HOW TO RETAIN YOUR AMAZING SALES TALENT:

Here’s the most important thing you’ll read all day: HIRE WELL. Follow our steps above to qualify your candidates thoroughly before onboarding them. After you’ve found The Next Larry, here’s how to get him to stay:

  • According to Entrepeneur.com:  A great way to keep your office “sticky” is to offer training. Ajax Union offers training across all areas of digital marketing. Why? If salespeople feel like they’re growing and gaining, they’ll stay far longer.
  • Pay employees well. Don’t be cheap. Pay grade should be based on skills, experience, industry demand for their position, and your geographical location (if you’re NYC based, you’re gonna have to help them make rent). Seniority should count as well.
  • Provide great benefits and incentives: insurance and bonuses are a must in today’s workplace.
  • Promote your open culture. A salesman should never be afraid to admit that they screwed up. It’s better to tackle problems before they become disasters…and employees feel safer.
  • Offer flexibility in working arrangements. Telecommuting options are almost ubiquitous.
  • Want to know how to kickstart your new retention strategy?  Call in each member of your team and simply ask, honestly, how you could be a better employer.  Let the fascinating conversation ensue.

 

OK, THIS NEW LARRY ISN’T DOING GREAT.  DO I FIRE HIM, OR GIVE HIM MORE TIME?

According to the Rainmaker Group, here are some warning signs that may indicate it’s time to kiss “New Larry” goodbye.

  • You think about their inadequate performance for more than 15 minutes a day.
  • You ‘ve mentioned this person’s issues to people in your personal life. Like, your wife knows about this guy’s signature whine.
  • You tried coaching this person and you’re getting nowhere.
  • You get the vibe that they don’t like you. = awkward.
  • They bash the company, you, or fellow employees behind their back. No no NO.
  • If you ask yourself: would I hire “____” again, and the answer is no.
  • But what if I really like New Larry as a person? I don’t want to hurt him! Look around the office… maybe there’s another seat they can fill? If not, you’re doing them a favor by setting them free from a position they can’t succeed in.

 

WHAT COMMON MISTAKES DO BUSINESSES MAKE WHEN RECRUITING?

  • Simply put,  your looking for the wrong things.  Listen, charisma is important, but it has to be backed by skill.
  • Another common mistake: businesses neglect their presence on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Social Media comments, etc. People really do their research these days – can YOU afford to have a scathing review from an employee you burned on your Facebook page?
  • Another mistake:  the company interview process is weak. Are you looking out for the right things (see above!)?
  • A good rule of thumb:  would you want to grab a drink with this person? If not, then neither will your potential customers.

 

WHY IS SO HARD TO FIND TALENTED SALESPEOPLE?

Firstly, talented salespeople are not RARE, but definitely not easy to unearth on your first shot. Yes, a lot of superstars are swept up by major corporations who can afford to pay them the big bucks, but you have to look for the right sales qualities, not just the right sales resume. Someone who’s new to the game can have the fire to sell what others wouldn’t: as long as they’re a constantly growing, passionate, empowered team player.

 

CAN YOU RECOMMEND A SOME GREAT WEEKEND READING ON THIS TOPIC? SURE.

Great Salespeople Aren’t Born, They’re Hired: The Secrets To Hiring Top Sales Professionals by Joseph Miller

There’s an adage that we here at Ajax have coined after working with hundreds – if not thousands – of B2B enterprises whose sales teams keep them afloat: Always be recruiting. “But why?” You ask. I’ve got Brian, Chelsea, (insert your favorite sales guy’s name who hasn’t vacationed in 8 years, closes deals daily, and went prematurely grey…let’s call him Larry.) Larrys are great. We love Larrys. We’re going to tell you how to recruit, and more importantly, RETAIN more people like Larry. But wait, why should I be on the lookout for more Larrys (and more salaries to pay)?

Because three things are going to happen.

  1. Someone is going to be promoted. What if your CEO decides Larry should leave sales behind and become the CFO? It happens!
  2. Someone will resign/get fired. It may not even be Larry: if Larry’s best friend Cole leaves for your competitor, Larry might not be far behind.
  3. Someone may surprise you. If you meet some firecracker Millennial at a conference that fits the exact mold as Larry – and may even surpass him energy-wise – are you really going to turn him away because you’re “Not hiring?”

So you’re “sold”: you’re going to jump back on this recruitment train! Now, where do you begin? It’s time to take a deep look within your company’s soul. If you’re recruiting because Larry left, ask yourself: Why did he go? If you just fired your 5th salesman this year: what about your hiring process could be improved to ensure you don’t waste training dollar? Until you understand and concede to what you can be doing better, you’ll never get a great salesman to join your team – nevermind stay there.

 

WHERE TO FIND YOUR NEXT GREAT HIRE:

The same facts reign true across all areas of marketing, sales, HR, technology, etc.: nothing beats word of mouth. A good referral is worth hundreds of Craigslist applicants, so spread the word: you’re on the prowl for an awesome new Larry. Where else can you look? Recruiting agencies can be super-helpful…and super costly. Be sure you’re ready to make the investment.  Online directories like Craigslist, LinkedIn, and Upwork are great places to start, but the candidates will need way more investigating. And don’t underestimate job fairs: give those newbies a chance! They may surprise you.

 

HOW TO ATTRACT AMAZING SALESPEOPLE TO YOUR B2B BUSINESS:

Ajax Union is always talking about the importance of establishing a  UVP: Your organization’s Unique Value Proposition that sets your apart from the competition. But here’s what you might have forgotten: What is your Employment Value Proposition?  Establishing a strong “Employer Brand”, is a concept created by Richard Mosley. In a nutshell: what is your organization’s reputation as an employer, aside from your general brand reputation?  Here’s how to make it great again:

  • Treat people right. This topic is an article in and of itself, but common sense will take you far. Treat people as you would want to be treated – simple as that.
  • Make the benefits of working for your company known. This can mean a fun, exciting, culture-fueled Instagram, or a detailed “Why Work For Us” page on your site. Spread the word, and encourage your employees to do the same: this company is the place to be!
  • Show them sales are an important part of your culture. Everyone wants to feel that they’re going to be appreciated!

 

QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN A SALESPERSON:

According to Inc.com. There are a few qualities that indicate a successful salesman, though not all of them are conventionally positive.

  • A Hunter’s Mentality: Do they possess that hungry passion? Do they notice small details and only reveal their “key move” at the end?
  • Predisposition to ADD: That frenetic energy is an AMAZING benefit for salespeople. Just ask them. Most people with ADD/ADHD are proud to reveal they possess that unique quality.
  • The Discipline to Follow Up: Simply – did he email you after your first interview?
  • Charisma: Ah, that intangible “special something”. If they got it, they got it.
  • Resilience: Rejection is par for the course in this role. Can he/she handle it?  
  • Empathy: Salespeople sell to humans. Can they relate to people on a personal level?
  • A Touch of Arrogance: It takes confidence to the point of arrogance to walk into meetings and sell your heart out. How’s their swagger game?

 

How do you put this investigation into practice? Read the quote that completely speaks for itself:

“I test a salesperson in every way possible before I hire them: I miss our scheduled phone call to see what he does; I ask him to give a presentation and sell our product during our interview; I email him and use an incorrect name to see how he responds; I reject him to see how he responds to rejection. My goal is to find out if the salesperson is truly tenacious and willing to close the deal.” Jun Loayza, www.JunLoayza.com

 

RED FLAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN A POTENTIAL HIRE:

Forbes.com said it best (as they usually do): If they talk more than they listen, you can bet they’re not going to be “hearing out” your customer’s needs. Some more little notes to add to your “concerns” section of his review:

  • Did he/she look sloppy? No one’s going to be sold on a slob. Their confidence level is probably not that great either.
  • Did he/she dance around the hard questions? I.e. why do you want to be a salesman? Where did you learn your sales skills? Did you get along with everyone on your old team? Which brings us to…
  • Do they play well with others? This may not be easy to spot. Stay safe and call some references. Or better yet, call those who worked with them that aren’t on their resume, and ask for honest feedback.
  • Does he/she have the “Sales Passion”? If they’re just kind of ‘blah’, chances are they won’t perk up when they hit that boardroom.

Need help building your dream sales team? Ready to take the next step? Contact us at amazing@ajaxunion.com so we can create a strategy that will work for YOU and your business.

The Ajax Union company is thrilled to announce that we’re now an official member of the Forbes Agency Council!

The council is comprised of a select group of organizations that meet the defining criteria of quality, as determined by Forbes executives. We’re honored to be counted among the contributors to the esteemed publications produced by Forbes, and we look forward to publishing more top quality content on their platforms in the future!

Interested in joining us in this exclusive group? Visit the Forbes Council page to see if you qualify.

Want to work with our amazing agency so we can help you grow your B2B company? Contact us today!

 

Check your inbox. For real, leave this app and check your inbox.

Ok, welcome back.

How many of the emails, that now call your inbox home, will merit even 2 seconds of your attention? Some, you’ll skim mindlessly, pausing mid-swipe to double-take at a cat GIF.
A few may get the trash-tap treatment before even the first “Hey there, gamerboy91!” is revealed. And others will fatally suck, resulting in a frantic jab at the dreaded unsubscribe button with exaggerated fury.

Why do crappy emails make us so MAD?

A wise woman once said, your personal inbox is like your digital foyer. You don’t mind welcoming new people to your home…until they stop knocking before they enter.

In other words, we’re open to receiving emails as long as they’ve provided value in the past and may provide value in the future. But once they start to “make themselves at home” in our inbox, and take their invitation into our personal space for granted, they’ll lost our trust, interest and patience – FAST.

So what does this mean for us, both as email marketers and (hypocritically) serial email deleters? Will email marketing be forever lost to the Wikipedia pages of web practices that have grown obsolete?

Here’s your answer: According to Campaign Monitor, in 2017, email marketing ROI averages to $38 for every $1 spent. That’s 40x more than what Facebook engagement usually brings in.

That’s a revelation. That’s game-changing. That’s a wake-up call to the digital marketing world.

No, email marketing is far from dead. In fact, it’s just getting started. So how can you gain that coveted, proverbial “Welcome Mat” into your customer’s digital foyer? By following three key guidelines:

1: Knock first
2: Bring a hostess gift
3: Be a gracious houseguest

KNOCK FIRST
Even if your host expressly invited you into their home, do you simply barge through the door on your first visit? Of course not. You knock. In email-land, this is equivalent to an opt-in email. These automated emails double-check with the recipient about subscribing to your list, even if they voluntarily subscribed to your newsletter.
You may think this a cumbersome extra step, but it makes all the difference. Tempting as it is to just grab as many email addresses as you can and start blasting those newsletters, you won’t build lasting relationships that bring in real sales that way. Check out the automated opt-in email below. We can assume the recipient has already been getting emails from Archant for a while:

archant

Archant is showing their valued subscribers that they care about their preferences while SIMULTANEOUSLY ensuring that only those interested in their product are receiving their meticulously crafted emails.

BRING A HOSTESS GIFT
Provide value. Make it worth their while. Make them second guess themselves as their finger hovers over the trash icon: maybe there’s something of value in this email that I’m about to throw away?

This doesn’t mean giving away inventory, or even promo codes. Check out this email for received from Glossier, a fun makeup company with a super-strong brand personality:

 

glossier header

glossier photos

The images were perfectly screensaver-sized, and were lusciously visual, brand-consistent and of course: free.

Glossier didn’t charge a penny for these images, and yet, as the recipient, we felt like it was an exclusive gift from the glorious founder herself. What a simple, clever way to deliver value to your email list!

So while offer codes, downloads, and free swag are great “Hostess Gifts”, you don’t have to limit yourself to physical deliverables. You know your target audience better than anyone – you know what they’ll appreciate. Even if it’s just a screensaver.

BE A GRACIOUS HOUSE GUEST
There are some unspoken rules when you’re a guest: use your inside voice, don’t clog the toilet, feet off the coffee table…to name but a few. In order to stay welcome in your audience’s mailbox, you’ve got to be a dream guest.

Pop in only once in awhile: daily emails are a surefire way to get your recipients annoyed at you.

Don’t be too loud: if every subject line is YOU’RE ABOUT TO MISS THE DEAL OF A LIFETIME! and all your offering is another $5 off your order off $500, then you’ll lost trust fast.

Show appreciation: say “Thanks for letting us visit” every so often. It reminds your audience that you appreciate and respect that they’ve invited you in.

canva photo

Canva sent out this email when they hit 2 million users on their site. In an effort to show how they still care for every customer individually, they let users know what number user they were. This isn’t earth shattering information, but it made every customer feel like they were a part of something greater and individually relevant.

Start sprinkling these strategies into your emails and pay close attention to your open rate. Remember, even if customers don’t engage with your emails, they could be actively reading, enjoying, or even forwarding them. By establishing your newsletter as one of the few they don’t block, you’ve got more than just a foot in the door: you have a guaranteed seat on their living room couch.

Have any other tips for crafting emails that have staying power? Tell us in the comments below!

Looking to improve your email marketing techniques? Ajax Union is a full service digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York. Our team is here to help you become an amazing company. Contact us so we can walk you through the realm of online marketing. Visit our page to learn more about our new technology product, B2Bx.

The New Year has arrived! Yep, 2017 showed up faster than the speed of lightening. The buzz is who can develop the best list of new year’s resolutions and stick to them. It can get pretty tiresome to continuously try and fail. Maybe it’s because we are only human and tend to set our sights too high, or stifle our ability to do something different.

As marketers and people who aim to learn and grow a little more each day, it’s time to make 2017 the year of accomplishment. The year of change. The year of success. Of course, it may seem easier said than done, but we have compiled a list of key resolutions that you can be dedicated to throughout the new year and forever. Break the limitations on your resolutions.

 

Here are 6 resolutions for every marketer to transform the future in 2 0 1 7

 

  • Post to your social media accounts

Whether you work in the marketing department of a specific company or a marketing agency, it’s easy to get consumed in other social media profiles that you forget about you own. If you don’t market yourself and share your interests and values, how will people get to know the person behind the profile? Start small. Post at least twice a week and write an original article or blog post on a monthly basis.

  • Read Read Read

Between commuting each day by train, taking lunch breaks, TV commercials and holiday off days, everyone can find a 30 minute time slot to read. Pick a piece that interests you like a newspaper, magazine, online blog or novel. Reading expands your knowledge, vocabulary and exercises your brain. Gaining more insights into your industry or personal hobbies are equally important so read content as long as you’ll enjoy it.

  • Stay in the loop with industry news

This pertains to any industry but especially the marketing industry. The world of technology and Internet is constantly evolving so you, the marketing expert, must be the first to know what is happening and how it can affect and benefit your business. Subscribe to blogs or print magazines, get email notifications from news websites, read articles from industry leaders on LinkedIn and share what you find. Declare to the world that you are ahead of the game.

  • Document your strategies

People go about their daily activities by route, without putting much thought into how they can BE more efficient. What you are an expert in, someone else struggles with. Therefore, documenting processes and having templates for marketing briefs, content calendars, case studies, dashboards or a simple office checklist is invaluable. Documenting saves time when others have a framework to work off of and enables more people to benefit from it.

  • Use an organization app

Humans can only remember so much and it can get overwhelming when you try to retain data overload without writing it down. There are numerous apps for desktop and mobile that can easily help you get organized at work and home. Some top picks we found are Evernote for taking notes, recording a meeting and sharing relevant content, Dropbox for sharing files with family, employees and clients and Trello for organizing and prioritizing tasks and projects.

  • Keep your emotions in check

We all have a secret hit-list with the neighbor, relative, rude subway rider, co-worker or client and it’s ok. But lashing out and letting them ruin your mojo is out of line. remember everyone has their own trials and tribulations. The key is to release your emotions in the right place at the right time. Don’t respond to comments because it only blows the situation out of proportion. Take steps to keep your emotions in check by staying quiet once a day, taking a short walk to cool off or get a good workout at the gym. See your mood transform and people’s outlook on you improve drastically.

In short…

*Transform your resolutions into success stories. Whether it takes you a month, a year, or five years, never give up on becoming a better version of your work and home self.

*Make 2017 the year you remove the stereotype of resolutions and focus on the commitment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short term commitment or one that last the rest of your life: just be sure you own it.

*Set goals for yourself so you can hit them and revel in the feeling of success. This will not only make you an expert marketer but also an expert version of yourself and that’s the greatest brag of all.

 

Need Help With Your 2017 marketing plan? Ajax Union is a full service digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, New York. Our team is here to help you become an amazing company. Contact us so we can walk you through the realm of online marketing!