the wrong key isn’t motivated to improve, the orchestra can’t rise above the mess of noise.
That might be a problem for a tuba player who likes to create his own songs and work independently. Unless you can find a way to harness his independent thinking, turning your weak musician into an asset.
Similarly in business, if your employees aren’t motivated for excellence or even continual improvement, how can your organization expect to innovate and grow as a whole?
You’ve heard us talk about the M-A-P style of incentives before. And, as former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki points out, companies must strive to enchant their own employees by giving them direction through Mastery of their skills, the Autonomy to follow great ideas, and a sense of Purpose within the company as well as a sense of the company’s Purpose in the world.
Business Author Dan Pink has given several lectures on this, through such venues as TED – he cites the Australian firm Atlassian, which organizes ShipIt Days every quarter for its employees. The idea behind the ShipIt hackathon is to allow employees to step back from their normal everyday work and explore a new software idea over 24 hours.
The term “Hackathon” originated in the software industry and uses the word “hack” in the sense of playful, exploratory programming. The concept has has been co-opted by other organizations for more general focused innovation efforts. Hackathons are popular not only with larger firms, most famously with Facebook, but with smaller companies as well, such as California’s Sonoma Technology Inc. (STi).
Such breaks from the norm give employees a number of important allowances:
While trying new things in the name of fun is great on its own, it’s important to note that many of the companies that have instituted this break from the everyday end up bringing new big ideas to the table that weren’t previously given much priority. The now integral Facebook Chat function was originally a product of a 2008 hackathon.
Let’s take this idea one step further.
When employees have that type of motivation, they have the potential to become one of the biggest untapped resources a company has. A monster company like Facebook has hundreds of employees and fans spouting their enjoyment for the brand and its practices.
But what about a smaller company, like STi? Besides a quick mention on the company’s Twitter page, you won’t find any mention of their own hackathon. I learned about it through one of the company’s own engineers freshly sprung from the event who, while exhausted after 24 hours of coding, still glowed. He didn’t win the company’s competition, but it was among the happiest days he’d had at the company. And thanks to his team’s ingenuity, STi has a new mobile app they are gearing up to unveil.
So that tuba player marching to his own beat?
Offer him a reason to enjoy his playing, show him the tools to excel and improve, give him the opportunity to test out his own ideas, and give him reason to play well with others. He may surprise you with his innovation and motivation bringing new products and services to enhance your bottom line.
About the author: Sam Spieller is a writer and editor living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written and edited for such groups as AGNI Magazine, McSweeney’s, and China’s Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press while living in Seattle, Boston, and Beijing. An advocate for lifelong learning, he is always happy to talk theory and practice in writing, editing, or business, so feel free to drop a line!]]>
2014 is off with a bang here at the Kinesis headquarters. We’ve settled in to our new office space, and – on top of getting set up for our upcoming house warming party – we’ve made progress on filling one of our empty desks!
On that note, please join us in welcoming Karah Lockman – the most recent addition to Team Kinesis!
Karah is our newest Execution Team Leader (ETL), or – for those of you with raised eyebrows – the Kinesis version of a “project manager.” This means Karah will be working closely with our strategists, our clients and our production team to facilitate seamless communication and management of projects. Sounds fun, right?! We sure think so.
The truth is, the ETL position is part of the “make it happen” department here at Kinesis – and, given her career success in project management roles across a number of industries, Karah is the perfect fit.
Prior to joining Kinesis, Karah served as the Project Manager for United Fund Advisors (UFA), a Portland-based fund manager and financial services company providing tax-advantaged investment capital and advisory services for community development and renewable energy projects nationwide. As Project Manager, Karah tracked project outcomes and community benefits, and oversaw all communications and marketing initiatives related to UFA’s work and community development projects.
If you know Kinesis, you know that we’re “slightly” obsessed with finding and hiring the right fit employees for our company, and helping our clients to do the same. That’s because we firmly believe that finding the right people is the keystone to building a great business. And as we grow, it’s more important than ever to build a team that Thinks Big, Shares the Good, and Does the Right Thing. Karah embodies each of these core values, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Kinesis Family!
Want to learn more about Karah and her role at Kinesis? Click here to connect with her on LinkedIn!
Visit our website to learn more about how Kinesis is changing the marketing paradigm for small businesses. Interested in joining the Kinesis family? Check out our Career Center for open positions.
We’ve been told that the most important business tenant to emerge from social media is that “customer service is the new proactive marketing.”
Indeed, social media – be it blogging, tweeting, Facebooking or photo sharing – has given businesses a direct conduit to customers. Instead of traditional marketing, where businesses talk at their customers, social media has created interactive marketing, where brands and business can directly communicate with consumers on a granular level.
But the most exciting element of this granularity is not the ability to shout in your customers’ ears. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It’s the ability to listen. Businesses need to be ready to respond to their customers voices on social media as quickly as they would to an email or, if you’re really good, to a ringing telephone. In short, social media needs to be a part of your customer service strategy as well as your marketing strategy.
Last year, social media analytics specialists Simply Measured tracked the customer service performance of 30 top brands with dedicated customer service Twitter accounts. The results are illuminating:
The study also showed that 42 percent of social media users expect to receive a customer support response within an hour. Clearly there is substantial room for improvement in social media customer service, and where there is room for improvement there is opportunity.
Now is the time to set up your business as a leader in the field of social media customer service. Here are 4 steps to take to help make that happen:
1. Create a Social Media Customer Service Team
Delegate members from your existing customer service division, or create a new position dedicated to responding to customer service communications over social media. This is a key step, and will make the following steps far simpler to execute.
2. Embrace Twitter
Twitter is quickly becoming the front-runner in social media customer service. Its immediacy, fleeting life-span and lack of privacy walls make it the most user- and business-friendly option for interacting with customers. Depending on how large your business is and how much traffic you already have on your current handle, you may want to create a handle specifically for customer service. For example American Express has @AmericanExpress where they tweet offers, events and news, and @AskAmex devoted entirely to customer service.
3. Monitor your Social Media
Whichever social sites you are currently on, make sure you are watching them like a hawk. Users are increasingly becoming accustomed to asking questions of businesses on their Facebook page or in comments on their blogs, and you have to be prepared to respond to them. Each interaction is a potential for revenue.
4. Build Proactive Customer Service
Of course be ready to respond to comments, complaints and questions on social media, but also use it to meet customer’s needs before they have to ask. If you’re a graphic design company, monitor hashtags such as #logo #redesign #webdesign in your geographic area to spot potential new clients.
To do the last two steps well, you need to set up a comprehensive media monitoring solution – one that not only monitors social media but also the web as a whole. While the sheer volume of such “solutions” currently available is slightly mind-numbing, here are two essentials:
Customer service is an essential tenant of a successful business that, with today’s focus on technology, has been in serious danger of relegation (no one likes phone trees). Social media offers a new way to create the best customer experience possible.
How do you plan integrate social media into your customer’s experience?
About the author: Christopher Wallace is Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Amsterdam Printing, one of the nation’s largest providers of promotional products for businesses large and small. Amsterdam specializes in pens and other promotional items. Christopher regularly contributes to the Small Business Know-How blog.]]>
A common area of weakness with many companies is the absence of a systematic approach to selling. Most businesses lack a pre-defined, step-by-step set of interactions that their salespeople take prospects through in order to qualify and convert them. Instead, each salesperson operates by intuition, which means there is no consistency or scalability.
By taking the time to get crystal clear on your ideal client, you not only dramatically decrease your expense by filtering out the unqualified leads your sales team is chasing – you’ll also increase your sales revenue by significantly increasing the number of leads you are converting to customers.
Sounds good so far, right?
Next, develop a selling system that warms up your leads over time by showcasing your company’s unique differentiation and the value you can provide to them. The strategy here is to nurture your leads throughout their decision making process, so that by the time they are serious about making a purchase, they’ve have basically sold themselves.
Below are the essential components you need in order to create your lead conversion selling system:
Start by developing a system to document and share your sales flow process with your team. I’ve seen clients attack this using a variety of services such as Evernote, a company server/Wiki, written documents, Excel, or a sales flowchart. Pick something that works for your business.
Your sales system should have established milestones that mark the key events in the sales cycle. Create a map that shows the blow-by-blow process that it takes to convert your inquiries into customers. This can include what it takes to build trust, understand your buyers’ goals, how to create certainty that your offering meets their needs, and so on.
This should be a dynamic document that you tweak with improvements over time.
Determine how your company will track sales leads and opportunities. Will you use a robust CRM system like Salesforce or Dynamics? If so, be sure to plan for the upfront effort to get the architecture of your software set up – then take comfort in the advanced dashboard and reporting.
Or, if you have salespeople who simply will NOT enter data (I know the type), then consider something simple like an Excel spreadsheet, Outlook notes, or even a Whiteboard. As my business partner, Shawn Busse always says, “Simple gets done.”
What is your standard way of responding to an inquiry for your services? For example, you may decide to establish a rule that all web-based inquiries must receive a call back within one business day. Once you do talk to a lead and qualify them as one of your best-fit Dream Customers, what do you send as a follow-up? In order to move people further into your pipeline, you must have an education plan and call to action to give your leads a next step and clear direction.
Once a lead expresses that they want to know more about your specific offerings, it’s important that your company has a set way to present your organization. This may be an in-person meeting, an online sales demo, a white paper you send out, or a presentation you give to them. This is your opportunity to showcase your company’s difference and start adding value in the relationship. This step is partially planned and partially the “art of selling,” but it should be a standard throughout your organization.
If your leads aren’t quite ready to make a purchase after you present to them, you need a systematic approach for nurturing the relationship. This is an area where technology is your best friend! One of our favorite methods is an electronic newsletter that sends out valuable content to your leads. You can also send out invitations to education events such as online seminars and in-person presentations. Your goal with lead nurturing is to give them your best information (yes, for free) so that when they are ready to buy, you are the obvious choice.
It doesn’t end when your prospect says “yes, I’ll buy.” Create your sales system in a way that delivers an incredible welcome and adds value to your new customer. Leaving them cold may cause them to have buyer’s regret.
A fantastic approach is a planned orientation process where you warmly welcome your newest customer and teach them how to get the most from what they’ve agreed to buy. A smooth transition from prospect to customer (and sales person to account manager) sets the tone for additional purchases and referrals.
Your selling system won’t be truly remarkable unless you create a standard process that allows you to routinely hear about the results you are getting from your sales system. One way to do this is to set up a weekly sales huddle with your sales team. Go over wins and stucks with them, and continuously discuss best practices in qualifying, nurturing, and closing your leads. This is a great way to get continuous feedback on how to improve your system.
Developing a standardized sales system – one that everyone involved in selling in the organization can follow (even your new hires) – is the fastest way to improve overall marketing results and new revenue. Once your marketing generates qualified leads, with your selling system in place your sales team can methodically close them.
Put these steps into place in your company and you’ll be thrilled with your strikingly high conversion rates.
And at the risk of sounding cliché, I’d like to propose a single change (notice that I say single, not simple) you can make to completely transform your business and growth path in 2014.
Business owners, listen up! As the CEO of your company, you are still doing too many of the wrong things.
Each day, you are working in your business instead of on your business. And while keeping busy can make you feel really productive, playing task master is not the highest and best use of your time.
Believe it or not, most of your current day-to-day duties can be handled by another person. What’s more, they can do it better and faster because they won’t be as distracted by as many responsibilities.
And the less you do yourself, the more you will be able to inspire and empower others in your company. You’ll also remove yourself as a bottleneck that delays forward momentum because your people are waiting on you.
It’s time to prioritize the highest and best use of your time. As a CEO, your areas of focus should be primarily limited to:
No one is more passionate about your business than you. You are its steward, its nurturer, and its biggest fan. That’s why you are at its helm – so stay there (instead of running into the galley to cook).
Like many of today’s CEOs, you may currently be mired down with tasks that require amazing amounts of your time and energy – including (but not limited to) production, bookkeeping, writing proposals, delivering services, coding, designing, and any number of other daily duties.
But you don’t have to carry the burden on your own! If you’re ready to shed the weight created by the myriad of daily duties that distract you from your real work as CEO, you have 3 choices to get them off your plate:
You can offload your responsibilities to another person on your team, hire someone to take on the tasks, or outsource the workload. Trust your team and let go.
This isn’t my favorite choice as a solution, but I realize that in a growing company a CEO must still wear many hats. So, if you don’t yet have a person who you can delegate your responsibilities to, then see if you can put them off until you’ve been able to work on your business.
It may surprise you to learn that some of the things you are doing simply do not need to be done. Consider your list of To-dos. Is there anything you can just drop off it? Do it now – you’ll feel so much better.
It may feel challenging for you to let go of your non-CEO duties. But, work toward further developing your own leadership skills by stepping more fully into the CEO role. And build your team around you to grow your company. Together, you will accomplish great things.
Creating and implementing this mental framework around your role as a CEO is a powerful way to transform your business.
Of course, it’s going to take you time, dedication, and intention to shift your focus. It will also mean bringing in the right team members to take on the jobs that you “fire yourself” from.
Bottom line: This won’t happen overnight. But it’s the perfect business initiative to take on and stick to this year. The results may just astound you!