IF THEY AREN’T AN EAGLE, THEY ARE GOING TO NEED TRAINING!

Eagleblog

Being a sales person is not always an easy thing, it is often assumed that we know how to do our jobs and that this is something that just comes naturally, to small minority of people this is a true statement (in the industry we call them eagles). If a business encounters an eagle once in its lifetime they are fortunate. The rest of us were either lucky enough to have a great boss that was trained well enough to train us, and wasn’t overloaded so much that he had the time to train us, or, the company saw that we were worth the investment and sent us on a training course.

I can remember the 2 bosses that, when I look back at my career, were probably the some of the fundamental reasons I became the person I am today. They changed my work ethic and really had a hand in the making of me. My careers with them weren’t long, and in all honesty, I challenged them and their processes constantly, but their ability to continuously go back and show me the same process over and over again, made me accountable for my actions or, in sales, “inactions”, and that in order to get results I needed a clearly defined process, goals, and drive to play the numbers game. They hauled me over the coals when I failed and made sure I never wanted to have “that talk” again, and they took me out to celebrate like I was a Super Star when I won. They drew the line for me between success and failure. They showed me that with discipline, persistence, and respect for sales, I could do a job that was not for the faint hearted.

If you have been told no 100 times a day but still made the next call to see if that one was a yes, if you have not lost a deal that you have spent a year working on and gone into the bathroom and cried like a baby, if you have not gone and bought something outrageous with a pay check that was so sick you never thought it was possible, you do not know what it is like to be a sales person. You do not know the roller coaster ride between winning and losing.

True sales people eat rejection for breakfast, they are tough because of this, they are strong willed because they have to be, and they are often difficult to deal with because they are better negotiators than their peers. In order to help your sales teams win here are some guidelines:

  • Don’t make your eagles your managers, they don’t know why they are good at what they do and no one can teach anyone anything if they don’t know WHY.
  • Your team needs a clearly defined sales process, a road map, the tools to go and sell, and they need to know what success and failure look like.
  • They need to be trained, this is training is in both sales and your products and services, they need to know the HOW

If you need training and your managers don’t have the skill set or the time, invest in your people. Focus on developing excellence within your business development teams, GGR’s foundational sales workshop is designed to drive sales performance and enhance the interactions between your business development teams and your clients and prospects. This workshop takes participants through the sales process to understand the value and importance of every stage in the sales cycle, and provides the team with a uniform and structured approach to sales that is proven to work and increase closing ratios.

Value your people, invest in their future. Call us today to schedule your team for the sales workshop that will set them up for success, anywhere in the world. Tel: 832 403 3339

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Creating a Strong Destiny

RED

I listen to all sorts of audio books when traveling. Yesterday, I was listening to Tony Robbins and he caught my attention when he said, “It is in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped.” I thought about this and flipped through a mental checklist of the important decisions I’ve made over the years, and how those decisions have shaped where I am today. Every decision has come with a consequence, some positive and some negative, but all of them made an impact.

Hiring decisions are important decisions, and their consequences can have either a positive or negative impact on me, my team, and my company. These decisions are not to be made lightly. Their outcome determines our destiny, and there is a mix of both excitement and trepidation in sifting through resumes and exploring the potential.

Have you ever looked at candidate’s resume and been excited at the words staring back at you whispering promises that this is exactly the kind of person you’ve been waiting to find? You schedule the interview and pray a silent prayer that the person who shows up is the embodiment of the candidate you imagine them to be based on their accomplishments, experience, and the lack of spelling or grammatical errors on their resume. On paper, this person is perfect… but does that mean they are a good fit?

There are many factors to take into consideration when making a strong hiring decision. Clearly we all want candidates that have the technical skills to do the job and the experience to do the job well, but the ideal candidate will also possess the characteristics to fit in with the rest of my team, my leadership style, and the intricacies of the role. This is a tricky predicament at best, because hiring a candidate that doesn’t fit all of these requirements will lead to a destiny filled with frustration and disappointment. This is not the destiny I want to create, and that is why I insist on knowing the natural talents and unique strengths of a candidate before making a final offer.

Let me be clear. A strengths assessment is not a personality inventory, it is a snapshot of raw potential. I want to know more than a personality inventory alone can provide. I don’t want to know if a candidate prefers to work alone or with teams, I want to know if they are capable of working alone and with my teams. When I know a candidate’s top 5 talents, I can determine if they are using them as strengths and if they are a natural fit for their role or if I will have my work cut out for me in trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It gives me insight into their ability to complete tasks quickly and efficiently, helps me anticipate the degree to which they will effectively influence others, shows me how they build relationships, and provides a snapshot for how they think, approach projects, and solve problems.

This is the information I need to formulate a different level of questions that directly apply their natural strengths to the specifics of the job for a much clearer picture of the impact the decision to hire them will bring. Knowing a candidate’s strengths informs my decisions for better outcomes and a destiny I look forward to.

MelaniePharrMelanie Pharr
Vice President of Training & Strengths Expert
GGR International Inc.
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The Value of Recruiting

I often get asked what the difference is between a retained search firm and a contingency agency. There are many, but none more important than the fact that the success rate of a retained search is over 90% and a contingency search is less than 32%.

As a hiring manager or company owner, you really need to ask yourself what value your recruitment method brings to the table. Are your candidates as high caliber as you would like? Do they bring the value that your business needs? And when was the last time you employed a candidate that really exceeded your expectations?

Our experience shows candidates that are not actively looking for jobs make better employees and will stay with your organization longer. It really is common sense; if you’re making career changes when you need a job or more importantly, more money, then often those decisions are made out of desperation or used as stepping stones or place cards to hold you over until something better comes along. Candidates that are working and approached about a new position, will more aggressively research your business as the risk of leaving one job to go to another is higher. When an opportunity like this comes along, it is not just about changing jobs, it’s about making an informed, well-thought out decision to make a career move and their longevity in the position is likely to be far longer.

Companies don’t typically see recruitment as marketing, but it is and here is why…you have 3 agencies all reaching out to as many people as possible in a desperate bid to compete against each other. They are also posting your jobs in as many places as possible (it would be a similar process internally, too, if you have your own recruitment team) in a desperate bid to attract as many people as possible. So, what is the result? Desperation, desperation and more desperation with a touch of desperation. Let’s think about something else, exactly what marketing material do they then give the candidate that sells your company? If you’re lucky, maybe a word document with a logo outlining the position. And even more importantly, is there a filter on these 3 companies and what they’re saying, is it the same? I have worked both corporate and agency recruiting, and honestly, on both sides…it’s really inconsistent. I know hiring managers like to get as many people working on their open positions as possible, and they like to think this makes them clever, but they’re not. Would you send 3 of your sales people out to try and win over the same client in competition with each other? Think about that for just a second…that would have devastating consequences on your business. We don’t refuse to work on positions with other agencies because we can’t win, we love competition, we just refuse to damage your reputation or ours.

So, yes, it can be more expensive to use a professional headhunting service, but is the alternative worth it?

ClaireAnsellClaire Ansell
CEO
GGR International Inc.
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No, We’re Not Contract Killers

growSmart
Do you know the number of times that someone has asked me what my company does and when I reply we are headhunters, they take a step back and say woo she’s a killer…killer recruiter that’s for sure.

Although the days of GGR being just a recruitment company are long gone, it was where we started. I talked last week about how I became a recruiter, but not how we became a recruitment company. Here’s my story…Having worked for a recruitment company prior to starting GGR, I witnessed firsthand some of the flaws in the recruitment system in general.

1) Growing organizations did not see the value in spending money in headhunting services, instead they were often adamant about growing their own internally and missed the calculation of increased potential from taking candidates with an ability to add value from day one. The downside, however, was they were often more expensive.

2) Managers thought they were great recruiters, but that’s like me saying I’m a great open heart surgeon because I watched a video on YouTube. You would not believe the number of interviews I sat in on in my early days as a recruiter and watched the carnage of people that thought they could interview. Even now when a client comes to us and says their ratios are low on closing candidates after making offers, I’d lay my money on the fact that they can’t interview.

3) Cost. Because recruitment placement fees are normally percentages based on an annual salary of a candidate, when it comes to the final stage of the recruitment process, not only is the candidate’s salary up for negotiation but so is the fee. The higher the base salary, the higher the fee. Not exactly a relationship built on trust for the client and recruiter, yet it is at a time when trust is most important.

So, with all that in mind, we took all the worst pieces, or misunderstandings, and made them into something good, put a bow on it and called it…great question, what were we going to call it? I spent quite a few days trying very hard to decide, and then I came up with GGR. It’s not the 3 letter acronym that counts; it’s the meaning. It stands for Greener Grass Recruitment; greener grass because I needed to remember that I decided to build a company where the grass would always be greener on my side of the fence. It didn’t mean anything to anyone else, but I knew it would always remind me where I came from and how I got there.

Now, we are so much more than just a recruitment company, but it is the roots from which we were grown and the fundamentals that we apply through so many of our other divisions are the same as when we began. Research is key to our success as is the in-depth understanding we have of our clients and how we market our positions; all are unique to us.

So here is my recruitment advice: Take some time to really consider if you are a great interviewer; who told you were? Who taught you how to interview? Do you know how to monitor your success rate? And do you really understand what a headhunter does? It’s not just about searching a job board for key words that match a job description. And just because you think you should only pay 12%, it doesn’t mean you’re getting a good service. If I have 5 posts all with the same base and your fee is 12% versus a higher standard% of the others, guess where you sit? The bottom of the list. Nike doesn’t discount their trainers just because you think they should, so why is recruitment any different? As is true with everything, you get what you pay for.

So, no, I’m not a member of a society that collects the heads of dead enemies as trophies, but rather a person using my ability to identify and approach suitable candidates employed elsewhere to fill business positions. Maybe it’s time to see for yourself just how we help grow business through recruitment and how we can help you, too.

ClaireAnsellClaire Ansell
CEO
GGR International Inc.
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The Rainmaker

Rainmaker

So who am I? if you were to look at my LinkedIn profile you would see my career history. In the early days I jumped around lot not because I was a job hopper, but because I’m what you would classify as a fixer. That is my arranger strength. Arrangers like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity. Once this is done and the process is working to its maximum ability, their work there is done. This is what makes me a good consultant… the ability to see how a company can improve their strategies to grow.

My career path has always been sales related. That’s my competition strength. In the early days it was always about how could I hit my numbers, how could I be better. Then I owned my own company, and it was how could we win. And then there were my clients, and the I turned into we. The we turned into how do we find a way to make sure they always win. As I got older I learnt to change the what’s in it for me, to the what’s in it for us. But you won’t have to look far to find a vision board and I know off the top of my head what my goals are for this year. That is because I am the driver of me, driving me, which drives the rest of my teams that, in turn, drives my clients.

Early on I fell into recruitment. I left one job seeing an angle that I could recruit for them so they could get better people (arranger), and I was a good recruiter. My arranger skill allowed me to develop a robust process, but this is when my Individualization strength really came into play. (People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.) The textbook definition is the perfect description, and my individualization strength is textbook. I could take a job role and match candidates perfectly, I could grow teams because I could see how they fit together. This truly led me into consultancy. I could naturally see what would or wouldn’t work.

And then there is my Activator strength. This is the piece that makes me fast paced. I’m an actions girl with a process (ARRANGER!). Great let’s discuss it, we have a plan, have you not done it yet! (People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient). I’ll admit it, I am impatient and I really have to take a moment to think that people don’t always see it like I do. I see the processes of how to do it as quickly as possible and then I’m driven to do it. It’s a win/ win for my clients, a little tougher for my staff, but mostly for my husband!

And my last strength… For those of you that know me I’m sure you will smile when you see this one. Command. I always thought my presence was about being 6ft tall and a red head but no, it really is about a different kind of presence. I am in the business of getting people to buy into my process and thoughts to effectively make changes to grow business as quickly, painlessly and successfully as possible. So I take control of a situation and make decisions, and my presence is to show them why, and make them believe, and buy into the process.

So that’s me, my 5 top strengths. For all the people I have met, interviewed, talked to… and it is thousands. For all the strengths finders we have competed, I know I am one of the lucky ones. My strengths and my job are the perfect match, I love what I do and because of that, my passion never dies. Some would say finding it was luck, but with my strengths nothing is ever left to chance.

ClaireAnsellClaire Ansell
CEO
GGR International Inc.
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The Crystal Ball Principle

Strengths  Weaknesses

So, you read the résumé, you’ve completed 2-3 interviews, but will this candidate work? Are those final decisions made on gut instinct alone….not anymore.

I’m a good recruiter, but like so many people that are good at something, I just never knew why. Melanie Pharr joined our business 2 years ago. She was bright, straight-talking and thought outside the box. After my first and only interview with her, we both knew we were a fit after the first 4 hours were spent by her telling me about her strengths. It was a refreshing interview. She knew what she was and she knew what she wasn’t good at, and I knew what I was getting into.

It has been an exciting process learning what strengths work within certain job roles, and although we have never solely employed anyone on their strengths alone, we have decided NOT to hire someone because their strengths weren’t a good match for the requirements of that job function. We have also learnt so much about combinations of roles. Having used this principle on all of our consultancy projects over the last 18 months, we have been able to test and challenge the process extensively. And honestly, at GGR we love to challenge a process until we truly understand it, and we have seen nothing but positivity. There is nothing but benefit to employing people who strengthen your teams. It is an absolute must. I spent years as a recruiter wishing I had a crystal ball to know if a client would like a candidate; if they would fit long term. This is our crystal ball.

Want to know why I’m good at what I do….Read tomorrow’s blog

ClaireAnsellClaire Ansell
CEO
GGR International Inc.
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I am Strong

I am Strong

I’ve held several titles in my life: teacher, student, parent, child, friend, counselor, coach, teammate, employee, colleague, boss, and the list goes on and on. Who I am and what I do means different things to different people, but regardless of the hat I’m wearing, my strengths remain constant. I’ve always known what I do well and what I don’t do so well. I know that I approach life with a sense of adventure, I think out of the box, I am energized by finding solutions to complex problems, I love to learn, and I don’t think anything is a coincidence. This is not a coincidence.

True to my claim that I love to learn, I read an intriguing book several years ago that convinced me I could perform at my peak potential by focusing on my innate talents and strengths. I completed the book’s assessment, and learned that my top 5 strengths – Strategic, Ideation, Learner, Connectedness, and Maximizer – form the basis for how I operate, which painted a picture on why I am good at my job and why I love it.

STRATEGIC: I’ve always loved puzzles. When I was a child, I would dump all of the pieces to my 8 wooden puzzles in a pile and look for interesting ways to configure the pieces to create different images or time myself on how long it would take me to sort through all the pieces to put each puzzle together. There is no clearer example of my STRATEGIC strength in action. This strength explains my tendency to look for new ways to do things, notice new and unusual configurations of data, and transform obstacles into opportunities. Given the types of obstacles my clients face in growing their businesses and training their teams, I have an opportunity use and develop my STRATEGIC strength every day.

IDEATION: I’m known for my ideas. Some are way out of the box (but become a catalyst to more realistic ideas), some are an expansion on someone else’s ideas, some are random, and some overcome obstacles to create the perfect solution for a complex problem. Because of my IDEATION strength, I tend to see potential in everything, and ideas pop into my head as soon as someone mentions a problem or an opportunity. This strength is extremely useful when I am training groups of people, talking to a prospect, or working with a client to help them stand out from the competition.

LEARNER: I may have touched on the fact that I love to learn. Those who know me well will tell you that it is not unusual for me to be in the process of reading 3 or 4 books at the same time, with subjects ranging from the latest physics advancements to the historical biographies to the latest dystopian society adventure book the teenagers are reading these days. It doesn’t matter what I’m learning about, just that I am in the process of learning something new. I work with many different types of businesses in multiple sectors and industries who sell a variety of technical products and complicated services, and I need to have a strong understanding what they do. My LEARNER strength helps me to pinpoint the relevant information I need to know and I align myself with the experts to complement my understanding.

CONNECTEDNESS: I believe that I am an integral part of something bigger than myself (and so is everyone else), and I have a responsibility to do my part. Everything is linked to everything else, so doing my part directly impacts those around me and the big picture. What is my part? My part is to use my CONNECTEDNESS strength to find the patterns and help others to see the connections. Ultimately, I build bridges of teamwork and “connect the dots” from the past, present, and future to provide perspective and offer guidance. I am determined to do the right thing and help others succeed because my CONNECTEDNESS strength is rooted in the idea that what goes around comes around. Here’s a snapshot of the CONNECTEDNESS strength in action: By helping to grow and develop individuals to be better at what they do through training, I am helping to grow and develop teams to be more productive and effective, which results in my clients achieving their goal of making more money while they grow and develop their businesses. My success is directly linked to their success, as they are more likely to work with me again and refer other companies to work with me to achieve the same results. Rinse. Repeat.

MAXIMIZER: Good is not good enough and better is not best. Everyone can learn more and increase their understanding, we can always make more money, and there is always something to improve. These are the thoughts that drive my MAXIMIZER strength. I am determined to enhance my talents rather than waste time worrying about my limitations. I help others understand how to maximize their potential using their strengths, and increase collaboration to help compensate for areas of weakness. I use this strength every day to develop teams, improve processes, and maximize the potential of my clients. What more could I ask for? I’m sure I’ll think of something.

MelaniePharrMelanie Pharr
Vice President of Training & Strengths Expert
GGR International Inc.
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Don’t Judge a Fish by His Ability to Climb a Tree

Super SalmonThe idea that anyone can excel at anything, if they try hard enough, doesn’t work.  I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t try hard to excel, I’m saying that we should focus our efforts on what will produce the best results. In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  I can put my fish through the best training, buy it the most expensive climbing shoes and make it practice 10 hours a day; but no matter how hard my fish tries to climb a tree, it never will.  My efforts will have been in vain, and I will be left with a decision to make.  What am I going to do with this fish, and who I will find to climb the tree?  Is my fish a slacker?  Probably not.  The problem isn’t with my fish’s performance, but with my mistaken interpretation of his abilities.  The solution is to discover what my fish can do, and find someone else who can climb.

As a leader, I am responsible for ensuring my team is successful.  My job is to delegate appropriately so our goals are achieved, and my first step is to identify who can do what well before I ask a fish to climb a tree.  Essentially, I establish the foundation for my team to excel by identifying and understanding their strengths, positioning people where their strengths are utilized and encouraging team collaboration for optimal performance.  All managers are different, but all great leaders recognize that their team is comprised of people who are different and seek to better understand what makes them tick to get the most out of them.  There is no one-size fits all option…a tailored approach to each person based on their strengths gives my team the greatest potential for growth and success.

At GGR, we believe that identifying the core strengths of your existing team, investing in the development of those strengths to achieve peak performance and growing your team based on the strengths needed to excel in their job creates the most likely path for successfully achieving goals.  So leave the climbing to the monkeys and let your fish swim; everybody is a genius once you identify their strengths and put them to good use.

MelaniePharrMelanie Pharr
Vice President of Training & Strengths Expert
GGR International Inc.
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Benchwarmers need not apply

Keep Calm and Invest in Digital Media
So many people think that online marketing refers to only your website, but that’s just one out of many tools that should be included in your bag of digital marketing tricks. When a prospect is in need of your products or services, one of their first steps is to conduct a search using a keyword (or words) associated with your business. With that in mind, would you rather be the first company listed on the first page of the Google results OR would you rather be the ONLY company listed in every line of the first page, completely obliterating your competition?

Honestly, this is no easy task. While the key to successfully achieving this is having an incredible plan and being even more persistent and consistent than your competitors, the folks at Google like to keep everyone on their toes, making it an almost impossible task to keep up with factors such as the “algorithm of the internet”. I remember the first time I heard that phrase and thought that someone must be joking, but it’s true, ladies and gentleman, the internet does in fact have its very own algorithm and it’s heavily driven by keywords and hashtags.

A common mistake made by a lot of companies is thinking their only concern is increasing their keyword search on Google alone, and although Chrome is the leading search engine, Internet Explorer is a very close second, followed by Firefox and Safari. Even though Google is still currently the leading search engine online, they only claim 44.3% of the population of online browsers, meaning that just a little over half of the rest (55.7%) consist of the other top 3 providers. Translation – your strategy is not good enough if purely focused on Google alone.

Web Browser Market Share

Another thing to consider, which I believe is as equally important, is the ability to see the same website on both your PC and mobile device. With 5 times as many cell phones on the planet as PCs and 1.8B smart phone users worldwide, 73% of consumers say they access websites on their phones verses a desktop or laptop computer. This is an astounding statistic with shocking numbers, but there’s more…having multiple versions of your website also directly affects keyword searches, one of the main purposes of having a website. Search engines spend a lot of time using “spiders” to preclude shortcuts, and they react badly to duplicate contact, seeing it as a trick which can cause them to remove your site from their listings altogether.

In this incredibly fast paced, constantly changing world, where spiders are not the things you kill in bathrooms and where 75% of people judge a company’s credibility on their website and an even higher 94% said their first impressions were based on looking at a website, we really need to be taking a hard look at our own online profile and deciding if we are indeed making the right impression.

How does this all connect to social media? A LinkedIn company page acts as an extension of your website and is a social media must have considering 57% of customers reported getting a client from LinkedIn. The bottom line: you can’t beat the odds, social media is one of the fast growing marketing tools and online presence can be one of the most cost effective tools when done correctly, but content and messaging are very important in order to keep your audience interested. When statics show that 23.6% of advertising spend will be digital media focused in 2015 the only question is: Would you rather keep up or play catch up?

ClaireAnsellClaire Ansell
CEO
GGR International Inc.
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JaimeLea
Jaime Lea Anderson
Marketing Divisional Manager
GGR International Inc.
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If you think social media is dangerous for your business, you’re right.

SocialMediaDangerEvery week I meet with educated, experienced professionals who say to me that social media is dangerous for their business. They have all been quite successful throughout their career and are convinced that utilizing social media is a big mistake. When I ask them why they are so resistant, I typically hear these main reasons for this belief: it would be a waste of time, money and resources to focus on social media when their business is relationship-based, their prospects don’t shop for their products and services online, and putting their business “out there” on such a public platform where engagement, interaction and participation are encouraged would be highly damaging to their reputation. And you know what? They’re absolutely right. They aren’t going to sell a $50 million project as a result of a cleverly-penned tweet or a perfectly-timed LinkedIn update, however, the same fear that is keeping them from jumping on and joining in is one of the #1 reasons they should be involved.

It’s a combination of resistance to change and misperception of capabilities that results in a belief that social media is not useful to the Oil & Gas Industry, but in reality it most certainly is when approached and handled in the appropriate way. At the corporate level in many of these industry giants there is an ideation that puts Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. in the same group as off the shelf products that are often used as is and that simply is not the case. There are four areas in which social media is extremely beneficial to the energy world and their purpose is to enhance perception, strengthen credibility, educate and take back social control and refine recruitment.

  1. Addressing the mess. It’s no secret the general consensus can be somewhat negative at times and mostly stems from crises and accidents that occur often in such a risky business. Most tend to ignore the elephant in the room, but by engaging and providing some transparency, social media is an ideal platform to alter how you’re are viewed by your clients, investors and the general public. You even have the ability to control who responds and what responses are published.
  1. Hello, my name is…your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not there. Marketing, of course, starts with your brand, but how feasible is it for your company to continually put out detailed campaigns? Social media is an excellent way to extend those by dropping bread crumbs here and there. Strengthen your credibility and entice them to come visit your website to learn more at the same time.
  1. Let’s give them something to talk about. How do you avoid possibility of negativity? You don’t. Give them something positive to say about you instead. Take back control and re-educate people. Letting them know what you’re really about from your point of view is more impactful, and people tend to believe what they hear directly from the source than the rumor mill any day.
  1. Attracting talent. No one wants job hoppers and the job boards are a thing of the past. People looking to make a career change need more than just a job description and a repository that holds their resume. So get out there, brag about all the exciting things they could be a part of, the wonderful people they could do them with and just how great it is to work at your company. You’ll always attract more bees with honey.

It’s time to face the facts. With 4.2B people currently accessing and influenced by social media, it’s less about who you know and more about how you’re viewed. Don’t be afraid of the unknown…the only real danger I see in using social media is not using it at all.

TAKE OUR POLL: http://poll.fm/4vp42

JaimeLea

Jaime Lea Anderson
Marketing Divisional Manager
GGR International Inc.
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MelaniePharrMelanie Pharr
Vice President of Training & Strengths Expert
GGR International Inc.
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