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Word Gets Around

By Bill Taylor, President, Corporate Ladders

Wow, whatever happened to the telecom business? The excitement sure is not what it once was. The pool of talented people just does not come knocking on the doors as they once did. There was a time not too long ago when the best and the brightest were doing whatever they could to be “in telecom.” Word got around and once they got in, they told their friends and their friends wanted in too. Now, not so much …

So what do you reckon happened to make it that way? Well, some of the reasons are controllable and others just are not. For example, word got around, and today’s tech and telecom salespeople look to the big names with cache’ like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Cisco as “THE” place to work. They make great products, are exciting, and the media hypes these companies. That is not something you can do much about – so this is an “uncontrollable.”

Telecom people once were respected for their knowledge and professionalism. Come to think of it, they still are … and that is controllable. If clients respect your people and their professionalism and knowledge, they will tell their friends and word will get around. Therefore, when hiring new people into the business, be sure they are professional in their work ethic, appearance, and have good writing and verbal skills. Then train them to be as knowledgeable as they can be. Start training them from the first day they arrive and never stop training them. Training is a great way to invest in your business and provides a high ROI if the money is invested it the right people Yes, clients like smart people who save them money and make their business operate better. Word gets around.

Other controllable items are paying your people well right from the start and keep on paying them well (and on time). While you are at it give them a fair benefit package that respects and values work/life balance and demonstrates respect for the individual. You see, that will help retain them too. They tell their friends and word gets around.

Bill Taylor is president of Corporate Ladders, a management, sales and business development consulting and coaching firm specializing in technology, telecom, Internet, health care and financial services companies. He is the PHONE+ Channel Coach and a member of the 2008-09 PHONE+ Channel Partners Advisory Board.


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