Tuesday 30 December 2014

What Makes a Successful Telesales Person and How Can Employers Be Sure Of Recruiting Telesales Staff Who Will Perform Well & Be Successful?

Telesales is, of course, nothing new but there has been a distinct change in the way that the telesales department contributes to the overall sales efforts of an organisation. 

In some cases, it is the only sales resource available whereas with others it plays an important, but relatively minor part such as appointment setting with the final sale being concluded by a salesperson who will provide a more personalised service, tailored to the client’s needs.

Recruiting Telesales People - Time To Look Beyond the Local Classifieds.

Employers wanting to recruit telesales staff are finding it takes much more than a classified ad in the local paper to locate the best people.

From finding a new client, to providing ongoing client support and making add-on or supplemental sales to existing clients, a good telesales operation can make a real difference to an organisation. I use the term “organisation” deliberately because we are not only talking about commercial companies here - how many of us have been contacted by charities and other not for profit organisations asking for donations or to sell services? It’s all telesales and, with so many alternative sales channels now open to employers, it requires a new breed of talented and results-driven telesales staff to make it work.

So how can you recruit telesales staff that can really handle the pressure and make a difference? Firstly, it is important to make sure that you have a clear idea of what the role entails and of what you expect from  suitable candidates.

When recruiting telesales staff here are some of the qualities that you should bear in mind:

Important, if not essential, is a tenacious attitude towards the daily business of making contact with dozens, if not hundreds, of potential customers. In its most basic, and nowadays often completely ineffective and non-productive, there is the cold-call, contacting people who are not expecting you to call and who will respond with everything from indifference through to downright rudeness.

Does the candidate you are considering strike you as the type of person who will cheerfully take the insults on board, respond professionally and respectfully, and move on to the next number on a list that will, somewhere, have the odd one or two gems buried amongst the dross, waiting to be discovered?

Salespeople often come across as being impatient, eager to move on and having little time for time-wasters. This attitude does have its merits in some circumstances but most successful sales operations rely on the process of incubating leads, developing them into customers and then managing that customer base so as to encourage repeat business. Not a job for the impatient operator who, after making many calls, may chance upon someone who may want to chat for a while but who will probably listen to a pitch if it is introduced into the longer conversation in a subtle and unobtrusive way.

Waiting for the right moment takes patience but so often pays off.

Try to assess the candidate’s ability to put themselves in the place of the prospect. We all know that “people buy people” and are far more likely to react positively to someone who, they feel, has an understanding of their needs and wishes.

When interviewing a candidate, try to assess how good they are at listening and test their understanding of what they have heard. If the candidate takes notes, this can also be indicative of someone who takes what is being said, seriously.
Other, somewhat obvious, characteristics of a successful telesales person include having a good, clear voice that can easily be understood. Try to conduct at least part of the interview process over the telephone to hear for yourself how understandable the candidate is on the telephone.

The Role of the Telesales Recruitment Agency in Recruiting Telesales Staff.
All in all, the standards required of a telesales operator in these days of inbound marketing where calls are likely to be of a better quality and more likely to convert than high-volume cold calls, are much higher than was previously the case. In some regulated industries the telesales person may have to take, and pass, exams or tests in order to be able to conduct certain types of sale - usually in the Finance Industry.

As the standards increase, so too does the need to involve professionals in your telesales recruitment campaigns. Speaking to a specialist telesales recruitment agency can take much of the leg work out of the task and provide you with a list of pre-screened candidates for your telesales positions.

Aaron Wallis specialise in finding first class, effective and versatile telesales operators at all levels, including trainees.

Our recruiters have sales experience themselves and know the pressures and challenges that face today’s telesales and other sales professionals. If you need to recruit telesales staff for 2015 then give us a call, you’ll be well on the way to building a first class telesales resource.

Monday 29 December 2014

This New Year I Have Goals not Resolutions. How About You?

With the New Year very much on the horizon it’s common to hear people say, next year I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to travel. I’m going to change jobs. I’m going to save money. Look back on the year that is just about to finish. How many of the resolutions you made the previous year have you been able to accomplish?

Most resolutions end before they even begin and apparently 12th January is when the majority of New Year resolutions have failed.  Here’s the common reasons why New Year’s Resolutions Fail:

1) They’re not specific enough
2) They are made upon or what you feel you should be doing rather than something you truly want to achieve.
3) They’re a whim on the day rather than something truly thought out
4) They’re not written down or communicated to others
5) They’re not reviewed
6) They’re made upon not what you want but either what your friends and family want you to do, i.e. it is impossible to give up smoking unless you truly deep down want to give up smoking
7) They’re unrealistic or unachievable in the time-frame (perhaps they should really be a milestone towards a longer term 3-year, 5-year, 10-year goal)

Specific goal or goals
If you, as an individual, truly want to achieve a certain something you have to set it as a goal – a firm, dedicated goal that is specific and can be easily articulated to others in one simple sentence. You then have to make a firm commitment to achieve it. You have to want it so badly that your subconscious works towards achieving that goal. All successful people set goals so they have a clear picture about what they want. It motivates them to remain focused and to concentrate their resources, knowledge and their energies towards achieving that goal. A few goals rather than a diary full are easier to achieve as it helps you to focus on them better. Additionally, you don’t have to split up your resources and energies into many different directions.

This is a great story from Jim Carey when as jobbing actor, and by all accounts he was living in his car, he wrote a cheque to himself for $10M and gave himself five years to achieve it.  He kept it in his wallet and periodically looked at it he was determined that one day he could honour that cheque.  By regularly visualising he had the focus to network in the firm industry and made it his purpose to be known to every director and every studio to build up his name and credibility. Just under 5 years later he was offered the lead role in ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and cashed in that $10M cheque.  It’s a good story from someone that we can all relate to and if you want to cut out the Oprah guff either side then listen to it from 1:48 to 2:38

Have you created your plan?
If you want to achieve something in the coming year set a goal rather than a resolution. What’s the difference? The difference is that resolution is just an unformulated idea, a desire, a phrase and really nothing more than a wish. A goal on the other hand is a specific target that you can easily communicate, measure and review.  Goals are like affirmations because you probably have a plan A and a plan B in place that will enable you to reach the desired target and if you’re really keen then perhaps a plan C is also formulating in your mind! This means that you not only want to achieve that target but have plans in place that will help you achieve it.

If you’re having some problems thinking of goals here’s a goal setting workbook that is free to download that I wrote back in 2008.  It’s a bit esoteric and if I’m honest a bit long-winded but I hope that there may be some articles here to help formulate your goals for 2015.

Of milestones and deadlines
A goal has deadlines within which to achieve those milestones – the smaller steps on the path to achieving that big goal. Deadlines and milestones are incredibly important. They tell you how far you’ve reached and how well, or not, you are advancing towards what you set out to do. They allow you to pause and reflect on how much more you still have to go before the end of the year. They direct you to change strategy if required to go faster, slower or take a different route. If you are redecorating your house you will often say by Monday I’ll finish painting the walls or by the weekend I will complete the varnishing. You are setting small, achievable goals and working towards them so you finish them by the deadline.

Numbers Work
In order for a resolution to become a goal it must be communicable to those around you so that gives you the focus to achieve the goal. The easiest way to do this is to transfer your goal into numbers.  ‘I’m going to lose weight’ is not enough as it needs to be more specific and date stamped such as ‘by the 23rd March 2015 I will have lost 18 pounds, weight 13 stone and be able to get into 34” trousers.  On New Year’s Eve 2015 I will weigh myself and will be under 13 stone’.   

You may feel that your goal may not be able to transferred into numbers such as ‘I want to be perceived as more professional by my team’ but it can by simply asking (perhaps anonymously) how team members would score you out of ten for professionalism.  Then set a goal that by the 17th June you will ask the same question and aim to be at least two marks out of ten higher than you were in early January.  Here’s some other examples:

New Year’s Resolution
‘I’m going to run a marathon’
‘I will run five miles per week in January 2015, ten miles per week in February and on the 23rd February I will run ten miles in one session.  On the 24th February I will book myself onto a marathon in early June 2015 and follow a 12 week marathon training programme from 1st March 2015 to achieve this.
‘I want to save more money’
I will save at least £50 per month throughout 2015.  By end of March 2015 I will have £200+ in savings, by end of June £500+ and by New Year’s Eve of 2015 I will have £1,000 in savings.
‘I will spend more time with my kids’
One weekend in two will be solely dedicated time to my kids.  I will research 30 detailed days out which can be changed weather dependent.  I will book in a ‘night out’ every other month with each child.  All of this will be allocated into my electronic diary by 15th January

All made up without really thinking them through but hope that you get the idea?

Review It
Many set big goals at the start of the year and then frankly forget about it.  Instead when you set your goals make entries into your electronic diary to prompt you to review it.  That way you can make refinements and adjustments to ensure that the big goal is met. 

A 58 year old friend of mine (and okay he is a personal trainer) set himself a goal of running 100 miles in 24 hours last December.  We all laughed and said ‘no way’.  The most he’d run prior to this was 26 miles but he dedicated every Saturday to a long training run and I witnessed him on a couple of occasions during his training really, really struggling.  However, he didn’t give up, he stuck to his training plan and in August 2014 he ran 100 miles in 24 hours.  I personally set a goal of running 750 miles in 2014.  I was way ahead of plan until September but by mid-November life had gotten in the way and I realised that I still had 80 miles to go.  I didn’t want to fail (particularly as I’d told so many people about my goal any many regularly asked how I was getting along) so ‘upped my game’ and increased my mileage to ensure the target was met.  If I didn’t have that goal then frankly I wouldn’t have run from September onwards as I wasn’t training for anything and my training from January would be so much harder.  If anyone is interested, and to prove ‘I eat my own dogfood’ my running tally in 2014 is here:

Don’t Keep it To Yourself
You are 8 times more likely to achieve your goals if you tell others. You then feel that you are held to account by them and that gives you the focus to succeed.  And if you’re really resolute that you are going to achieve your goals in 2015 then make them public on Facebook, YouTube or your blog!

So to Conclude – 7 Steps to Achieving Your Goals in 2015
1.    Decide upon your goals for 2015 – visualise yourself achieving them
2.    Transfer your goals into numbers
3.    Write them down in a positive and enthusiastic way that is both inspiring to yourself and easily communicable to others. 
4.    Set milestones throughout the year in your electronic diary (and make a promise to yourself that you will review them).  If resources are needed to help you achieve the goals then get the plan in place to acquire them
5.    Communicate your goals to others – the more publicly the better
6.    Regularly review and make adjustments, if necessary, to stay on track
7.    Take a willpower pill!

Really good luck with your goal setting for 2015 and Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

NB - I haven’t fully decided just yet on my goals for 2015 but will publish them on this blog on 1st January 2015!  

Saturday 20 December 2014

Has the LinkedIn Profile Made the CV Obsolete when recruiting sales staff?

Who would have imagined, just over one decade ago, that the social networking start-up website, founded by Stanford graduate Reid Hoffman, would today be the happy hunting ground of both those seeking employment and those seeking new employees?

Whether or not that was Hoffman’s intention right from the start isn't very clear, I personally think his vision was somewhat wider than that, but nonetheless that is what it has become. LinkedIn is a massive meeting place for those wishing to find a job, change their current job or to find people to fulfill a job vacancy.

For many employers, LinkedIn is now the first point of reference when recruiting sales staff.

I recently attended a business networking event in central London. It was attended by, predominantly, self-employed professionals who were looking to extend their network of contacts and, ideally, to pick up some business for themselves.

Some of them were also seeking employment and using the event as a showcase for their talents – nothing at all wrong with that. There were also, of course, some members of the recruitment profession who were seeking to recruit sales staff and to fill other posts.

Back home and onto LinkedIn to find out more

So after a few hours of elevator pitches and passing around the business cards I returned home and made a bee-line, as I always do, for my laptop – just to “check my emails”, of course.

In fact, before checking my emails I went straight to my LinkedIn account to check the profiles of those people I had been speaking with and who were of interest to me, only to find that many of them had already beaten me to it and checked my LinkedIn profile.

One or two of those who had checked me out were of particular interest to me so I decided to take an impartial look at what they would have seen. It was a bit of a shock to have to say that I really wasn’t that impressed with my public profile on LinkedIn.

See yourself as others see you

The reason for this is not that my profile was bad, but it certainly wasn’t fully up to date, and some of the things I had been freely telling people about at the networking event were not yet entered up onto my LinkedIn profile.
Anyone who has ever been involved in recruitment, and particular interviewing applicants for a job, will know this situation – it’s like the unexplained gap in the chronology of the applicant’s CV. The missing months, or sometimes years, where they simply disappeared off the radar.

Your LinkedIn profile – a valuable asset so keep it up-to-date.

Usually, there’s a reasonable explanation for this; a year spent travelling, a simple mistake in calculating dates or some such harmless reason. Unfortunately, however, when confronted with such a situation, many people fear the worst and draw the wrong conclusion.

In the same way that you should always keep your CV up-to-date with no unexplained gaps, so too should your LinkedIn profile be kept current, interesting and historically accurate.

To answer my own question, no – the LinkedIn profile has not yet made the CV obsolete – when you are recruiting sales staff or other employees you should always ask for the applicants CV and, equally, applicants should always be ready to supply one.

What is important, however, is that one does not contradict the other so it’s time to be doubly sure that your profile and your CV are in sync.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Has the transition in Sales & Marketing from an Outbound to An Inbound Model Affected the Way That You Recruit Sales Staff?

Online marketing processes have rendered some outbound marketing practices obsolete for many industries – does this indicate a shift in sales recruitment criteria?

As someone who once managed an outbound sales team where “cold calling” was the order of the day, I must say that the concept of “inbound” marketing superseding long-established outbound practices came as a bit of a shock – in fact, I didn't believe it.

That was a decade ago, however, and I certainly believe it now!

Just a couple of years ago I agreed to run an outbound team for a (very) large organisation who were keen to see how, (and whether), it would still work. They wanted to establish whether it made financial sense to simply cold call a list of potential customers.

10,000+ calls later the answer was blindingly obvious – it was a waste of time, the cost of acquisition was insane. The project was buried and has never surfaced again since.

Now let me say right away that there certainly are some markets where cold calling does make sense and works well. The stereotypical “double glazing” pitch is going to be delivered that way for years to come, I’m sure of that.

For most businesses, however, whilst you may still want to hang on to the familiar outbound methods, it’s time to take a look at how inbound sales and marketing are already changing the landscape for many industries. It may also be time to amend your sales recruitment criteria as well.

This is almost all due to the widespread acceptance of the need to have a company website and the need for that website to feature in the results given by Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, when someone searches for a word or phrase that relates to your business.

When someone visits a website and fills in the “more information” contact form, what you have is, at the very least, a “warm” lead. When you consider that, in a cold calling environment, you might have to make up to 100 or more calls just to get one such warm lead, you can see how the sales process has matured and why the sales recruitment process may need to change.

No longer do we need people to constantly bash the phones, taking every knock-back as simply being a step towards the next success. Now, we need to recruit sales staff who can take the inbound leads and convert them into sales at a sufficiently high rate.

We need to recruit marketing people who can make those leads occur at a much higher rate. Sales staff who are comfortable with converting pre-qualified leads and using up-to-date real time CRM’s, incorporating other activities such as email follow-ons, downloadable case studies etc.

In short, we need sales staff who can work in the online space as comfortably as they can when confronted with a real person, in a board room presentation or other business meeting.

Online enquiries are fine but remember that when your website is shown to a potential customer, so are those of your competitor. The one that wins the business will be the one that responds quickly and professionally – and that’s what many people are concentrating on when they recruit sales staff today.

Here at Aaron Wallis we can help you to recruit sales staff that reflect and enhance your inbound sales processes, sales staff with the necessary skills to make inbound work – for your business.

Monday 1 December 2014

What To Look For In A Sales Recruitment Agency

Use a specialist sales recruitment Agency
Hiring Sales Staff - Use A Specialist Sales Recruitment Agency

When you need to find new sales professionals to drive your business forward, it goes without saying that you want to recruit the best sales talent that is available. 

But how can you be sure that you are finding those talented sales professionals that can make a huge difference to your business?

Well, there’s one way that you can make the sales recruitment task much easier and which gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the people you are interviewing are carefully selected to meet your criteria and to demonstrate those qualities that make for a top performing sales professional.

Welcome to the world of the specialist sales recruitment agency, welcome to the world of Aaron Wallis.

As sales recruitment specialists, Aaron Wallis are able to focus on the task of identifying those candidates who really do have what it takes, the essential qualities that make for a professional approach to selling, with success almost guaranteed.

When Aaron Wallis recruit sales staff for you, we take time to find out exactly what kind of sales professional you are looking for. What level of experience is required, do you require specialist knowledge of particular industry domains or vertical markets, are you looking for a potential sales manager and, if so, within what kind of time frame?

The Search Begins

When your requirements are fully understood, our experienced sales recruiters will begin the search for suitable candidates, sifting through hundreds of CV’s and profiles, looking for those qualities that will make for a perfect candidate for your sales recruitment requirements.

We carefully screen all applicants and produce a Psychometric profile for all candidates – this ensures that they possess all of the qualities needed to succeed in your business.

Once a shortlist has been produced, we can assist with the interview process and will provide bespoke interview questions that really help you to drill down to the level of detail needed to identify those candidates that will really perform once appointed.

Finding the Right Sales Recruitment Agency - How Difficult Can It Be?

Finding the right sales recruitment company can be tricky, we know that some of our competitors may not offer such a comprehensive service as that offered by ourselves. Often, this is because they are recruiting for many different roles and don’t have the knowledge, or the time, to focus just on sales recruitment in the way that we do.

As with most things in business, however, specialisation usually pays dividends. You wouldn't dream of using a bricklayer to run your payroll, or an accountant to fix your roof – apply the same logic to the business critical task of recruiting sales staff – use a specialist sales recruitment agency.

Our approach certainly takes most, if not all, of the risk out of recruiting sales staff but, just to be absolutely sure, we offer our clients even more peace of mind, and we’re very proud of it – it’s all thanks to our unique 12 months rebate scheme which gives you 52 weeks protection on your investment in new sales staff.

Yes, a full year’s protection for you – that’s how confident we are that, when you need to recruit sales staff, you’ll find the right sales people, every time, with Aaron Wallis.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Aaron Wallis – 4 Locations, 1 Specialist Sales Recruitment Agency

If you are an employer or recruiter seeking sales professionals at various levels you will probably know by now that recruiting sales staff is different from many other forms of recruitment.

However, not everyone is aware that by engaging the services of a specialist sales recruitment agency you can avoid many of the pitfalls and be sure of finding the right people every time.

Good sales people are often reluctant to leave a post, unless there is a really good reason for them to do so. Nonetheless, many sales professionals do keep their ear to the ground in case a suitable opportunity becomes available and with the advent of social networking platforms like LinkedIn it is becoming increasingly easy for them to become aware of an opportunity when one occurs.

So what are today’s top performers looking for - Is it just a question of money and financial rewards?

Surprisingly, the answer is very often, “no”.

Although it is true that many sales professionals who register with a sales recruitment agency like Aaron Wallis do so because they feel they are undervalued and under paid in their current roles, In many cases they are also looking for other elements of a job that will help them to progress their career.

Just some of the things that the sales professional may be considering include:

  • A product or service that they can really believe in and sell with confidence
  • A real career development path leading perhaps to a sales manager’s role in the future
  • Regular training and personal development activity
  • Flexible working arrangements to help achieve the highly desirable life-work balance

Make It Easy On Yourself - Use A Specialist Sales Recruitment Agency

So, if you are actively seeking to find ambitious salespeople who want to find a job where they can earn and learn, it would be very much in your interest to discuss your requirements with a specialist sales recruitment agency like Aaron Wallis.

We operate from 4 UK regional offices located in Leeds, London, Milton Keynes and Bristol but offer national coverage online from our sales recruitment agency website, aaronwallis.co.uk.

The difference between a sales recruitment agency like Aaron Wallis and other recruitment agencies is that we use our many years of experience in recruiting sales staff in order to identify those candidates who demonstrate the right qualities – not just a desire to earn more money!

Sales Recruitment - It's More Than Just The Money!

Of course, we appreciate that the financial remuneration package that comes with a sales position is important – we all have bills to pay when all is said and done. To rely solely on tempting new sales staff to join you based purely on financial criteria however is a strategy that will often end in a high staff turnover and a constant battle to keep your sales team up to speed.

Aaron Wallis will only send candidates to you for interview that have been identified as having all the right qualities that you need from them. Yes, they will expect to be paid well but, in return, they will know that you require much more than just impressive sales figures.

If you want to recruit sales people who will commit to your organisation and stay and grow with you in the long term, contact the UK’s leading specialist sales recruitment agency today and let us find you some very impressive people.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Five Essential Movies To Inspire The Salesperson in You

Sometimes, being a salesperson can feel like one of the hardest jobs in the world especially when nothing seems to be converting and you’re under constant pressure to perform.  

So if you’re struggling to hit this month’s target take heart and learn new tactics from these movies!  We hope that there is something in all of them to inspire you to some degree.

We've deliberately left out ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and a couple more obvious ones but make no apologies on leaving in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Boiler Room’ because if you haven’t seen them yet they’re well worth a watch because if for nothing else there are always salespeople finding things harder than you at the moment! 

Glengarry Glen Ross
This has to be the number one movie for salespeople. Is it possible that just like the boss here that nothing else matters to you except sales? He offers as an incentive unique prizes: a Cadillac El Dorado as the first prize, a set of steak knives as the second and the third prize is the sack! Would you be able to handle the high pressure sales environment here?  The movie teaches salesman to push harder and harder to make the kill. But would you go so far as to commit a robbery just so you could close deals so you didn’t get the sack?!?

The Pursuit of Happiness
This real life story is a pick me up and can inspire any salesperson to never let go their dream. Christopher Gardner, the protagonist, has invented a medical device and invested heavily in it but it does not sell as it is priced much higher than a similar product but with little more benefits than others like it. He loses his house, bank accounts, credit cards and wife. What he doesn't lose though is his dream. Would you be able to pursue your dream even when you feel like you have lost everything?

Boiler Room
We all love closing deals otherwise why would you be in sales? Sometimes it can be relief, sometimes exciting but it can be motivational as well. Will you, like the protagonist, realise that success not only maximizes your friends but your enemies as well. The movie could inspire you to lead your business to success.  Maybe like the protagonist the salesperson in you could then realise that getting rich is not the answer to a lot of things despite the fact that it feels like all everyone around you just simply wants to be rich.

Tin Men
Here’s one I giggled all of the way through as sleazy business practices pop up one after another as the movie progresses. It may be comically presented but the movie does shows you many shady sales tactics that are probably best avoided. The two stars have no virtues and the revelations about shoddy business practices hit you again and again.

Door to Door
This is a little-known inspirational true tale and, as the name suggests, is about walking from door to door to make the sales. Bill Porter suffers from cerebral palsy and spends a lifetime selling Watkins Products.  Right up until his dying day he was closing sales even though he was badly injured when a bus ran over him.  Could you, like him be able to mark your territory so dominantly that no one else could make a sale there but you?

So here’s our top five and we hope there’s a couple here that you may not have heard of.  We’d love to hear what films have inspired you when you’ve had that tough month so which ones would you add?

Friday 14 November 2014

How to Explain Gaps in Your CV

Keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that employers will not notice the gaps in your CV is not the right strategy. If there are gaps in your CV that aren’t explained then employers will often assume the worst as detailed in the cartoon here!  Instead, you need to explain CV gaps in a way that allows you to focus on the positive things that you’ve learned during the gap and how it has perhaps enhanced your personality or professional profile. It is better to explain gaps in a cover letter, and ideally in your CV itself, especially if the gap is for educational purposes or travel. Don’t give employers a reason to discard your CV as most gaps are explainable and if communicated correctly could potentially enhance your application.

Illness Gaps
Mention only recent illness. However, employers may wonder if you could be ill again so assure them in your CV that you are well recovered, job ready and looking forward to work related challenges.

Termination Gaps
If you have been redundant explain what you did in the interim to add to your skills. Did you add to your educational qualifications, or undertake training or do volunteer work? If your services were terminated, then stick to the truth without showing the company or yourself in bad light. Explaining a gap may not harm your employability chances but lying or extending the employment dates to avoid gaps could. 

Voluntary Gaps
Everyone, at some point, needs to take time off to care for parents, children, recover from accidents or simply because there is going to be an addition to the family. If you have applied for the job, then you know that it means that these reasons no longer exist; however, employers, regrettably, may assume differently. Employers aren’t allowed to ask questions about your family, children or marital status, but it could work in your favour to take pre-emptive action and detail on your CV that you have made the adequate day care and other arrangements for your children, etc. so they know that you are fully committed to rejoining the workforce.

Travelling Gaps
These can be explained more easily in the CV by detailing specifically where you travelled to and the objectives behind your travels.  You could emphasise how the new gained perspectives could be beneficial to the role that you are applying to. Furthermore, if there was a bit of adventure travel, you could mention why it was important for you and the lessons learned from overcoming various challenges.

Long-Term Unemployment Gap
This is the toughest of the lot. Most employers will think the worst if your unemployment gap is more than a year. However, if during that time you did something to qualify you better, like being a full-time student, doing volunteer or freelance work, or you built a website or blog, did consultation work or were a full-time parent or needed time to manage/refurbish the home, then you can explain the gap with positive reasons.

Be prepared to explain rather than hide the gaps. Have references readily available from your previous manager and colleagues. Take time to upgrade your knowledge about companies or your area of work so that the interviewer understands you have kept up with your profession despite the gap. 

If you've found this useful then you may want to visit our free career tools section at http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/career_tools.aspx

Monday 10 November 2014

Which Disney Characters Make the Best Salespeople?

Disney characters have always drawn a lot of comparisons with real-life parallels so we decided to ask the question, which Disney characters would make the best salespeople and why? 

Below is the short list of the final contenders for Disney characters with the best sales skills which we admit they did not always used with the best intentions! Whilst it is not exhaustive, we hope that you find it at least mildly entertaining!

1.    Ursula

The terrifying sea witch from Disney’s classic adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Ursula would have probably had made an excellent, if frightening, salesperson. After all, she managed to convince a mermaid to give up her voice, not to mention her fins, in exchange for a dubious shot at getting a prince to fall in love with her. Apart from selling the teenaged mermaid on the notion that she could win the prince’s love, Ursula also managed to convince her that she could do it all without benefit of speech. In an unforgettable musical number, Ursula vamps about her cave, her tentacles flowing, belting out the lyrics “You’ve got your looks, your pretty face” with a knowing smirk. Unsurprisingly, Ariel falls for Ursula’s sales tactics hook, line, and sinker, believing that the impossible could come true purely on the strength of the sea witch’s reputation. Indeed, Ursula begins her sales pitch by treating the mermaid to a macabre proof of her own powers, by a garden of withered souls.

2.    Rafiki

The Lion King is a tale about coming of age and accepting one’s place in society, however frightening or onerous it might be. When the young lion cub, Simba, is forced to flee into exile thanks to the cunning machinations of his Machiavellian uncle, Scar, he is befriended by Timon and Pumba, a pair of lovable outcasts who become his new family. Simba grows up taking his new friends’ philosophy of Hakuna Matata to heart, living his days in a peaceful blur of contentment and freedom from all responsibilities. So when his father’s old advisor Rafiki turns up to convince Simba to return home, he has a tough job ahead of him. Yet, he manages to bring the truculent young lion around by being persistent and playing to Simba’s own interests, in this case, the preservation of his ancestral kingdom. By appealing to the latent feelings of the young lion to get his way, Rafiki beautifully demonstrates the importance of playing to a person’s emotions when trying to make a successful sale.

3.    Scar

Any salesperson knows how important it is to have strong communication skills in order to make a successful sales pitch. And of all the Disney characters ever drawn, Scar, the villainous uncle from The Lion King, certainly draws top honours for his ability to talk others into doing his bidding. From arranging for Simba to amble into the path of a stampede to convincing the hyenas to support his scheme to take control of the pride, Scar always manages to sell his plans successfully to his audience. Indeed, Scar’s rousing rendition of “Be Prepared", when he calls the hyenas to join him in his quest for power, is a perfect example of the character’s highly persuasive communication skills!

4.    Mother Gothel

A high level of confidence in what you believe in is one of the keys to being successful in sales. In the growing catalogue of Disney's characters, Mother Gothel, the evil, insecure witch who imprisons Rapunzel in a tower, manages to keep her adopted daughter a prisoner by selling her on the idea that it would be too dangerous to leave.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a headstrong teenager knows how impossible it can be to keep a determined seventeen-year-old  indoors when they want to be free. However, Mother Gothel is so confident in her assertions that the world outside the tower is too dangerous to explore, that Rapunzel believes her.

Being a successful salesperson essentially comes down to having the right combination of confidence, communication skills, persistence, and a certain amount of nerve!  These Disney characters possess all of these traits in spades and with training, perhaps in the art of consultative selling, achieving win-wins and a large dose of customer service, they may have just fitted into the competitive world of modern selling!

Finally, who do you think should have made it into our list, and why?

Happy selling!

Friday 7 November 2014

Reap the Benefits of Recruiting Before Christmas

With Halloween and Bonfire night out of the way the lead up to Christmas is amongst us, the latest John Lewis advert is out and Christmas jumpers are on sale. It is a time to plan for the start of 2015 and having new members of your sales team bedded in ready to start with a bang!!!

It is prime time for taking on top sales talent; candidates are now to looking for their next move in time for the New Year.

The benefits of recruiting before Christmas for Employers:

·         Candidates can engage with other members of the team at a very social time.
·         With fewer employers recruiting this side of Christmas, you have access to a full talent pool.
·         Less risk of losing your candidate to an alternative offer.
·         Having the candidate fully trained up before Christmas gives you a greater chance of a commercial return early on.
·         Avoid offering a higher salary when competition is fierce in January.
·         It is a quiet time to complete induction & training.
·         December is a great month to meet your clients in a more relaxed environment.
·         Spend that remaining budget!!

Recruit now and get ahead of the game, beat your competitors to the best sales talent and take advantage while it is an employers market.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Recruitment Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 4 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.

LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/liam-oakes/4b/536/403