CEO Blog

Category Archives: Strategy

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to business strategy.

10 Reasons to Attend Canada’s Staffing Conference – Niagara Falls in May

I recently blogged about the value of attending industry conferences for anyone, in any industry.  If you are in the staffing industry in Canada then the ACSESS conference is coming up May 15, 16 and 17 in Niagara Falls.

ACSESS Conference 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Here are ten reasons you should attend

One.  Our industry is already being changed by new technology, including bots and Artificial Intelligence … find out how.

Two. Learn from industry leaders what kind of disruption is happening already and what is coming.  What starts in the US, Europe or Asia will surely find its way here sooner rather than  later.

Three.  Listen to a legal panel discuss some of the changes affecting our industry … such as Bill 148 in Ontario, and what might happen in other provinces.

Four.  There is an opportunity for a full day of learning with noted industry trainer Peter Leffkowitz.  If you don’t know who he is … then clearly you need to cone to the conference!

Five.  Mike Lipkin gives the opening keynote … if you are not energised after listening to this guy then maybe you need more coffee!

Six. There is a closing keynote from Dr Greg Wells who will draw comparisons between elite athletes and top executives … sure to get you thinking.

Seven.  There will be networking opportunities allowing you to meet industry leaders one on one, build relationships and find opportunities.  One side benefit I have found over the years is that when you have a relationship with a competitor then tough situations can more easily be defused … worth the price of admission!

Eight.  The setting is Niagara Falls … with a trip to one of the local wineries.  A must visit destination.

Nine.  Sitting with your industry colleagues over a coffee or a beer can offer many benefits, with insights into common issues, answers to troubling situations and the possibility of shared opportunities.

Ten.  ACSESS devotes considerable time and energy lobbying various levels of government on behalf of the industry.  This is one way they pay for it.  You benefit, so chip in by attending conference.

Eleven.  Bonus …. the price is excellent value compared to most conferences!

Click here to sign up today!

I will be taking the opportunity to get some riding in, and will arrive on my motorbike … what could be better?  Networking with my industry colleagues, enjoying one of the nicest areas of Canada AND getting some motorbike time in!

Riding my Indian Chieftain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you there!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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The Value in Attending Industry Conferences

Lincoln quote about creating your own future

 

I started my own business more than twenty years ago and since then I have attended at least one industry conference most years.  I consider it to be a big part of my educational investment in myself and have never left a conference thinking that I had wasted my time or money.  I consider all the many reasons I feel this way to be the POSITIVE considerations for attending industry conferences.

 

 

Unless you live in a bubble you KNOW that every industry is evolving at an incredible pace.  That significant change is just around the corner, and that can represent both risk AND opportunity.  However if you don’t understand the change, are not current with where your industry is going and don’t see the threats and opportunities … then you are going to lose!  I would consider this line of argument the NEGATIVE reasons associated with NOT attending your industry conferences.

 

So you have carrot and stick … compelling reasons why you should sign up for this year’s conference in your industry segment.

“Wise men learn by other people’s mistakes.  Fools by their own.”  Anon

We all need to keep learning or we get left behind.  Industry conferences are a very focused, high return way to get some intense and relevant training!

See you there!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Contracts Are Important

Branson quote about having time for the small thingsAs a young salesperson it always seemed like contracts took all of the fun out of a sale.  There is the “high” of getting a YES from a client but then you have to get a contract agreed, with all of that “legal stuff”.

My experience is that many companies really don’t pay attention to the detail of a contract, and rather than negotiate will basically sign anything … hoping that it doesn’t come back to bite them!

There is some logic to that approach because in the large majority of situations the other party will not take advantage … but sometimes they will.

There are several reasons why it is important to negotiate a reasonable and fair contract that pays attention to the detail.

  • It protects the interests of both parties, not just one.
  • If you are signing on behalf of your company then you have a responsibility to protect the interests of your employer.
  • If you agree to poor contract details it is a fair bet your management will be unimpressed.
  • A clear contract makes decision making easy.
  • A good understanding of the contract detail is a show of professionalism and given that a contract is often a first business  interactions with a client you should start off in a professional manner.

If you go about the negotiation in the correct manner you can get through the contract negotiations with a minimum of fuss and have a good professional start to to a business relationship.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are being “difficult” when you are just doing your job.

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Do You Have a Plan?

Goals quote by NightingaleGoals can make a big difference in your life.

If you have no real plan for your life then here are a few thoughts for you.

1. If you don’t know where you are going, then you might not like where you end up.
2. If you have trouble defining where that end point should be, or what it looks like, then pick a point along the way! e.g. If you don’t know what your career will look like in 10 years, then decide where you would like to be in a year.
3. Aim big. If you shoot for the stars you might not get there, but you will go a long way towards them. If you aim for the roof, you might not even get there!

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”   Bruce Lee

4. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! So … plan your strategy for success in small bits, it will make it easier to achieve.
5. Review your plans regularly, make sure you are tracking to plan and adjust accordingly.
6. Get help! Find a mentor/mentors, people that will help you.
7. Treat your life seriously … you only get one shot! So, make sure you do what you want with it … and make sure you enjoy it!
8. Fact: Hard work and good planning will get you a LONG way! If you apply some smarts to that formula you will rock the world!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  Nelson Mandela

9. Its not all about you! Sometimes you get more by giving. You will need to figure this out for yourselves, but my advice is to “give” as much as you can.
10. Every day is the start of the rest of your life, if you are late starting on your journey that’s OK. Just start!

“I do know that when I am 60, I should be attempting to achieve different personal goals than those which had priority at age 20.”  Warren Buffett

Goals don’t have to be hard … but you really should have some.

“To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the “what is next”, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.”  Mark Twain

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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Underestimate Change at Your Peril

Andy Grove quote about complacencyThe longer you are in business the easier it is to become complacent … and complacency is the beginning of the end.

It is easy to underestimate the new competitor on the block, yet the big box stores put the local corner stores out of business, Amazon is taking a bite out of all kinds of businesses and we have a new word in our lexicon, namely Uberization!

It is easy to underestimate the speed of change, yet 88% of the Fortune 500 companies 60 years ago don’t exist now.  The top five publicly traded companies by market cap in 2017 were all tech companies, yet five years previously four of them were NOT tech companies.

It is easy to underestimate the small startup that has a new way of doing things.

It is easy to underestimate the new technology that will change how your competitors operate.

It is easy to underestimate the impact of big competitors coming into your space.

The reason it is so easy to underestimate all of this stuff is that change is hard, change requires effort, change requires a new way of thinking about old problems … and many people just don’t want to work that hard.

The truth is that our world is changing at an every increasing speed and we can embrace the excitement and opportunity of that … or we can wait and see what happens to us.

Stay current, keep learning, have an open mind … do NOT be so focused within your business that you miss what is happening to your business.

“Time changes everything except something within us that is always surprised by change.”  Thomas Hardy

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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Avoid Unintended Consequences

Drucker quote about decision makingHow many times do we see a negative impact from seemingly harmless or well-intentioned actions?

We see it from governments who implement well-intentioned legislation only to cause negative affects in the “real world”.    As just one small example, attempts to help the “underdog” will often increase costs to business owners, and for small business owners the impact will be felt in lost jobs.

We see it from companies who will have a knee-jerk reaction to a “one off” situation and bring in rules that have negative consequences.  If you implement restrictive policies because of one bad experience then you create a less welcoming environment and that will be felt when trying to compete for talent with companies that are not so restrictive.

We all do it at a personal level.  We do or say things that inadvertently cause ripples.  It might be social niceties such as inviting some people to the party and inadvertently upsetting others, or by complimenting one friend and another takes offense.

If you want to avoid unintended consequences, then you need to think “bigger picture”, and you need to be sensitive to your actions.

Some things you might consider:

  1.  Don’t make knee jerk decisions.  Take the emotion out of your decisions and let some time pass before you “act”.
  2. Get input.  Consider other people’s perspectives.
  3. Think ahead.  Try to anticipate what else you should consider;  who else you should consider and how else your decision might have impact.
  4. Have a plan that includes (a) the objective you want to achieve, (b) a plan to get to that objective and (c) any possible outcomes from your plan.

It is possible that the decision is more important than any repercussions, but in that case the consequences are not unintended … they are just consequences!

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

Obviously we can’t anticipate everything, but TOO often we don’t even try … make an effort, thoughtfulness is always appreciated!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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#Social for the Small Business

Social media quote by David NailIn 2016 small businesses NEED to be on social media.

I went searching for a professional this week, and was given several names as potentials.  My first stop was LinkedIn … if they had no LinkedIn profile they came off my list.

I am a baby Boomer and even I look to social media for answers.  Younger generations are even more demanding.

How do people find you?  If you believe the quote here, and I do, then you MUST have a #Social presence.

Millenials expect to see your online presence.

Today there are more millenials in the work place than Boomers !  That is not a market you can afford to miss!

“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.”   Lori Ruff

Interesting thought … the target of this article will not see it!  Do them a favor and share it with them.

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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10 Signs Your Sales Rep is Struggling

Coaching quote by Ara ParasheghianIn a perfect world a manager will know how well, or not, their salespeople are doing.  They can then help course correct, adjust strategy or provide training in time to ensure that they deliver as expected.

However we rarely operate in a perfect world and one thing salepeople seem to universally good at doing, is hiding their sins!

So … here are ten signs that just maybe your salesperson is not doing as well as they might have you believe.

  1. Lack of Results.  The obvious indicator, but sometimes we don’t get the numbers until too late.  In many cases the numbers are a result of effort done previously, so by the time we have the numbers, the problem has been around for a while!
  2. Lack of activity.  This is a classic.  Very often salespeople who are struggling will be spending more time in the office, more time “researching” prospects and less time selling.
  3. Lack of relationships.  Great salespeople have a wide network and are always adding to it.  Salespeople can be successful with a small network, but that also makes them vulnerable .. a key contact leaves and suddenly the results go South!  Don’t let your salespeople coast with a few key contacts!
  4. Lack of direction.  The successful salesperson will know exactly what they need to do to keep their success going, the struggling salesperson will seem a little lost, perhaps distracted and not sure where to spend their time.
  5. Lack of facts.  Struggling salespeople will talk in generalities.  “It was a GREAT meeting”, “the client is going to be spending”, or perhaps  “I’m sure things are picking up”.  A little digging, asking very specific questions about detail will uncover the  reality that the salesperson is operating on the “hope and a prayer” plan!
  6. Lack of effort.  Nothing saps energy out of salespeople like a slump.  Just when they they should be upping the ante, they are demotivated and not putting in the effort.
  7. Lack of focus.  A struggling salesperson will often go into panic mode, chasing everything rather than executing against a well thought out plan.
  8. Lack of energy.  Related to number 6, but a struggling salesperson might feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.  Their usual energy is not evident and they seem to be slower and less “vital” than usual.
  9. Lack of ideas.  Successful salespeople are creative, and always finding new ways to grow their business.  When a slump hits they might be out of ideas, struggling to find ways to change their situation.
  10. Lack of confidence.  All of the above are manifest in a general lack of confidence, and a need for help … although salespeople are not always good at recognising that they need help or at asking for it!

Early recognition that a salesperson is struggling makes the fix so much easier.  The longer the slump goes on, the harder it is to turn around.

Recognise the signs and work with your salesperson to come up with actions that will change their situation, because as we all know the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” (Thank you Einstein).

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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How Busy People Get Stuff Done

Stephen Covey quote on timeDo you ever wonder how some people can accomplish so much with their time?

They establish and run huge companies, are seemingly involved in charitable ventures, political lobbying and oh by the way they have a home life too!

There is a reason why Benjamin Franklin said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”

Yet the truth is that we all have the same number of hours in our day!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”  H Jackson Brown Jr.

Time is a resource that we never get back.

What lessons can we learn from those ultra busy people that could help us be more productive?  I am no Richard Branson, but I have enjoyed some success in my life.  Here are some of the lessons I would share.

Understand what is important to you!

  • If you don’t have a clear idea about what you REALLY want, then it will be difficult to assign the right level of priority to your time.
  • If you want to be great at your chosen profession you need to understand what that looks like and put a plan in place to get there.
  • If you want to be super involved in your kids lives, then equally you need to have a plan that allows you to achieve that.
  • You need to be realistic because very often competing priorities will result in failure in both goals!  Choices are hard, they involve compromise and delivering tough messages … but you need to do it.

Focus your energies on “high return” activities.

  • Once you understand your priorities then your choice of where to focus your energy becomes easier … I did NOT say easy.  You have multiple competing demands on your time and not all of it is within your control, so you need to manage that!  (Remember … you are responsible for you … not your parents, your friends, your boss or even the government!)

Outsource/delegate whatever you can.

  • Almost everyone struggles with this.  Why should I pay someone else to do something I could do myself?  You don’t need to … unless you want that time for something more important.
  • If having someone else clean your house meant more time with your kids is it worth it?
  • If having someone clear your driveway, do the yard work, paint the house etc. meant more time to study for promotion, work at a hobby, invest in your relationships etc then what is that worth?
  • For many years I used a concierge service in Ottawa (Balance in Style) that handled many, many tasks small and large that would otherwise have taken my time.  Most times they do it better than I could, and it allowed me to focus my time on what I viewed as “higher return” items!

Be a Time Management Guru

  • An up to date “To Do” LIst;
  • Religious use of your calendar;
  • Prioritise your tasks;
  • Set goals.

Think bigger … that is not the same as think BIG (work your way up to that)

  • Change yourself
  • Invest in yourself
  • Believe in yourself
  • Stretch yourself

Get involved.

  • When something is important to us we make time for it.
  • Just by “jumping in the deep end” we force ourselves to figure out how to fit this new commitment into our life.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”  William Penn

What tips do you have for people wanting to get more out of their lives?

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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How to Get Your Prospect’s Attention

Brian Tracy Solve problems don't sellA constant challenge for salespeople is  getting  the attention of prospects.

We try cold calling, and get ignored.

We send emails that don’t get read.

We get on social media and try to connect with our prospects … and then get their attention, only to be shut down quickly.

What gives?

How are salespeople supposed to do their job if they can’t get the prospects attention?

Here are a few thoughts …

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”  Zig Ziglar

1.  Most decision makers are extremely busy, and their time is probably their most important asset … you need to demonstrate that you will not waste their time.

  • Get to the point.
  • Have a compelling story, but don’t be hokey.
  • Make sure you have the right person.
  • Understand what is important to them.
  • Don’t ask them to do your work.  (Visit your website, point you at the right person etc.)

2.  If a decision maker doesn’t know you then you are already at a huge disadvantage.

  • Get referrals whenever possible.
  • Get out and meet lots of people, while NOT selling.  Get involved in the community, with charities, in clubs, etc.
  • Use your network to get introductions and grow that network.
  • Use your social media to provide value, NOT to sell.  Become known as a thought leader.
  • Find ways to meet the people you are targeting, without a sales pitch and hopefully in a non-threatening environment (industry organisations, networking groups etc.)

3.  If you can’t get close to a decision maker, then get close to the people who are close to them.

  • Executive assistants are great people to know.
  • Receptionists wield a lot of power.  If they put in a good word for you it often has influence
  • Direct reports or even trusted senior employees might be able to help your cause … IF you build a good rapport with them.

4.  The sales profession requires a short, medium and long term strategy.  If you are not consistently working on your long term plan, then you will never get ahead.

  • Work harder than those around you.
  • Network more than those around you.
  • Give back more than those around you.
  • Take the short term wins, but always be working towards a longer term strategy.
  • Build your credibility every day.

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”  Mary Kay Ash

Perhaps you might have other suggestions for the up and coming salesperson?

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
——————————————————————————————————————————


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