Friday, 27 September 2013

Absolutely Bloomin Fabulous

Every time I call one of my longstanding clients, I get an unusual, yet uplifting, answer to one of life’s most mundane and often insincere questions.  I ask him, like everyone does, almost on autopilot, “How are You?"  He always responds “I’M ABSOLUTELY BLOOMIN FABULOUS!” He says it with such zest and authenticity that it genuinely takes you by surprise, and it’s a great tonic.  

So, last week after many years of laughing and joking about it, I asked him why he responds so bombastically and the response was more insightful than I imagined. 

He said, firstly, that it made him personally feel positive, good about himself and reenergised. 

He then said that it also seemed to have a positive impact on everyone whom he came into contact with and regularly sparked conversation (like the one we were having!).  And, as a hands-on Sales Manager himself, this obviously this had a favorable impact as people remembered him. 

But the thing I found most enlightening was when he said, “look, I’ve got my health, food on the table, a roof over my head, a wife and kids who love me, and I live in a Western democracy.  I reckon I’m one of the luckiest 2% of the people in the world alive today." 

He said that every time he found himself seething that he has to wait four minutes to queue to fuel his car or that the Sauvignon Blanc is priced incorrectly in the local shop, he has to reframe his mind to say to himself “if this is the worst thing that’s happening to me at the moment, then I’m a very, very lucky man."  

I wish I could pull it off with his authenticity, but I’m going to try - “I’M ABSOLUTELY BLOOMIN’ FABULOUS!”

Oh, How Sales Has Changed, Or Has It? Have Your Say!


I conducted my first short sales survey back in 2001 around the ‘changing face of sales’ and it and came to the conclusion that a 1970s salesperson was seen as ‘gregarious, loud, a networker’; a 1980’s one was ‘brash, materialistic and a buy low-sell high type’ yet the 2000’s sales professional was ‘a solution provider that was consultative and adds value’!  If I was to run the same survey today I wonder if the sales professional of the two thousand and teenies would be ‘a connecter, a ‘forum maven’ and total tweet’!

The survey I conducted back in the heady days of 2007 was, as you would expect in boom time, tales of high performance, progression and advancing remuneration.  The subsequent survey, in 2009 was a dark mirror in contrast.  Talking to people in business it has been an interesting four years since then; a time of uncertainty and optimism but most of all change. 

It’ll be fascinating to see what stories the 2013 survey springs up and ‘d be really grateful to anyone in a sales led career if they’d take ten minutes out of their day to complete the survey.  Unlike most, I hope anyway; it's thought-provoking and doesn't have any particular agenda other than to  take a snapshot of the UK sales industry to compare  to previous years and indeed against future years. 

It is 60 questions, only five of them mandatory, completely anonymous and securely stored on the servers of one of the biggest survey providers on the planet. 

So please take part in the 2013 survey and HAVE YOUR SAY!


The survey can be accessed here or by visiting: www.survey2013.org


Take Part in the 2013 Sales Survey

LAUNCH OF THE SALES SURVEY 2013.

The world of sales is changing at a faster pace than at any other any time.  We're all LinkedIn to Twitter and utilising our time to achieve sales success in a way unimaginable to sales professionals of just a decade ago.  If we contrast our roles, motivators and core to only four years ago I think we’d all agree that the shift has been huge. 

It’s been four years since we held our last sales survey and it was conducted in the undoubtedly tough times of Summer and Spring 2009.  Now in a market with hints of optimism and a whole heap of new sales and marketing methodologies to add to our sales arsenal, we are launching the survey again to gauge how sales people are truly thinking.


We have partnered with the ISMM and several other sales organisations to invite over 50,000 sales professionals to take part in the 2013 Sales Survey.  Our aim is to get response from over 1000 sales people across all levels thus giving us a true and accurate snapshot of what it is really like to work in sales in 2013.   The research will feature in the autumn / winter edition of the ISMM's Winning Edge magazine and other media.
If you take part in the survey, we’ll send you the results, prior to them being launched to the media, so you can stay up-to-date with what’s happening, what’s winning, what’s important, what’s not, working hours, holidays, money – all sorts.

The confidential and secure survey is authoritative research, and previous survey information has been used by leading business schools such as the University of Portsmouth. It takes around ten to fifteen minutes to complete and of the sixty questions, just five are mandatory.  In past surveys most participants commented on how enjoyable, and thought provoking, they found completing the survey.  The questions are designed to be a mixture of work-related and life-related questions, and we hope that you enjoy completing it.


To thank all entrants we will enter you into a draw to win an ‘ultimate experience’ - a choice of over 100 experiences ranging from a 30 minute 'Tiger Moth' flight to an overnight golf break for two to a racing experience in a Lamborghini.  You will also receive a free ticket to the launch of the survey on October 17th at the Successful Selling Conference 2013, Ricoh Arena, Coventry.  This will be presented by Toby Perkins MP and will take place in Hall 4 adjacent to the main conference.

Access to all of the surveys from the last seven years can be accessed here: http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/sales_industry_statistics.aspx


Thanks for taking part,



Rob Scott

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

Follow us on our social networks…

YouTube Channel: www.salesrecruitment.tv
Aaron Wallis Blog & News: www.salesvillage.co.uk

Friday, 23 August 2013

It's Tough to Pick the Winners

Getting recruitment right is tough.  We’ve all made ‘bad hires’ at some point in our careers be that the ‘dishonest hire’, the ‘under-performing hire', the ‘culturally wrong hire’ or the plain ‘ineffectual hire’. 
                   
It’s never easy to ‘spot the winners’ but there are management tools out there to help increase your chances of making the right hiring decisions.

Recent research from the CIPD shows that personality profiling is used in just over one-third[i] of recruitment processes.  Aaron Wallis is offering you the chance, at no cost, to investigate refining your own recruitment process by introducing personality questionnaires.Sample Interview Aid Image

Personality questionnaires are designed to strip away the interview facade of potential employees and help you to build a top-performing team.  Our interview profile is a validated and powerful eight-page report that addresses essential traits in the workplace (see image for details of the traits). 

We think you’ll agree that it will provide a clear, simple and easy to follow guide that will help you conduct a structured, more insightful and professional interview.

This is a simple invitation with ‘no strings attached’.  We’d simply like you to sample the Aaron Wallis service so that we can learn more about your business and help get recruitment right for you.

To take advantage of this opportunity and to claim your complimentary interview aid simply click here and complete the short online form.  Within one working day, we will then contact you for a five-minute  consultation to set that up for you.  The resulting report will be delivered straight to your mailbox.

You may wish to take the questionnaire on yourself to see how powerful it can be or perhaps even on a forthcoming interviewee.

So put us to the test and see how Aaron Wallis can help you to ‘spot the winners’. 

We look forward to hearing from you,

P.S. If you’d like us to set up more than one personality questionnaire just let us know.  A link to a sample guide can be found here: http://ittybitty.bz/free-interview-aid

P.P.S. Aaron Wallis offers the most inclusive recruitment service in the UK backed by a 12 month rebate scheme – click here to find out more



[i] Personality questionnaires were used in 35% of recruitment processes in 2011 (down from 44% in 2010) CIPD, A Barometer of HR Trends and Prospects 2011

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Aaron Wallis Increases Advice Library to Over 500 Articles


We’ve always been pretty proud of the advice that we offer across www.aaronwallis.co.uk which we believe to be the most comprehensive, freely available advice offered by any recruitment agency. 
We’ve just undertaken a massive overhaul of the Advice Library which now contains over 500 articles, each written by industry experts, covering every imaginable business area from sales and marketing to finance to taxation to doing business in other nations.
To access it’s simple – follow this link:

Then either drop down on the theme that you’re looking for advice upon and hit search and it will bring up every topic in the category.
 
Alternatively type your query in the search box and the search engine will chose the articles it feels most relevant.
We hope that you find it useful.  If so please bookmark or post to facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn using the user-friendly buttons on the page. 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Aaron Wallis Golf Day June 21st 2013

I would like to make you aware of the Aaron Wallis Golf Tournament which is happening on Friday June 21st at The Bedford golf Club, Great Denham (on the outskirts of Bedford).  'The Bedford' is a really interesting and challenging course for both beginners and middle handicap golfers alike and easily accessible from all parts of the Home Counties.

Here at Aaron Wallis we thought it would be a good opportunity for clients to take time out of their busy schedules to enjoy a game of golf and to mix with other members of the business community in fun and informal surroundings regardless of their ability to hit the ball 250 yards or putt in from off the green!

The format of the day will be 18 holes of golf starting in the morning in groups of four people with prizes on offer such as the longest drive, nearest the pin, Stapleford winner, and as always, the winner of the wooden spoon which should give everybody a chance of winning a prize!

If you are a hiring manager of either finance or sales staff and would like to take a break from your busy week and mix with business colleagues in a relaxed and friendly way whilst getting some exercise too, then please contact Giles Phillips on 01908 886124 or email me on giles.phillips@aaronwallis. co.uk. Places will be limited to 32 entrants so please respond quickly to guarantee your place for what should be a great day’s golf.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, Cheers!  Giles

 

Friday, 24 May 2013

10 Reasons for Employee Demotivation


Demotivation can be contagious; even one demotivated employee who walks around the work place spreading negative vibes can quickly work on demotivating others. The causes of motivational and behaviour problems in any workplace are familiar to most managers, but there is no such thing as a quick fix for most of these problems. Most problems evolve over time and can take a long time to fix so the best thing to do is prevent the cause before it becomes a problem.

10 of the most common reasons for employee demotivation, as well as methods to combat these issues can be seen below.

Favouritism – If a colleague or even a group of colleagues appear to be given special treatment it can be one of the most demotivating things an employee could experience. A good boss would keep the situation under control and curb favouritism before it gets out of hands. It is quite natural to have trusted employees in the work place but there should be a line between trusting an individual and showing favouritism.

Too much work – Employees can feel overloaded with a disproportionate chunk of work which can make them feel unable to perform their duties well and on time. Be realistic with assigning tasks, delegate an amount of work that is challenging but not overwhelming.

Lack of recognition and praise – An employee can feel unappreciated for his efforts. It doesn’t take a lot to make someone feel good about them, a simple thank you or even a work lunch could do wonders.

No progression – Even the best salesman can become demotivated quickly if they feel they are stuck in a dead end job. An employer should always try to be flexible and look for a solution, progression increase employee satisfaction and in turn productivity.

Poor leadership – Most reasons for demotivation of staff comes down to poor leadership. If your company is lacking leadership then set out to recruit employees with leadership skills, if not the next best thing is leadership training.

Lazy co-workers – Lazy co-workers who do not pull their weight and get favoured by management can be very demotivating. Set clear goals and create a rewards system for the employees that do put the effort in.

Lack of company benefits – It could be that a field sales rep has to pay their own petrol or doesn’t get access to a company car this could demotivate them. Be aware of what benefits will be more attractive to employees in different roles.

Micromanagement – Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for demotivation is micromanaging. Employees need to feel trusted and valued to succeed—and micromanaging communicates the opposite.

Job role not challenging enough – An employee may love the company and all their colleagues but if the role isn’t challenging enough it could demotivate them and make them look elsewhere. Employers need to keep employees on their toes, keep work challenging but not enough to make them feel over worked.

Not explaining your actions – The unknown for employees can demotivate them. Explaining the big management decisions will help employees understand your perspective and they will also respect you more for it.


Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Sales Recruitment Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 5 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.




Thursday, 16 May 2013

Excellent LinkedIn profile but should we rely on it?

Social media usage has increased significantly over the last few years and LinkedIn is a place where this is abundantly clear.
Originally the playground of the ‘white collar’ worker LinkedIn now proves itself to be an arena for factual but sometimes extravagant professional working profiles.
More and more employers will have accounts and build a network of contacts which are relevant to their world. On occasion potential hires will be scrutinised according to their credentials presented on the account but can this add to the ambiguity of accurate information?
When reviewing any profile it always pays to delve into the basics:
Does the individual have more than one account? (creating a varied presence online)
Academic records, can these be accounted for?
Length of time at previous companies and responsibilities (is this factual and accurate)
Whether you’re an advocate of the wonderful ‘endorsement’ system or not the more preferable gauge for credibility would be recommendations stating a clear testimonial from hopefully a relevant individual
More and more people are actively making their CV redundant and opting for the electronic link to their profile. In the past the validity of CV’s could sometimes be questionable and we should move forward with the times by being just as prudent with the digital version of the modern CV.
Written by Stephen Minney
Managing Consultant at SET Recruitment (A trading name of Aaron Wallis Recruitment and Training Ltd), Self Confessed Geeks who live with their commitment to technology

You can contact Stephen on 01908 764280 or stephen.minney@setrecruitment.co.uk

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Top Tips on how to get a Job in Sales


It is well known the current climate isn’t what it used to be, however there are certain sectors that continue to grow. In sales, recruiters are continually looking for talent, it isn’t as easy as it used to be to find the right sales role but for individuals with the right skills and qualifications who are serious about their career, there are plenty of opportunities out there.
If you’re looking for one of these opportunities there are a number of things you can do to get you that perfect sales role.

Look for a job the same way you sell – It is surprising how many successful salespeople struggle to sell themselves in the same way as they sell their product or service. By approaching the process in the same way as you approach your sales, you will be more likely to achieve your ideal job.
Know what you want – What do you want to get out of your new job. Know what you want to sell; do you want to windows or advertising? Maybe you don’t think it matters but in the long run it will, you are going to care a great deal about what you are selling. You need to find a job where you can really engage with both the product and the selling process.

Don’t just email your CV – Always follow up your application with a phone call, it shows you’re willing to get on the phone and knock down doors. Your CV could be 1 of 100, if you follow it up you can be sure it will increase your job chances no end.
Prepare for an interview like it’s a sales call – Show energy in posture and in your verbal responses, make sure you know their business, their market and product lines/services well. With the Internet there is no excuse not knowing their business. And finally, make sure they know your skills and what you bring to the party.

Follow up after the interview – After the interview do you go away? Do you wait to hear about how it went? Make sure you follow up the interview straight away, one of the best things you can do after an interview is send a thank you email. How you go about pursuing a sales job is an excellent indication to a potential employer as to how you might behave after they hire you as a sales rep.

Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.





Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Improve Your Job Prospects Using Social Media


The world has become a smaller place and it is now easy to get back in touch with old friends thanks to Social Media. It has helped many people build professional connections as well as being a great marketing tool and platform which many companies use today.
However, as much of a benefit Social Media can be, it can also be very harmful when it comes to getting a job. The following tips can help you when it comes to getting your perfect job.

Clean up your profile - Make sure you have a clean profile, if you’re guilty of some questionable behaviour online you can either edit your privacy settings so that nobody other than friends can see your profile or you can tidy up anything that may be deemed inappropriate.
Avoid Negativity – Your online profile gives an overview of what you’re really like and constant complaining could damage your chances of getting a job.

Become a fan/follow relevant companies – Find pages relevant to your desired line of work and become a fan or follow them. If you looking for a role in the FMCG industry then follow FMCG companies and become a fan on their page. You can start some basic networking by chatting with others within the industry.
Use relevant hashtags on Twitter – Such as #jobs, #jobhunt or #jobsearch which offer both job openings and general job search advice. If you’re looking for high-level information about how to conduct a job search, this could be a great place to start.

Status Updates – Post status updates which show that you are looking for a new job. You may get friends help you by pointing towards certain vacancies or putting in a few good words around their work place.
Find Referrals into your target companies - Getting a referral from an employee provides a 20x better chance of getting the job. Use LinkedIn to find out who in your Facebook network has ever worked for the company you're targeting. Use them to help you get beyond the threshold of the front door, or perhaps even get you in the side door.

Profile Picture – Make sure your profile picture shows you in a positive light, if you have any pictures of yourself in smart attire, pick one for your profile picture. Remember your profile picture is still visible to non-friends so don’t give recruiters a chance to dismiss you before getting any further.
If used correctly, Social Media can be the perfect tool for those who want to network, connect and search for jobs, it is about using it in a positive manner so don’t fall into silly traps that could rule you out of a potential new job from the get go.

 
Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.





Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Employment Law Changes That Could Affect Your Business


There are a number of recent developments in UK employment law which could soon be affecting your business if they aren’t already.
 
·         Unfair dismissal compensation

With effect from 1 February 2013, the maximum unfair dismissal basic rises to £13,500, the compensatory award to £74,200 and the cap on a week’s pay to £450.

·         Revised Unpaid Parental Leave

From the 8 March 2013 unpaid parental leave entitlement increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks and can be taken up until a child’s 5th birthday but limited to a maximum of 4 weeks per year.

·         Flexible Parent Leave

The government intends to implement flexible parental leave by way of shared maternity leave by 2015 in addition to fathers ‘2 weeks’ paternity leave and pay.

·         New ‘employee-owner’ employment contracts – share for rights

From April 2013 – In exchange for certain employment rights (statutory redundancy pay; claim unfair dismissal (except in limited circumstances including TUPE); request flexible working hours or time off for training) an employee may have a new status of ‘employee-owner’ with shares of between £2,000 and £50,000 which will be exempt from capital gains tax.

·         Collective Redundancies

The government has announced that the current 90 day minimum consultation period where employers are proposing to make 100 or more redundancies at one establishment will be reduced to 45 days with a commencement date of 6 April 2013.

·         Employment Tribunal Reform

The Government is consulting on new Tribunal Rules where an early strike-out will be permissible and the cap on costs of £20,000 removed. However, it is widely expected that fees will be payable at the commencement of proceedings in the Tribunal and for the hearing itself with effect from summer 2013.

·         Working Time and Time Off

The Government is yet to publish its response regarding whether workers who are unable to take annual leave during one holiday year will be able to carry over unused leave to the next holiday leave.

·         Income Tax

Income tax for high earners will fall from 50% to 45% in April 2013 when new policies and tax measures come into play. The personal allowance rises to £9,440 in April 2013.

·         Protection of Freedoms Bill

There are planned changes to the vetting and barring scheme and Criminal Records Bureau checks. The CRB check will be instantly accessible online and portable but there is no date yet when these changes come into force in 2013.

·         Whistleblowing Disclosures

A public interest requirement will be included in the definition of a qualifying disclosure and this is expected to come into force in 2013 in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. An employee will no longer be able to blow the whistle for alleged breaches of his or her own employment contract.

·         Flexible Working Rights

The Government intends to extend the right to employees to work flexibly from 2014. Micro businesses will not be exempt.

·         Diversity – Women On Boards

The Government has moved ahead with draft regulations requiring listed companies to report on gender balances of managers in the company. A manager is defined as "a person who has authority and responsibility for planning directing and controlling the activities of the Company". Companies with reporting years ending after October 2013 will need to consider the regulations when preparing annual reports.

 

Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

www.aaronwallis.co.uk



Monday, 18 March 2013

How to Plan an Effective Recruitment Campaign



Plan an effective recruitment campaign
When recruiting you’ve got two choices.  You can make up the process as you go along and hopefully cover ‘every angle’ or you can set aside a few hours to follow a process that works. 

By following a simple checklist you can save a lot of time and money (especially in the long run). By following this six stage process (with links to additional help and advice) you can ensure that you have a logical path to hiring the right talent for your business. 
We hope that you find it useful

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Why Testing Sales Candidates is a Must


Whether it is testing candidates in a classroom environment or testing them online, pre-screening candidates can do wonders for your recruitment process. This blog discusses what types of tests are available and why it is something you should really consider.
Testing doesn’t predict who will succeed or fail in a position, it should be used in combination with other recruitment tools, however…testing can make the hiring process more productive by preventing costly mistakes and identifying who will be your organisation’s top performers.

There are hundreds of tests on the market today, and they measure literally hundreds of attributes from basic personality traits such as honesty and aggressiveness to specific sales skills such as prospecting and upselling.
 

Assessment Centres – They are a hugely successful way to recruit for the simple reason that over the course of the selection process you see how a candidate will actually perform in your role rather than the fa├žade of their interview mode. Assessment Centre methods have been proven to increase both ‘on the job’ performance and reduced staff attrition.

Assessment Centres are commonly made up of any of the following:

·         Aptitude tests
·         Psychometric Profiling
·         Individual Exercises
·         Group Exercises
·         Presentation
·         Lateral thinking and problem solving
·         Competency interview
·         Group role play
 

Psychometric Profiling – Psychometric Profiling is a form of personality questionnaire which would normally take no more than ten minutes for each candidate to complete. They are a fast, simple and inexpensive pre-interview guide which when used effectively allows the interviewer to ‘get beneath the skin’ in a quicker period of time and enables you to make the most of the interview time.

Most psychometric questionnaires look at the following areas:

·         Assertiveness
·         Drive
·         Extroversion
·         Confidence
·         Social Sensitivity
·         Caring
·         Structure
·         Openness to Change

Upgraded Psychometrics – Most basic psychometrics will come at no extra cost, however for a small price you can get your candidates to complete an upgraded psychometric which could be any of the following:

·         Advanced Sales Questionnaire (ASQ)
·         Rapid Personality Questionnaire (RPQ)
·         Personality Profile Analysis (PPA)
·         Tests for Selection and Training (TST)
·         General Intelligence Assessment (GIA)


Skills Tests – There is a huge number of skills tests available, most contain questions for basic, intermediate and advanced skill levels and questions are randomised. Skills tests can vary from 15 – 45 minutes depending on which test is taken. Skills tests cover every imaginable area though here are some of the most popular for sales candidates:

·         U.K. Sales Concept
·         U.K. Analytical Skills
·         U.K. Basic Office Skills
·         U.K. Logical Reasoning – Deduction
·         U.K. Logical Reasoning – Mathematical
·         U.K. Call Centre Outbound Sales Skills
·         U.K. Call Centre Inbound Sales Skills
·         Marketing Fundamentals

 

Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.