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Growth Dispite Tight Market Print
Many companies have been suffering throughout this downturn and corporate profitability has been decreased, however, top companies historically have gained market share during economic slumps.

Many companies have been suffering throughout this downturn and corporate profitability has been decreased, however, top companies historically have gained market share during economic slumps.
While growth is fueled largely through mergers and acquisitions in a hot market, right now, many potential buyers are fearful of the associated risks and concerned that perceived future revenue may be disappointing, as we have seen in the past.

For this reason, some are diversifying their investments and thereby lowering their risk.
One of the main methods of growth which is associated with lower risk is recruitment.

Through hiring sales professionals with existing client relationships additional accounts can be quickly added.
The risk is minimized since the sales professional is often able to reach the break-even point relatively quickly.
The risk is further minimized when all parties agree to a fixed length trial period. While the annual compensation package may seem high, the risk is reduced proportionately by the length of time given before results are expected.

Recently a client of mine who wanted to employ this strategy felt that it wouldn't be viable since there seemed to be no sales professionals in his industry anywhere in this region.
We immediately decided on an alternative strategy in which we would search for someone who sold to the same type of clients.
After an exhaustive search, we found someone in an unrelated industry who sold to exactly the same companies and worked with the same decision makers that my client's firm worked with. It was immediately obvious that this would be a match made in heaven. It wasn't long before our thoughts were confirmed.
After only two weeks, this new account executive, who was able to use his existing relationships in his previous field, began to earn new business for the firm.

While recruiting to gain market share is an effective way to obtain new clients, it isn't without its problems.
The search for candidates is rarely a straight forward; in fact, every search I have worked on has been unique.
Every single search begins with a basic strategy. Usually this first strategy needs to modified or changed completely, often number of times, until some results occur. This process can be the most labor intensive and time consuming part of the search, taking weeks and dozens of phone calls.

Once candidates are found, convincing them to meet and discuss the opportunity can also be challenging.
This is especially true in a market in which job security is so highly valued. While many employers think the solution is to throw money at the candidate, this is usually not the best or most successful approach.
A more effective way to move toward retaining the target candidate is through understanding the candidates true needs, desires, fears and motivational factors. This can be difficult since the wrong approach will cause mistrust, which can quickly end this new relationship.

It is important to remember that this candidate probably knows others who may be ready for a change.
Building rapport and trust can stimulate referrals which may be of value. Additionally, if the individual isn't ready for a change today, that doesn't mean that a change won't ever be a consideration. It simply means that may not be a possibility for right now.

Although this process is resource intensive, the investment can payoff many fold.
Winning the war for market share in a down market can place a company in an excellent spot for when the economy rebounds.

 2003 © Peter Lawrence Gray

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