Culture Clash – Beware

Corporate Culture – How to swim with sharks

 

All companies have a culture whether they know it, designed it, or it just evolved. So, when you join one be aware you are joining a cult. And like any cult there will be formal and informal group behaviour rules. These rules will govern a value system, how to behave in certain circumstances, even a dress code. If you don’t know the rules you are unlikely to survive let alone prosper. Experience shows that time and time again career success goes to those who fit best into the cult.

So how do you know what culture to look for? 

The answer is to know yourself. As a professional recruiter I can tell you 90% of you out there don’t!

Here is a quick test. Answer these questions:

What really motivates you?

What are your career values?

Where exactly do you want to be in one/five years?

What core career beliefs do you operate by?

What are your ambitions?

Where do your ambitions come from?

 

Did you find that on asking yourself the above you did not have to think?  The answers were straight there with clarity? If so move to the next question.

 

Are all of your short and long term goals really yours or those of your peers, parents or friends for you?

 

If yes, you are in the 10%. If not, I would not put money on you becoming a great career success. Make no mistake the ocean of opportunity out there is full of sharks. Once your ship sails you don’t want to go overboard!

 

You now have to be able to assess the culture of a target company you want to work for.  You need to establish their values, style, beliefs, motivations and goals.

Here is how:

Firstly, have a clearly defined culture. This tends to indicate a company that is going places. I cannot think of a single exception. The cultures are obvious to the customers. McDonalds, Marks and Spencers, Microsoft, Virgin, Amazon. Clear identity and values. 

The secret of judging how well defined the culture is found by looking for commonality at all levels. 

So it is not how they dress that is important but how they dress relative to each other.  It is not the particular value set that is important in itself but that they and you share common core values.

So look for commonality in every aspect of them.  How they answer the phone, dress, talk to each other, plan out their offices, incentivise their staff, train their staff, report and accounts, marketing, advertising styles, competitive stance etc.

How would you describe the culture of the following organisations?

Google, Disney, British Army, Virgin, Oxfam

 

Which above organisation do you think would have most of the following core values?

Team work

Innovation

Teamwork

Excellence

Profit

Attention to detail

Benefit to others

Challenge

Learning

 

You see, the evidence is all there.

What from the above are the three most important values to you? Success Moves LogoNow which company do you think you would be happiest in and develop most working in? Why?

Now for those of you in the 10% you have to get to the 1% of serious career successes. You will achieve that by knowing your personal profile, match it to an aligned organisation then you will be somewhere which will appreciate and develop your talents best.

The final ingredient is having some talent. Talent is a choice not a gift. I firmly believe that everyone is incredibly talented, they just have to recognise it. 

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How to Earn Six Figures

This blog is for those in sales who want to earn over six figures. Here I share a strategy to achieve that based upon my own personal experience and by observation of the highest performers.

Rule Number 1: Really Mean It and Take Responsibility
This is actually 90% of it. Do you really want to earn over £100,000 per annum in sales?
Do you really?
No, I mean it, do you really?

I did not say receive £100,000 for minimum effort, like win the lottery. I said earn it. Because believe me earning six figures is a high yet achievable level of success.I know through our placements over the years many people who have progressed and are now earning six figures. The majority though didn’t make it and they spend their time blaming. Blaming the recruiter, their employer, the market, the economy, the government, their friends. Anyone and anything apart from themselves.

The difference between success and failure is whether you take responsibility or whether you blame. Successful people by taking personal responsibility empower themselves. Think about it, if all those other things are to blame it is very difficult for you to change them. You can change yourself though. You can learn from mistakes, rejection, find solutions to problems. It is all feedback giving you clues to where lies the path to success. People who are serious about earning six figures take responsibility. Whatever happens they were and are in charge. Every setback, obstacles, rejection and failure points them forward. And if you aren’t going forward you are going backwards if winning is your goal.

The successful know that the decision for success is something they have to make. I hear this so often and then someone drops out of a job after 1 week. They weren’t serious, first sign of pressure. Building fear of rejection, whatever and they give up and run!

Rule Number 2: Believe you can.
Believe of anything is a specific way you have made up your mind. Do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning? Well, that is the sort of internal process and filing you need to keep your belief that you can earn over £100K in sales. When you have that level of conviction that the two are on par then you have a strong belief in yourself. So when the rejections come you just see at as steps to success. Rather than the majority who give up. Too much effort, pressure.They jump jobs looking for the easy life, they usually keep jumping, going around in circles, whilst others progress throughout the tough parts.

Rule Number 3: Get Educated
This is not a one off course or training but a continual process to continually learn and develop your skills. Listen to CDs free on You Tube, all the top gurus are on there Les Brown, Tiny Robbins, Zig Ziglar. You can also go to our You Tube Channel. Buy books on Amazon, especially mine, try Advanced Selling for Beginners. If you cannot afford it you can get it free on successmovestraining.co.uk. Get earplugs for your phone and listen on the way to work EVERY morning.

Rule Number 4: Get in the Right Sector
Some sectors are on an up most are on a down or holding their own. Pick a sector in growth. Then pick one that is favourably disposed to sales people and offers high income. If they even talk of capping commissions don’t even consider being employed by them. If they offer you an attractive basic with a tiny commission again don’t consider them.

Rule Number 5: Get in the Right Company for you
Few consider this on interview but most who succeed are a good fit for the company they joined. Their values are in line, they get on well and identify with the leaders of the enterprise. So, when on interview look at the boss and ask yourself. Does this person inspire motivate me, Do they talk sense? Do I admire them? Do I feel I would belong here?

Rule Number 6: Work hard and smart
Never be late, never waste selling time, never talk negative, never mix with negative people. Instead, keep focused on your goal which means working hard and smart consistently. The final never is of course, never give up on your goal of earning six figures. Never.

Whatever it is that you want print out picture get it on your wall at home, in the office, on your PC screensaver, on your mobile screensaver. Programme yourself for success. Ensure every influence around you is a positive one moving you forward towards your goal.

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How to Cope with Rejection and Come Back Fighting

Many Sales Managers believe, from their experience, that the most important trait a successful sales person needs is the ability to deal with rejection. At an interview a coping strategy for rejection is even more important because it is far more personal. In this blog I set out some techniques, attitudes and advice to help you bounce back.

When you were rejected in the past it is probably because of one of the following. So my first advice is to get your act as prepared as possible before your next interview:

a) Personal chemistry not an appropriate match for the corporate culture. Do you fit into the team? In this scenario, which is actually the most common one, you are often better off being rejected as it is not the right company for you. You need to make sure you’re applying to the right jobs.
b) You do not have clear well-formed S.M.A.R.T. goals that matched what they were offering. Revisit your goals and know exactly what you want to achieve by when and why.
c) Attitude not positive and determined enough. People always want their sales staff to be upbeat, achievement focused and positive as this sells more than any technique.
d) Clear crisp communication. If you talk in slang, a strong accent or with a monotone it will put interviewers off.
e) Smart appearance. Some people really do not understand that looking smart, well groomed and dressed is an absolute essential for any sales position.
f) A positive fun personality. People buy people first and wherever else second, so interviewers will look for a fun lively personality that is interesting to talk to. For this reason recruiters look and probe on interests more than most interviewees might think. What have you done that is adventurous?
g) You asked questions that put them off as to your real motivations. Your questions focused on the basic, hours of work, more than the career prospects, progression, market, management and potential earnings.
h) You lacked a track record showing stability, direction and accomplishment. Be careful of trying your best at something and then dropping out, you need to be careful of building a stable and progressive CV showing achievement, persistence, determination etc not giving up.
i) They doubted your honesty and integrity. No quality company wants liars representing their brand. Answer questions honestly, not with what you think they want to hear. If you have something negative in your background talk about what you learnt from it and how you have changed.
j) You lack sales skills. For new people this is less of a criterion than you might think. The reason being sales skills can be taught. Attitude and personality less so. They may well look though for a natural sales ability, ease with people.
k) You did not close, you waited to hear. Why would anyone want a sales person who cannot close a deal? Your job at interview is to decide if you want the job or not and if you do, get the offer out of them then and there.

In interviewing, like in sales itself, the reality is for every 100 contacts you make the majority will say no whatever you are selling. Therefore, you are hearing more rejection than success, a balance in the wrong direction that needs addressing.

If you are rejected at a sales job here is some simple techniques and reminders to help.
1. See ‘rejection’ as a learning experience. Decide that whatever happens you will always get a benefit from every interview. That can be many things; feedback, pointers, advice, referrals, experience. Find out why you were rejected.
2. If the job is exactly what you are looking for keep pitching. If they reject you turn it around. If it was a marginal decision that just might get you to a yes. I have seen this happen many many times.
3. Realise that every person looking for jobs gets far more rejections than offers. If it is not recoverable move fast to the next one.
4. No sales person should ever be unemployed. Every company wants to increase their sales, so there are always plenty of prospects. You only need one job!
5. Make direct applications to whom you would like to work for. Don’t just apply to advertised jobs. Cut out the middle men and go straight to the companies you would like to work for.
6. Listen every day to motivational and educational products like Tony Robbins or Les Brown. These will keep you positive and focused. Just listen free on You Tube.
7. Read a little of a good book daily. Improve your knowledge and skills constantly.
8. Avoid negative people, never look for sympathy and never listen to someone who thinks that you cannot achieve your goals and earn your fortune.
9. As Winston Churchill said to achieve victory, never, never, never give up on your goals until you have achieved them.
10. Decide to be a great success, trying your best is already accepting the possibility of failure.
11. Realise that when you have a track record of achieving high sales, it will all be about companies trying to talk you into working for them not the other way around. So focus when you are given a good opportunity on over delivering and building a powerful CV and reputation.

Good luck and good job hunting!

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Are you Destined to High Income as a Stockbroker?

Stockbrokers we visit often tell us their frustrations on recruitment, saying a typical dialogue might be as follows:

“I have always wanted to be a broker”

Ok, so you know what a CFD is, the difference between a forward and future contract, the difference between a stock and a share, an option, derivative, candlestick, swap?

“Uhh, not sure really.”

“Ok, so tell me what you know about broking, the market or how it works?”

“Uhh, not sure really.”

“Ok, what do you think for example would happen to the investment market with a rise in interest rates?”

“Uhh, not sure really.”

So what made you come to interview if you know so little about it?

They do not mind the not knowing, it is the clear untruth about always wanting to be a stockbroker. Reputable firms want people who tell the truth. It would break regulatory rules as well as being unethical and all calls are recorded.

We notice on their CV they have not set up even a free online ‘pretend money’ trading account, read any books on trading, or frankly done anything at all apart from apply for this job that would back this claim up. If you have wanted to be something since school you would have nurtured and followed up that interest and have something to say about to back up the truth of this statement. We would sooner see people who had never thought of it but have solid reasons with a strong motivation of why they believe it is for them.

So we wonder what they think the role of a broker is. On probing we often find that the real goal is that the title broker with a city address has a very high status to it coupled with very high potential income and this is the true goal.

What is a Broker? A person who buys and sells goods or assets for others.

There are regulated and unregulated brokers. The former are decreed by Act of Parliament and the Financial Conduct Authority regulate their behaviour, products, and companies. The FCA cannot choose who it regulates nor can a company choose to be regulated it or not. It is listed in the Act or not.

Historically, this led to the creation in regulated brokers of the “Opener” role because you could not make deals yourself unless a regulated broker. The unregulated broker has also taken on this structure.

So let us clarify what this specialist sales role is and if it may be for you. Yes I said sales. There are back room broker positions for more analytical positions, we do not recruit for those. If you want to analyse figures, calculate and comment on P/E ratios, work out yields, internal rates of return then we cannot help. Our positions in this sector are front room Stock/Commodity/Wine brokers that are selling. Predominantly selling over the telephone, although a recent development has been more seminar presentation and one to one meetings with clients.

Any form of investment is highly competitive and you have to get out there and make a pitch against competition. Over a number of months and years stockbrokers develop their own portfolio of clients, even then the client will expect to be called with any new offers available. This is when the very high incomes are earnt.

Do I have to cold call? Everyone you ring will not know you, nor you them. No brokerage firm will give trainees their oldest clients or expensive leads coming in through marketing when you start. You have to earn this right by proving yourself. You will start as Junior Broker by developing clients from fresh. Would you give yours away to someone else 2 years later? So yes you are going to be calling people you do not know, developing rapport, qualifying, nurturing interest and getting information out. It is really hard work, call after call, much rejection.

I am always telling people that before they even look for jobs they should have a clear set of goals. This I do appreciate is far easier said than done with so many career directions to pursue. Unfortunately, most people drift through a few jobs to find out where they fit in. They start with a ‘try it and see attitude’. This is a recipe for several short job moves that can ruin a CV. As a Junior Broker you will not make it through the first week with that attitude.

A typical day will start quite late and with training in products, investments, finance, markets or selling skills. Then you will be on the telephone and have a sophisticated system dial up calls for you, one after the other. Expect massive rejection of investors with many offers to consider. Each call is recorded and evidence is kept of exactly what is said. Yes, selling an investment for £100,000 is a world apart from tele-selling a hotel promotion. You have to be very persuasive and that means far more than sales skills. It means you really do know what you are talking about.

How do I know that the company is reputable?  The investment and financial services industry generally attracts bad press/blogs like a magnet. If you are going to be broker you are going to have to learn how to analyse and separate truth from opinion, slander and lies. You should never tell lies as a broker, never take an investment that has been financed or involving any sort of loan, take money from someone that is needed for their living costs. Everything you say is recorded. To check out a company the best and only source I take any credibility from is the FCA. They will list all regulated brokers. If they are not listed they are not regulated. They will also list any companies that have reason to believe are not genuine or where any legal proceedings, investigations are in process. That is what I do when someone rings me with an investment.

How do I know it is for me?
This who success as stockbrokers or similar have certain traits in common.
A real interest in investment and finance.
Motivated by high income AND prepared to work until they achieve it.
They never give up.
They are keen to continue learning.
They are sharp, intelligent and think in their feet rather than having academic qualifications.
They are strong and independent. This means if those around you including me tried to put you off you would still be determined no matter what.
They are extremely good listeners. This is a tough one and probably the biggest cause of failure. It really is more about listening than talking. So many people blot out what they do not what to hear.

Still want to be a broker?

Then if so look at our latest advertisements in CV Library.

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Apprentice Scheme Success Moves

We at Success Moves have used our sales skills to create vacancies in companies and secure openings for people. Sales is a great area to be creative because a good sales person is self-funding for the employer. We are always looking at ways to give young people their break to prove themselves. Many of them have gone on to be very successful, some have moved into management and some have even started up their own business.

We are always looking for new innovations which is why we have launched our “Interview Success Secrets” free seminar open to all. Designed to help candidates because we know the job offer often in the final shortlist goes to who sells themselves the best.

As a business that has employed many young people with our clients through the recession, we are very supportive of the current Apprentice scheme of the UK Government. It really has had a lot of thought and quality innovations behind it. For example, it includes people of all ages, not just young people which is the main focus. It is also structured in a way to make everyone a winner and give the opportunity to smaller firms to help our young people develop their careers with that valuable and much needed work experience.

It has been designed excellently and ties in practical and worthwhile work experience with learning and professional development. We believe that employment linked to learning is the best formula for career progression. I, and my partner, are both qualified in teaching and have been involved directly in such programmes.

As members of the FSB (Federation of Small Business) I attended a local meeting with FSB executives and also Henry Smith MP who shares an office address with us.

The young lady we have employed as an apprentice has surprised us with all of the office based skills she has despite not having the experience. The result is that her work responsibilities have grown very fast indeed at a pace in line with her own willingness to learn and contribute. She is also a great example of how positive an attitude and enterprise our young people have. In fact she has contributed ideas that are now our policy.

We actively suggest to businesses that they take on an Apprentice and give back and provide opportunities. Our young people have grown up in a credit crunch recession that was none of their making with greatly reduced job opportunities. When I cannot appeal to companies just on altruistic motives I do so on the basis that they can make a strong contribution to their business. For us at Success Moves the contribution from taking on an Apprentice was significantly more than we envisaged.

The Apprentice scheme is strongly connected to local colleges. In fact, on a continual basis your business will be closely monitored for all range of measures including from health and safety, quality standards etc. to qualify for the contract.

We believe in helping young people, in jobs, learning and career development. We always welcome constructive ideas to help.

 

 

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Market Update

The market is moving and throughout the Success Moves Partnership we are experiencing changing market demands.

Firstly there are sectors that are strongly growing in terms of wanting to recruit sales people. The highest enquiries we receive are from companies in the following areas; Green Technology, Energy, Payment systems, On and offline marketing, Software, Market Research. Interestingly, the type of opportunity and location is changing. We are receiving more enquiries from companies across England not just predominantly in the London area. The nature of the company is often very high growth entrepreneurial, often with a need for Field Sales Agents based around the UK.

Trainee sales positions are on the rise as well. We find that many believe that the youthful energy and enthusiasm coupled with a natural sales ability can sometimes beat those with more experience. This has led to more activity in our Training operation. Additionally, we have been called in to develop sales manuals and write sales scripts for clients setting up new sales teams.

Another trend is the growth in companies enquiring about outsourcing. Where we at Success Moves Partnership set up a sales department on behalf of a client company and run it ourselves. These positions will always include our full ongoing training and development services as we usually charge clients purely on results.
We at Success Moves Partnership are now recruiting sales consultants to exploit these growing opportunities and anyone interested should email their CV to daniel@successmoves.co.uk.

Looking at those who are successful at interview and those who are not there are clear differences.
The winners:
1. Have clear goals when asked.
2. Answer honestly and not what they think the interviewer wants to hear.
3. Come over strong and confident.
4. Re-pitch rather than asking for feedback.
5. Close like a true sales person and ask for the job rather than ‘wait to hear’.

Confidence at interview is another issue. So reacting to this I have personally uploaded a video and some techniques to help, it really is simple to overcome lack of confidence. We find that recruitment can be a stressful uncertain time. Dealing with rejection is part of the territory of the sales person. However, when it is for a company most of us don’t take it personally. On the other hand at interview there is a real danger in an applicant taking it personally. It is you that is being sold, not some product or service. This can lead to a drop in confidence, self believe and self-esteem. Sometimes this is much worse a totally giving up and animosity of all those who have been offered jobs or companies that have done the rejecting. This negative spiral must be avoided at all costs as once started it tends to do just that and spiral down. Then that person will come over as negative and have limited chance of success. Nobody want to employ someone with a negative or bad attitude. Most companies now have suffered internet flaming from people they have made redundant or been rejected at interview. So increasingly they wish to keep their details confidential to the last minute. Flaming on the internet may seem easy and without penalty but increasingly companies are taking action against the perpetrators. Job boards can remove candidates details and block them from applications. Once that happened you are really in trouble. Also any new company of it sees someone flaming an old employer they are hardly likely to want to recruit you. We increasingly at Success Moves find that clients ask to remain confidential, in fact it is part of their motivation to use an intermediary.

So ensure you take action to ensure that you stay positive between jobs. I have seen it with my own daughter how stressful it can be. I know it might be easier said than done. So I am planning some materials to help with this.

Importantly you must remember that EVERYONE gets rejected. Most of our greatest successes that have have placed have been rejected many times before they were successful. It often only means that someone else just fitted more with that particular company. Often people are rejected because they are too good. Can be lots of reasons. The trick is to keep relentlessly applying until you are successful. As Churchill said Never Never Never give up. If you have well thought out goals that motivate you they will determine a clear target market and when you meet the right employer it will all happen. After all you only need one offer, as long as it is the right one.
If you have any challenges related to the content of this blog please feel free to email me at alex@successmoves.co.uk.

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Success Moves Recruitment Review

A Review of the Sales Recruitment Market

The number of vacancies is rising consistently. There are many ways to target the right job for you. Registering on job boards and applying to adverts online are the two main ones. This blog makes a recruitment review of the alternatives.

Let us assume that you have clearly set goals and know exactly what type of company and exactly what type of role you want. If you have the attitude of seeing what is out there trying your best until you get an offer then you need to stop reading this and go to our goals section. The choice for your personal marketing is relatively simple if you analyse it with some obvious questions such as:

Is small, medium or larger company right for you?
What sectors are in growth?
What of these do you prefer?
What sort of corporate culture do you want?

If you are strongly independent perhaps something more of a business opportunity, or setting up a new office in a new territory. It might be the opposite a position in large established structured company with proven products brand and market. Lots of choices and reviewing your exact goals and profile will determine what is your best personal marketing strategy. Winners don’t leave success to chance. You will know when the job is right for you because it sets you alight with enthusiasm. It is this enthusiasm that recruiters look for. These are the people that are destined for great things. These are the people that will stick with the new job through thick and thin. Weak sales people drop out and seek greener grass and everyone wants to avoid them.

So the Success Moves Consultancy review as promised:

1. Register CV on job boards.

Recruiters tend to mainly place advertisement and/or make direct approaches to people on the CV Database of a job board they have a contract with. So you need to be there and you need to have your details up to date. Your CV should be highly targeted to your goals above. A big mistake is trying to be a general as possible to not miss any vacancy or interview opportunity. Being targeted and focused produces better results. Recruiters delete fast those with generic covering letters and CVs.

2. Direct Approaches.

Apply directly to vacancies on job boards. Most candidates keyword search and send their CV out to many adverts without reading anything but the title. OK, but would a company’s next addition their sales team send their company brochure out and wait for a response. If you know what you are targeting after sending your CV ring them to secure the interview. Show that you are a polished sales professional.

There is never a need for a sales person to be unemployed for long. Why? Well take an afternoon off review then ring a dozen leading companies and tell them you could sell their products and convince them on the telephone. At the end of the day you will be deciding between offers. Companies always want more sales, especially now in a growing market. So they will see you and at that meeting negotiate the best deal you can get, depending on how you see that.

3. Linked In

It is a fact that every month thousands of people get a job through Linked In. Recruiters use it heavily. Ensure your profile is amazing, it is free advertising for you. When you have done that search the targeted Sales Managers/Directors Managing Directors directly message, email, call them. Find a connection to get them in your network.

4. Trade Fairs and Exhibitions

Olympia, Excel, Earls Court have events on every day. At these events are companies who have spent thousand on a stand to sell/market their products. Find the companies that you want to work for and make yourself known. If the right person isn’t there. (Sales Managers are often on the stands). Get the name of the contact and call them.

5. Personal Networking

Ask yourself who knows the sort of person that you wish to make contact with. Where do these people go? Find out and meet them there!

6. Buyers Leads

Approach the buyers of the sort of product you wish to sell. Ask them who is pitching to them and who is growing and impressive. Get a name and ring that company directly.

Shortly I will be producing a video “Recruitment Review” and will discuss personal marketing in more detail.

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Why the Interview Process Day Works

The Success Moves Partnership Interview Process Days work well for employers for a simple reason. We get to see the real person and judge them on their skills, attitude and goals now. It is not just about answering interview questions. We get people to prove their skills live not just claim them on a CV or interview. So to prepare the best advice is to be yourself, know where you are going and come to the event early with a positive attitude. Sales success is about goals, determination, passion, confidence and communication skills. That is what we are assessing relative to a specific client’s requirements.

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Interactive Software to help your Job Hunting

On a recent recruitment event feedback on this website suggested that it would be of more value if interactive software was available. This could be a personality profile or an analysis of what type of sales person you are. Perhaps some NLP styled questionnaires to see if you are more visual, auditory or feeling oriented. 

Always keen to put on the website what is of value. So please email me alex@successmoves.co.uk any ideas that you have.

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Success Moves Affiliate

Want to earn some extra cash part time? As a Success Moves Affiliate we pay £300 for any introduction you give us. Paid on first receipt from the client. This is just for an introduction, give us the name and number of someone you know who might need our services from any source you have.  We will do all the following up. If you want to arrange the sales visit we have a higher level of remuneration. Later on, if you wish you can progress this to higher incomes and be involved in the sales and account management. For example, we pay a much higher rate if you got the introduction to the level of a visit. Just send your leads to admin@successmoves.co.uk or call 0203-6759099 for further details. This will register that contact against your name, unless of course they are already a client!