We start from a Blank Sheet of Paper.
We don’t make assumptions or offer pre-packaged services. We listen to our customer’s story and take pride in our flexibility to create customized solutions that are built for their unique business, culture, budget, & people challenges.
Blank Sheet of Paper implies a blank canvas from which to start. This is a metaphor for our business when we sit down with a prospect or even when we are asked to solve any problem or challenge in our business. Blank Sheet of Paper is about more than innovation and being creative. Back in the day when I was working at Placers 1.0, we would always talk about how hard it was to show a prospect first-hand how we understand their business and their culture, and that we are just sales people. We found it hard to get to know our prospects, and most importantly, we struggled to be consultative, even though we knew it was the most important part of how we wanted to differentiate and stand out in the marketplace.
We would learn through trial and error with our prospects. What we learned is that we needed to demonstrate first-hand that we would invest in our prospects by hanging out with them. We were workforce experts (and we certainly are today too!) and that was known. But how could we get the prospect to trust and believe in our ideas that we shared? The ideas felt like products we wanted to sell. Then it happened! The eureka moment. We started to present what we learned about our customers including the good, the bad, and the ugly and then we would tie our Blank Sheet of Paper solutions of services directly to the specific challenge, weakness, or opportunity we were trying to help our customer solve!
The best part of all is that we have a little of that Nostradamus vibe. (We wanted to do the staffing industry equivalent of taking back tires in a return even though we don’t sell them). We started to offer solutions to problems that didn’t generate fees. We introduced partners to do work. We lent prospects resources. We did research projects on prospects industry best practices. We let our Outside-In® fly and took authentic action on services that were very important to our prospects. These items always made their world better.
So imagine lobbying the local township on behalf of a client to extend a bus route so talent
can get to work on a shift that is hard to fill for a customer.
Or perhaps lending a customer your head of training to work on retention challenges at no cost.
What can you imagine that will make your prospect’s life better that we don’t even make money on? If we do this, services flow back to our core. They make you irreplaceable to your customers, and your competition can’t figure out how or why you would be in the bus.