Today’s thorny topic is not making enough placements, not making enough sales, and generally things not going according to plan when it comes to hitting your targets. [Excuse and typing errors as this is a direct transcription.]
I would say 99.9% of business owners find themselves in the uncomfortable position of not making enough placements at some point in time.
There are six things I’m going to recommend that you consider today, and they include asking yourself a few detailed questions while others are getting some perspective on what’s going on.
1. Understanding Your Brain
The first thing that I always do when I feel this concern, frustration, annoyance coming up is I go to mind and my brain. We’ve talked about brain chatter before, but the first thing I always do is have a look at: “Are these my thoughts running away with me?”. Because we all know what our brains are like…
We like to avoid pain, we like to seek pleasure, and absolutely, our lazy brain wants to keep us safe.
Quite often, we focus on the negatives, when sometimes, that isn’t the case.
We need to get a handle on our brain and manage what’s happening in there because it’s not about the situations going on in life; it’s about the thoughts we’re having about the situation.
Often we can make the situation appear much worse than it is.
2. Getting All the Facts
The first question is, do you have all the facts? Because the challenge is that when you are emotional around your cash flow, it can be very easy to make assumptions not based on fact.
We were having a conversation with a client recently, and we got into looking at cash flow. We were asking her about her cash flow spreadsheet.
What she made this month? Generally, what would she make at this point in time, in a year? I know we’ve got COVID at the moment, but when she started to analyse and look at things, it wasn’t as bad as she had imagined.
When you stand back and you look at the data, the data can help you.
We had a situation a while back when we looked at how many leads we’ve got coming through.
When we started to analyse and track it back, we realised we hadn’t made as many phone calls. We hadn’t sent out as many emails. We hadn’t written a new lead magnet. We hadn’t done a webinar.
All the things that we know contribute to our sales hadn’t been happening at the same level. If you haven’t done that deep dive around data for yourself, that is your first point of call.
When you start looking at the facts, you may find that it’s quite simple to rectify.
3. Talking to the ‘Right’ People
Are you talking to the right people with the right offer and with the right message?
It can be very easy to bury your head in the sand and think, “Okay, business as usual.”
A general rule of business – let’s put the pandemic to one side – you would consistently be thinking about whether we are working with the right people.
Is there a different type of client or candidate that we can work with? What new things can we add to our service offering?
Deciding who to work with is even more important at the moment because the market has shifted.
People are looking at different types of recruitment products. If you’re not doing video interviewing now, you potentially could fall by the wayside in the future because things are changing so rapidly in such a way that they may never go back.
What you need to think about is: “Okay, have my client’s needs changed? Do I need to change the solutions that I provide? Do I need, or would my current service be better aligned to another client?”.
You probably are saying the wrong things and to the wrong people.
Do your due diligence; stand back, have some discernment about the data in your business around what’s happening now.
4. Look at Your Activity Level
Let’s be honest about it. What is your activity level like?
Because with the best will in the world, all of us, your consultants included, can take their foot off the gas.
What marketing is going out consistently in front of your candidates and your clients to grab more attention?
Think about: “What’s my activity level? Do I know? Can I track the number of calls?”.
The market that we’re in has changed. The people who interact with you and want your services and the amount of effort you need to put in to get a result are very different from what it was 18 months ago.
Think about: “Am I doing enough marketing? Am I picking up the telephone enough? Do I appreciate the fact that I need to do a lot more”. And this leads me onto your pipeline.
5. Filling Your Pipeline
We have just come out of lockdown 3.0 in the UK.
Even just this week, I had a conversation with somebody who was saying, “Yes, things aren’t quite moving as I had thought they would be”.
You have to get real here because if you are going into a dry pipeline, you will struggle initially because you always have to keep your prospect pipeline full. Depending on the market that you are in, it could be that your pipeline takes 60 days to fill. It may take 90; it may take 120 days to fill.
If you haven’t been consistently filling your pipeline for some time, then that is a big issue and something you need to rectify.
6. Are You Doing Enough – a Lesson From a Legend?
The final thing is this: you’ve got a lot of information now, you’re probably going to realise that maybe you haven’t been doing enough of the right things.
- Are you failing to base decisions on current data about the market?
- Are you talking to the right clients and candidates?
- Is your messaging all over the place?
- Are you implementing multiple marketing strategies?
One last thing I want to share with you is a quote from the famous Dan Kennedy, an amazing marketer; God rest his soul – he passed away a couple of years ago.
He always used to say, “just one more”. His premise around this was before he shut down his laptop before he switched everything off at night, he would do one lead generation activity. He would send an email, he’d write a card, he’d post on social media, he’d reach out to someone that potentially he could work with to build his network.
Always do one more thing towards the end of the day. I will leave you to consider that.
If you’re experiencing a slump and maybe not making the placements that you want, first of all, get your head into gear, and then look at the facts.
Do you need to do things differently? Or do you need to turn up the dial and do more to fill your pipeline?
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