Friday, 24 July 2015

How to Attract Top Sales Talent to Your Business

For me, the biggest ingredient of business success is a strong and effective workforce. Having talented and effective employees working for you means that your business will prosper and develop, and ultimately make profit. The problem is that every business is looking for the very best employees, so how can you make sure that the best sales people want to work for you?

Be an Attractive Option


At the end of the day someone will only join your business if they believe it’s somewhere they would like to work, and an improvement to the position they are currently in. The role and environment you are offering has to be better than what they are being offered elsewhere. This means offering a better package than your competitors, either financially or in other ways.

Most people would agree that the primary incentive to move to a new role is money. Basic human nature means that we look for the job which will reward us the most, and the most obvious point of gratification comes financially.  For this reason attracting top sales talent requires that you have to offer at very least a competitive market salary, but a package that surpasses your competitors will give you the greatest chance of attracting the top people. A good technique to attract the very best sales candidates is to offer a package weighted towards bonus or commission earnings. Successful sales people will be confident in the belief that they can sell a large amount of a product or service, and will see that a salary structure that rewards hard work will provide the best opportunity for them. This does often mean that you will end up paying an employee more, but if they are bringing deals to your business then the reward will always outweigh the cost.     

However as Jessie J would argue, it’s not always about the money. Another key thing people think about when considering a new job is the environment they will be working in, and what day to day life could look like for them in a new role. The atmosphere and facilities in a new position are a big deal to people, as it’s something they have to deal with every day. For this reason it’s important that your business has everything from clean and tidy offices to an accessible location.

Make Your Vacancy Visible


For people to want to join your business, they have to be aware of who you are, and that there is an opportunity available. This means placing the information about your job role in a place where it can be seen, or on a popular job board. Alternatively you could work with a recruitment agency to search for the top talent, which may be a quicker and more effective solution. The bottom line is that if people are not informed of a vacancy at your business, they are never going to apply to it or contact you.

Secondly the very best talent in the industry want to work for the best and most well-known businesses. Creating a strong brand presence in your business sector will help you attract the strongest candidates as they are more likely to look to you if they are considering leaving a business. Another benefit of this is that if you are headhunting a senior sales person, then it will always help if they are aware of your business and what you do. A combination of an attractive job opportunity and a visible business is the only way to secure the top sales talent.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Recruiting My Dream Football Team

Occasionally it can be a struggle to persuade the right person to join your business, and you have to think of a way to get them on board. With the new football season starting soon I wondered what the best way to recruit my dream football team would be:

Joe Hart- For a lot of people the facilities that their place of work provide are very important when looking for a new job. Things that an employer can provide on a daily basis go a long way, and when looking to employ Joe Hart it’s worth stocking up on your Head and Shoulders shampoo.

Sol Campbell- Many employers would probably agree that giving someone a job title which sounds better than it actually is can be a good way of getting people on board. With someone like Sol Campbell you need to make sure they think they have an important place in the team, even if they don’t. Something like Mayor of the reserves could work.

Ferdinand- Sometimes you have to think a little bit out of the box to get someone into your team. Getting Rio to join you may include a combination of a good supply of snapback hats and an office playing rap music all day.

John Terry- The best way to recruit JT allegedly would be to offer him a deal including as many girls as he would like, or even your word as his boss that you won’t be unhappy if he gets with one of the other players’ wife.  

Sterling- With some people it’s all about the base salary. When recruiting someone like Raheem Sterling it’s important that you offer them a package with a competitive guaranteed income, something like his new £200,000 a week deal at Manchester City would suffice. Let’s just hope he’s not too tired to work.

Delph- Perhaps counterintuitively the best tactic for employing Fabian Delph would be to encourage him to commit his future to his current role. After all he’s only going to do a U-Turn anyway and join your team.

Toure- Usually it’s the little things that employers provide which make a difference for people. To keep Yaya Toure happy it’s imperative you remember his birthday, and provide him with a regular supply of birthday cakes. It’s important that candidates such as Yaya know this before you offer them a position.

Wilshere- Often when recruiting, things included in the salary package that are not just the base salary are important. Recruiting Wilshere would be as easy as offering him a job lot of fags, according to newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Mirror.

Puncheon- Similar to Joe Hart, Jason Puncheon is a man all about the facilities. Keeping your toilets clean and tidy would be a good way to keep Jason happy, as the midfielder was left red faced in a game last year when he didn't have time to make a trip.

Balotelli- One of the biggest things candidates or in this case players seek in a new job is guidance, and career development. When attempting to recruit Mario Balotelli I would ensure that he realises the new skills he could learn in his new position, such as setting off fireworks safely or putting a bib on properly.

Suarez- Support structures need to be in place for employees should they run into difficulty. In this case a dentist may be of use to keep Luis Suarez’s teeth in working order, or even a psychologist for when he loses track of his marbles.

Friday, 17 July 2015

How to Get Into Sales without Any Experience

From reading the papers or watching the television, many people believe that it is near impossible to get into sales without experience. This is simply not true, and there are a variety of ways to get into the industry:


Education


Getting yourself onto the first ‘rung of the ladder’ of the sales industry may seem challenging without relevant experience, but it is less difficult then people would have you believe. Perhaps the biggest alternative to experience on a CV is education or qualifications. Learning about the sales industry makes you a much more attractive candidate to organisations as it increases the likelihood that you will be effective in their vacant position.  This can come in many forms and does not always mean certification or accomplishment from a school or university. Higher education in the form of a degree will of course help you if you are after a graduate sales job, but there are many other alternatives.

Sales training or seminars are run by a variety of different organisations and come in many different forms that can suit you. Courses can vary from short to long term, but all of them will increase your chances of landing a sales job. A lot of this training can be found online and can be completed both cheaply and quickly, the road to your dream job may only be a Google search away! The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management offer apprenticeship NVQ courses, and this may be a good place to start.

An inexpensive way to increase your knowledge of sales and to get to grips with the jargon is to read some books on sales - 'Brilliant Selling' by Jeremy Cassell and Tom Bird is a good start as is 'How to Sell' by Mike le Put and 'e-selling' by Sean McPheat has some great ideas on increasing sales through social networking. Great blogs on sales are Sean's at - http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/mtdblog and Gavin Ingham's at http://www.gaviningham.com/blog

Be Creative with Your CV


When applying for any role, not just sales, it is worth catering your CV to reflect the position you are applying for. A good technique is to look at the person and job specification for the vacancy and try and pick up on some key words or terminology the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example if the person specification mentions teamwork as a key quality required in a candidate, really try to express how much of a team player you are. This can be done all the way through your CV, from previous responsibilities you have held, or even your hobbies and interests: if you have ever played a team sport this is a good example of working in a team!       

Just because your previous job didn’t have a sales focus, it doesn’t mean that the skills you acquired whilst working there are irrelevant. Any previous job that required engaging with customers is worth highlighting on your CV as it shows you have likely developed good communication skills, which is something employers look for in sales roles. More specifically, any experience of engaging with customers over the phone will definitely help if you are applying for a telesales roles.


Apply for the right jobs 


The key to getting into the sales industry is to apply for jobs that suit you. If you are at the beginning of your career applying to trainee sales jobs is probably the best way, and if you are a graduate there are entry level roles catered for you. Further to this, applying for sales jobs in a sector of which you already hold an interest will always increase the chances of you being successful as a candidate. If you have knowledge of a product, you will be far better at selling it, and employers recognise this. For example if you hold an interest in technology, selling computers may be a good fit for you: it will increase the chance of you getting the job, and increase the chance of you being good at the role! 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to be a Bad Negotiator- Lessons From Greece

Yesterday, a deal was agreed in principle between the Greek government and the Eurozone leaders for an €86 billion euro bailout package for Greece. Despite a referendum less than 10 days ago giving a clear majority decision from the Greek people to not accept a deal proposed by the IMF and ECB, here we stand today only a few hours away from the agreement being fully completed. This deal includes spending cuts, tax increases and privatisation that the Syriza Greek government had been voted in on the promise half a year ago to prevent. Further to this common opinion is that Greece are about to accept a deal which is worse than which they could have had only two weeks ago. How did Greece end up in this position, and how have they negotiated so badly?

Unreasonable Demands


The first thing we can take away from the Greek saga is to only enter into a negotiation with someone when you think your demands are achievable or realistic, otherwise you will always end up disappointed. Going into a discussion in business or elsewhere is only worthwhile if your demands can actually be met. The clampdown on tax evasion and corruption in Greece has been a long time coming. The country is notoriously bad at supervising tax incomes and preventing fraud, and the Prime Minister’s belief that their countries tax system did not need revisiting is somewhat wide-eyed. Take the example of the Greek island of Zakynthos- ‘The Island of the Blind’:

Zakynthos, the Greek island of 40,000 has a reported rate of blindness 10 times the average rate of blindness for the rest of Europe. This has left many people pondering the question, have the citizens of Zakynthos evolved in a certain way that has left them massively susceptible to being blind? Or could this just be just a ploy to acquire the badly checked and supervised €350 a month disability payments on offer? It would seem the norm to commit benefit fraud on this island, with people from all trades claiming the payment, the Telegraphed recently interviewed a ‘blind’ 35 year old taxi-driver who had been receiving the disability payments at the same time as driving tourists around the island. Thankfully the mayor of the island may be coming to his senses after going on record conceding that “out of the 650 blind people on the island, we estimate that 600 of these are actually not blind”. In today’s world, particularly in developed countries, it should have been obvious to Greece that tax collection needed reform, and it was not worth negotiating otherwise.


Know a Good Deal When You See It


The second thing to learn from how the Greek government approached the talks is to know your ‘walk-away’ point and what you can expect from the negotiations. Greece did not anticipate what the best deal they could hope to get would be, and this has left them in a position where they have had to accept a deal worse than what they could have received two weeks ago.  As a business or as an individual it's useful to think about every possibility from different scenarios of negotiation, and come to a clear decision on at which point you would accept an offer and at which point you would ‘walk away’.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is on the verge of completing a deal with arrangements of
higher spending cuts and tax levels that were offered before the referendum. Further to this a senior EU official put the cost of the last two weeks of disruption at between 25 to 30 billion euros to the Greek economy, perhaps suggesting that it would have been best for the country to take the deal offered two weeks ago.

As a business when trying to reach a deal, you should do your homework on what you can achieve to make sure the conversation is productive, as well as knowing when a deal is right to accept!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Would you rather work for Alan Sugar or Richard Branson?

Lord Sugar and Sir Richard Branson are perhaps some of the UK’s best examples of starting at the bottom and making it to the top. Both from humble backgrounds, Sugar grew up in a council flat in Hackney starting his business from the back of a van, with Branson setting up his first record shop in an old church.  Despite similar beginnings for these two entrepreneurs their management styles struggle to be more contradictory, so the question to be raised is who would you rather work for?

Lord Sugar

Alan Sugar’s credentials cannot be contested, as a billionaire and the 101st richest man in the UK he runs the company Amstrad, and has also owned Tottenham Hotspur in the past. Sugar is an international household name following his success with the television show The Apprentice which averages over 7 million views per episode. Lord Sugar is not without his critics however, the Daily Mail has labelled him a “model of bad management” and even compared his rule by fear approach as similar to Joseph Stalin.

Sugar’s authoritative style is easy to see through The Apprentice, his approach in the boardroom not only makes for good TV but goes viral on social media. The internet is full of Lord Sugar’s greatest put downs, including telling Tre Azam “I have an imaginary remote control in my hand- and you’re on pause”. However, cynically it is easy to wonder whether his persona is all a front for the show, as Sugar has a reputation for being fair and must be doing something right to be granted the title of Lord. It is very hard to judge what Lord Sugar is really like in business of the real world, but if you are someone who prefers working under a ‘tell it how it is’ figure then Sugar may be the boss for you.  

An image of Lord Sugar from The Apprentice.The past winners of The Apprentice have gone on to have mixed success. Series One’s (2005) winner Tim Campbell has hit heights working as a head for a recruitment firm and as an ambassador for London Mayor Boris Johnston. On the other side of the spectrum 2010 winner Stella English quit her role at Lord Sugar’s business Viglen claiming that she was just an “overpaid lackey”. The jury on how good it is to work under Lord Sugar is still out, but having him as your boss may not be as good as it sounds.

Sir Richard Branson

One of the only people who can surpass Lord Sugar’s business achievements is Sir Richard Branson with a net worth of over £3 billion which puts him as the seventh richest person in the UK. Branson started with a single music shop in 1972 and now stands as the owner of Virgin Galactic, Atlantic, Mobile and Hotels respectively. Branson is famed for his laid-back management approach and a nurturing and innovative style, very different from Lord Sugar.  
Picture of Richard Branson and staff at Virgin.

Richard Branson comes across very much as a free-sprit, owning Necker Island which is visited regularly by celebrities for indulgent holidays without the paparazzi, a week’s stay will cost you over £280,000. He also stars in Virgin adverts with Usain Bolt, and has a reputation of charisma.  The business man follows a philosophy of caring for his workers as he argues “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”.

Branson claims that one of the benefits of working for him is that there is no policy for holidays, ultimately you can have as much time off as you want. Again this is one of those things that probably sounds a lot better than it really is, in reality taking an unlimited holiday will probably not put you in your boss’s good books, and for career driven people the policy will hold no value. Branson himself is even quoted as saying that the policy relies on the assumption that “their absence will not in any way damage the business”.  


There is obviously more to working Lord Sugar and Branson than appears at the surface level, but maybe there are a few questions to ask yourself before picking your dream boss. Could you survive the boardroom? Is working for Branson as fun as it is portrayed? Which boss would further your career more? Let us know your thoughts. 

Written by Andy Boyle at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, an avid watcher of The Apprentice and an admirer of Sir Richard Branson. All things considered I would prefer to work for Richard Branson, as the opportunity to visit his island would be a great company perk!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Interviews From Your CV

Sending out numerous applications to employers without response can be disheartening, but it probably has more to do with your CV than you as a candidate. If your CV isn’t up to scratch, then you won’t get calls to interview, so here are 5 of the common errors where people go wrong:


Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors

One of the biggest turn-offs to recruiters are simple mistakes in grammar and spelling. There is no excuse for errors, as it portrays laziness and a lack of focus, meaning your chances of getting to the next stage in the recruitment process drop significantly. Getting another person such as a family member or a friend to proofread it is a good technique, as it can be hard to spot your own errors.


It’s Too Generic

It’s a bad idea to send out the same CV and cover letter to each job vacancy that you apply for. It’s easy for employers to spot a generic application, and they won’t be impressed.  Getting the most out of your CV through personalisation to the role you are applying for is crucial to securing an interview. It’s important to tailor each application to the role that you apply for and highlight the skills, qualifications and experience that are most relevant to the job. Changing your objective or summary to link directly to the vacancy is a good way to grab employers’ attention and engage them.


It’s Not Fit For the Digital Age

Modern technology allows employers and recruiters alike to search through thousands of applications in a click of a button. New software searches through CV’s looking at buzzwords or keywords to find strong candidates. These new developments mean that you need to update your CV to contain the keywords recruiters are looking for, which are often specific to the role. A guide on getting your CV ready for modern technology and identifying the keywords to put in your application can be found in our career tools section, details below.


It’s Too Long

A CV that is three or more pages long is unlikely to get the full attention of a recruiter, people are busy, and they don’t have the time to wade through an essay. Recruiters want a concise, succinct document that is easy to extract information out of. Using bullet points and subheadings is a good tool to break up your CV and make it more readable for employers. Equally your application should not include absolutely everything that you have done, for example your first job at a car garage has little to do with the position of sales representative for a large corporation, so don’t list it!


You Don’t Sell Yourself

Your CV shouldn’t just list your experience, skills and qualifications, but it should also include your accomplishments. When discussing a previous role, don’t just talk about your duties, but talk about what you accomplished in this role too. This gives you the chance to show off your job skills, and it also gives the recruiter a better picture of what you are like in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to go into specifics about things you have achieved in your career, as it is a good way to show that you are the right candidate for the role.

For more advice on getting your CV up to scratch visit our section dedicated to this subject in the career tools section on our website