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The 10 Sales Commandments in Staffing


With over 15 years of experience devoted to the staffing industry, most of which have been in a business development capacity, I’ve witnessed my fair share of less than virtuous sales behavior.

When Seth Burr and I set out to establish LABUR we wanted to bring integrity, quality and specialized expertise back to staffing. We started LABUR with one mission: to engage and retain the right professionals for the right opportunities, and to do it better.

We don’t believe in high transactional staffing or management consulting without execution. Instead, we focus on delivering superior value through actionable talent solutions and by providing the expertise to carry out key initiatives.

To sell to and retain the kind of clients we target takes more than a slick sales pitch and quirky tagline. It takes honesty, intelligence and following these commandments:

  1. Practice. Like anything, practice makes perfect. Listen, learn and always be refining your best practices.
  2. Love what you do. When you don’t love what you do, everyone can tell. Sales, like anything, takes passion. Plus, the more you love the work you do, the less it’ll feel like work.
  3. Trust your colleagues. Loving what you do is important, but being able to trust your team is equally as important. You can’t share workload, responsibilities and profit without trusting the people around you.
  4. Don’t steal deals. Sales requires competition but don’t poach to get ahead. Play to win but play by the rules. If you put in the hard work, the rest will follow.
  5. Slander in selling is slimy. No client, candidate or competitor will respect you if your go-to sales tactic is badmouthing opponents. Keep it professional and let your services do the talking.
  6. Work-life balance. Don’t just preach this, actually live this. Striking a balance between your personal and professional life is not easy but never let one overpower the other. Your career can’t hold you at night and ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop.’ Have a fulfilling career without compromising your family needs.
  7. The Golden Rule. The LABUR Golden Rule refers to those two parties that are paramount to a perfect placement: the top caliber consultant and the world-class company. LABUR’s success is predicated on its relationship-based emphasis with both parties. In sales, relationships are everything.
  8. Jekyll and Hyde. Don’t do anything outside of work that completely contradicts your workplace persona. What I mean by this is do and be good inside and outside of work. Don’t kill your career or ruin your reputation by being the party animal off the clock.
  9. Steady Eddy. In sales, the highs are highs and the lows are lows. Remember that no bad streak lasts forever just like you won’t always be number one. Be consistent and always put your best, and modest, foot forward.
  10. Just do it. When all else fails, just make the call, just write the email, just do it! The cardinal sin is to not try at all. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Lastly, while deals are important, don’t ever let money override your values.

Did I miss one?