Many years ago, I embarked on my first sales job. I wasn’t even wet behind the ear – I was clueless. But…I knew how to read, and I knew that I didn’t know anything about sales. So I picked up a half-dozen books on the subject and set to educating myself.
One thing the writers seemed to agree on was the concept of qualifying the customer - determining what their needs were, and if your company could meet them. For a while, I viewed this as step 1 in a successful sales career.
It took me a while longer – more work and more reading – to understand that educating the prospect (and hopefully customer) was equally important. This is not easy - if it was, as they say, everyone would be doing it. A prospect isn’t necessarily interested in talking with you – they don’t want to be ‘sold‘. I eventually learned that I didn’t want to ‘sell’ them – at least in the sense of forcing something down their throat that didn’t want or need. But…I did want to educate them about solving their need. You know what? When I became an educator, I also became an excellent salesperson.
So what does this mean for you and your job board? Plenty. Your clients don’t know enough – about recruiting, about how to use your job board, and about solving their hiring problems. They may think they do (and in isolated cases this may be true), but most don’t. Who is going to solve this problem of lack of knowledge?
Will educating your clients be easy? No. Will it work every time? No.
So what will it do?
- It will improve the success rate of your clients (at least those that listen to you)
- It will increase the level of trust they have for your site and services
- It will increase the frequency of opportunities for communicating with your clients
- It will help prevent client dissatisfaction
- It will increase your sales and renewals
Need some ideas for educating? Think like your clients – what do they not understand, don’t do, or can’t do that would help their recruiting efforts? How about:
- Creating compelling job ads
- Using screening questions to improve applicant quality
- Learning how to search for resumes effectively
- Learning how to build their employer brand
- Sharing the results of a salary survey for their location or industry
One final comment: if you don’t educate your clients, your competitors will – and you may not like the results. So roll up your sleeves and get to work. You’ll be glad you did!
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