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Business Development and 21st Century Hiring: Are You Insane?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/5/11 9:33 AM

Here's a classic chicken-and-the-egg scenario. You know you need to make time to sell in order to grow your business, but you're swamped with client work – to the point where you're not doing much selling. At some point the client work will end and you'll have lots of free time on your hands to sell - but a lot less revenue. Feast or famine.

How do you stop the insanity?

Because it is insane. The rational thing to do is make time to do the things that are most effective at growing your business. But worrying about meeting client deadlines means the client work creeps into your selling time until you don't have left.

So how do you stay focused on business development when you're booked solid?

Outsource. Outsource to a dedicated freelancer with a rent to buy option. Don't worry about the money - it will come. Take a pay cut if you have to temporarily. Sell twice as much. Next month - sell twice as much as the previous. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Here is how I hired Cheri:

We met at a conference (I knew she was willing to learn). She lives near me (easier to teach, team up, same time zone). We connected a few times - getting to know each other (would we like working together, what do we have in common). She referred me to her mother's radio show as a guest (has a referral mindset). She kept in touch with me - she wanted more (has ambitions unfulfilled).

I asked if she wanted to guest blog for us on the topic of her choice relating to internet marketing (test her knowledge). If she was good, I'd post it. If she was great, I'd pay her for more. She agreed. It grew, I was able to refer more work to her. (Can she handle the clients and what was the result?)

My most fastidious (I win for 10-cent word of the day) client loved her work and how she handled herself. We have since gotten that client onto HubSpot and some services are turning into results.

I hired her full time in Sept. Ask her about that process -I admit it was bumpy. But I told her - repeatedly - this is a start up. You will wear many hats and need to react fast to one step ahead of the customer at all times. 

My job is to stay one step ahead of everyone else, ensure we are on the right road, have the best and most up to-date map with the brightest light to guide the way and stay focused on the customer's experience with the journey by staying in-tune with needs and results, making sure they are comfortable and happy along the way.

Oh, and sell at 212 mph.

On her final interview, here was the offer: 

"We are laying the railroad track as we go, and the train is coming at over 65 mph. 

It will not be easy. It will be fun. 

It will be challenging. I will make it possible. 

It will get you to where you want to be."

In the end, she had no idea what her salary would be, her job title, or what she would be doing - she just knew she wanted in. (OK - not entirely true - she did have a salary range, a job description and a title, but this is how she told it to me later - she admits she exaggerates for effect!) Before I even confirmed the job offer, she had given her two week notice.

I didn't sell her a rosy garden. She had worked with me part time and was smart enough to know better. I did sell her on some hard work of digging in the dirt, fertilizing the soil and growing a lot. She knew what she was in for. I didn't make any promises, she didn't ask for any.

Both she and I knew and agreed to where she wanted to be, that was all that mattered.

After her first week- she said that this was a life-changer.

I have 3 more Cheri's in the queue. I don't know who will come out first - yet. They are still seedlings. But like Cheri, it is up to them how fast they grow. (As long as they grow 1 step faster then the company- I am ok with that). 

I'd wager that this is hiring 21st century style. I think it is a game changer. If more companies did something like this 5 years ago when they saw that things were changing, we would have never heard of #OWS.

Change Your World in 2012

Want to shake some things up and change a few lives - your own life and the life of your business especially? Want to see just how far you can take your vision and just what you can accomplish? Want to get a plan for getting from where you are now to where you (really, really, really) want to be? Are you willing to put your hands in the soil and dig to find the fertile ground?

Check out our free webinar. Indicate that Cheri sent you when you register with the form at the bottom.

Or start now and sign up for our next Smarketing Business Development Course. You just might change someone's life and world.

Topics: business development, smarketing