Wednesday 21 May 2014

Social Media in 2014 – Why You Should be Using it to Build up Your Pipeline

If you’re a Sales Professional in 2014 and you’re not using Social Media to sell then you have fallen behind the curve. I read a recent figure noting that 79% of sales professionals who use Social Media to sell outperform those that don’t. This shouldn't come as a surprise as everyone uses Social Media in this day and age. If you want to find new business then you need to be in the same places as your potential customers, so start using Social Media.

I want to discuss some of the reasons you should be using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube & Pinterest:

Twitter – Twitter can be a fantastic source for sales people, you can keep up to date with the latest industry news, create a dedicated landing page for potential clients and link latest products and blogs from your official website. Be sure to engage with customers and tweet content of value to your network.

Facebook – First off Facebook is the second most visited site in the world and can be a very valuable tool to show of your products. With over 1 billion users it is safe to say that your customers are on Facebook. With the new graph search you can find people in your area that might be interested in your products. Build your fan page and invite fans & friends to like your products & services. Facebook allows you to build relationships with huge numbers of people, increasing the pool of people who know, like, and trust you so take advantage of it and build on your pipeline.

Google+ - Google+ is one of the fastest growing Social Media sites today, with over 300 million active users. It allows you to create pages and develop tighter relationships with prospects and customers. Google+ is unique in that you can set-up social hangouts and talk about your product with others. You can set up as many different circles as you want; there is no limit on characters and you won’t get silly invitations to play farm games as you would on Facebook.

LinkedIn – With powerful networking tools, it is a great resource to help build your personal profile and build on your pipeline. What makes LinkedIn so powerful is that no matter what industry you’re in, you’re likely to find a new prospect or lead for your business. Start by building a broad network of professional connections whose knowledge you can tap into, and discover new business opportunities.

YouTube – YouTube is a fantastic marketing tool where you can create online video advertising for brand awareness. Posting a video of your product on YouTube takes on a life of its own as this video can then be viewed by thousands of YouTube users which in turn could be shared on numerous websites, blogs, and email. Using the power of video in conjunction with other social media outlets to show off your product has countless benefits and you should be using this to increase your pipeline.

Pinterest – Now Pinterest isn't for everybody, it really comes down to what is right for your brand. Pinterest allows you to share images of your product and allows others to do the same; it is almost a new way of flicking through a magazine. With 70 million+ users on the site it can be a gold mine if you get it right.

By starting up on these social sites you can greatly increase your sales pipeline and build up your fan base for future success.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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.

Friday 2 May 2014

7 Reasons You Might Not Be Hiring the Best Sales Talent

Well, this year has seen a big change in employment and as the economy continues to pick up, it is becoming more of a ‘candidate driven market’ once again.  I know it’s harsh to be so blunt but NOW is the time that most employers need to take their ‘head out of the sand’ and change how they’re operating, or they could miss out on the very best sales talent.
Here are seven reasons you might be missing out:

Not Offering Realistic Salary for the Job – we have come across it a few times this year; a company wants to advertise a role at a certain salary and then when it comes to offer stage they offer the candidate considerably less. You can’t expect the top talent to accept when they likely have other offers on the table.

Unrealistic Requirements – A lot of companies draw up a list of the one hundred requirements that they want in their ideal candidate; and that’s great to identify a target. However, don’t go out looking for ‘the needle in a haystack’ that ticks all one hundred boxes, or else you’ll have a very long wait and a very vacant position!  Don’t rule out meeting candidates for not meeting the entire brief as they just may be the  best person available for your business.

Lack of Budget – In order to hire the best candidates, you need to make sure that you have a strong budget. Top candidates realise their worth, know their market value and won’t come cheap.

Act Fast When You Find the Right Person - Hiring managers have a tendency to wait until they have seen several candidates before making a decision; even when they feel they’ve met the perfect candidate. When you find the top talent, move quickly before your competitor snaps them up.

Set Expectations from the Start – Don’t let things drag on too long; candidates who aren’t engaged to a defined timescale of your process will get fed up and move on.  Have a recruitment plan to work towards and clearly outline to the candidate what to expect from the next stages of your process so that they are already prepared.

Selling Your Company – Great candidates will have a plethora of opportunities and, like you, will have drawn up a list of THEIR requirements from their next employer.  You need to sell the company environment, where they will fit into the business and how your culture will benefit the candidate.  At interview, you must ‘sell’ the products and services you offer, the difference you make and how they will be helping YOUR customers when they join you.  Question what they’re looking for and ensure that your company, your culture and your role hits their ‘hot buttons’.  

Poorly Written Advert/Job Description - If your advert or job description lacks something, is inaccurate or doesn’t stand out - then it simply won’t attract high calibre candidates.

To conclude: The ‘war for talent’ is back to pre-recession days. Employers no longer ‘hold all of the cards', and if you dither, delay, or deliberate too long, then don’t be surprised when you see your ideal candidate representing a competitor to your customers.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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 16 April 2014

What Makes the Easter Bunny a Brilliant Sales Professional?

Spring is in the air and with the Easter holidays coming up this weekend I wanted to get across my thoughts on why the Easter Bunny is brilliant at selling.
Legend has it that the Easter Bunny carries coloured eggs in his basket with candy and sometimes toys to the homes of “good” children on the night before Easter Sunday which shows similarities to Santa Claus, who we also discussed as being a Great Sales Professional last year.
Masterstroke – in 1873 the Easter Bunny changed years of tradition by delivering chocolate eggs, up until this point in the UK, real eggs were used, in most cases, chicken eggs that were hard-boiled and dyed in different colours and patterns. This turned out to be a stroke of genius by the Easter Bunny and perhaps changed people’s perception of him. The Easter Bunny clearly has an entrepreneurial side and here are some further reasons behind being a brilliant Sales Professional.
Consistent High Sales – A whopping 90 million chocolate eggs are sold in the UK each year with each child on average receiving 8.8 Easter eggs a year. Sales at Easter make up 10% of UK chocolate spending for the whole year.
Smartly Dressed – You don’t see the Easter Bunny without his bow tie, he makes sure is well dressed for any occasion, albeit visiting kids at the local shopping centre or delivering eggs the night before Easter.
Territory Management – The Easter Bunny has just as much ground to cover as Santa Claus but without the help of reindeer and elves and still manages to reach all of his clients on time every year to great effect.
Preparation – Ever wonder what happens to the Easter Bunny after Easter, well he is more than likely already preparing for the following year, with billions of eggs to get ready in only 12 months I am sure he is always planning and preparing for times ahead which all great sales people do.
Ahead of the curve – The Easter Bunny is always looking to improve his eggs and bring out different varieties and flavours, he is always looking to what kids want next and this keeps him ahead of the curve.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Ten Things Recruiters and Employers Want to See in Your CV in 2014

Having worked with a number of experienced recruiters for the last few years I have come to learn what they look for in a CV, and I want to share this knowledge with candidates not just applying to roles with Aaron Wallis, but also new job roles in general. 

Here is a crucial list of the top ten things a Recruiter wants to see on your CV in 2014:

Reverse Chronological Order – When a Recruiter opens up your CV they want to see what your most-recent  job first so make sure that you lay out your CV in Reverse Chronological Order. Start with your current/most recent job first, followed by each of your previous jobs in date order.

Spelling & Grammar – If you want to make a good impression on a Recruiter then ensure that your CV does not have spelling or grammatical mistakes. Check it over thoroughly and after that get a friend to do the same to make ‘double sure’. 

A line on “what the company is, and does”A Recruiter wants to know if you’re relevant for their role and can’t always tell straight away just by the name of your employer.  Take a line to explain what the company does, the products and services provided and the industries that it serves.

Links to Social Media – It’s great to have links to social media on your CV but make sure they show you in a ‘good light’! The last thing a Recruiter wants to see is a potential candidate somewhat ‘under the cosh’ and partying at weekends!

Key Achievements – This is probably the most important part of writing your CV. Your key achievements need to be engaging to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. This is where you can really sell yourself but be sure to have sufficient evidence to back up all claims at interview.

Paragraph with Bullet Points – A Recruiter wants to know what you have done in a previous role that could relate to the role you are currently applying for.  However, at the same time, they don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph full of waffle. Write a simple paragraph on your role with bullet points for your key achievements and make it stand out.

Explain Gaps in CV – Firstly, you need to be honest when it comes to gaps in your CV; acknowledging and explaining a gap in your CV won’t harm your chances, however, lying about it most definitely will. Whether it is illness, travelling, redundancy or caring for a family member, be positive with your approach. An unexplained gap is a warning sign to a Recruiter, and your application could be disregarded straight away.

Stand out Hobbies – Be specific with your hobbies and don’t just use generic sayings like “socialising with friends."  Try to tailor your hobbies to the role that you are applying for; for instance, if you are applying for a team leader role, and you have captained a team before, then it may help to note this as it shows your leadership abilities.

Correct Contact info & Best Time to Talk – There is nothing worse for a Recruiter than thinking they have come across the perfect candidate only to find that the contact number on the CV or a number that is ‘dead’.  Therefore, keep your CV updated with a current contact information and also note a best time to talk so you don’t get hassled during work hours.

Experience for the Job – Finally, it’s no good having done all the above to your CV if you don’t have the correct experience for the role. In almost every advert a Recruiter will have detailed prerequisite skills and experience necessary to apply for the role.  So, make sure that you’re meeting the minimum required criteria before applying, or at least refer to why you feel that you are right in a covering note.  Failing to do this will mean that you will not make the shortlist. 

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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.