Carolyn’s tour around the podcast circuit continues with her recent visit to Sales Pipe Pros, a sales podcast hosted by our friend Mike Petrosyan. She and Mike had some engaging banter on topics ranging from Carolyn’s experience getting Betts off the ground, to the launch of the game-changing Betts Connect platform, to the tough decisions company leaders have had to make during the COVID pandemic.
Here’s a quick recap.
Sales and relationships
When asked to expound upon her sales methodology, Carolyn answered that she subscribes to the notion that relationships are the way to go. Here, Mike challenged her: Is relationship-building really the best approach to a successful sales career? After all, there’s literature out there that recommends being a “challenger” instead of focusing on relationships.
Carolyn’s response? It can be both – but it starts with relationships. Consulting and advising come first, so you can build trust. You can challenge from there. This is just as true in recruiting as it is in sales.
Tough decisions during COVID
The conversation hit its most serious note when Mike and Carolyn discussed the impact of the current pandemic on Betts. The challenges started right at the beginning, when companies everywhere, Betts included, went remote. If you work at a company that’s as collaborative as Betts, you, like us, may have found that transition difficult at first. Indeed, for most companies, it hasn’t been easy.
In recent weeks, hiring has started to pick back up. But with a potential second wave on the horizon, it’s important to be ready in case your business is hit again. Here are two things Carolyn did at Betts to shepherd us through so far:
1. Focus on remaining business
When customers churn during a pandemic, they often have no choice in the matter. There’s a good chance you’ll be chasing your tail if you try to talk them into staying on. Instead, identify those customers who are able to continue their relationship with your company, and focus on them – this could be through customer satisfaction, upselling, and more – while you wait for the others to poke their heads back out.
2. Double down on culture
When you experience a round of layoffs, company morale almost always suffers. This is a great time to invest in the morale of your remaining team by highlighting wins, holding recreational activities, and more. These investments in company culture are even more pressing with everyone working remotely.
How to get from an apartment to 5 offices
Like lots of recruiting professionals, Carolyn started her career in sales. Unlike most recruiters, however, she started by selling ads. In the Yellow Pages. Door to door. If you’re a recent college grad starting a career in sales today, there’s a decent chance you don’t even know what the Yellow Pages are.
She eventually landed at Career Builder, which is where the idea for Betts was born. But just like her sales career, she started small – the first Betts office wasn’t an office at all, but Carolyn’s apartment in San Francisco’s Marina district. In the podcast, she discusses how she got from that point to managing over a hundred employees in a downtown office, as well as why it was crucial to set up a physical presence in the geographies the company serves.
Advice for professionals and entrepreneurs
Mike closed the interview by asking Carolyn what advice she has for the people out there in the business world trying to make things work during a crazy time.
For professionals, her response amounted to: strut your stuff. If you want to compete in a tough market, you’ll have to make the most convincing case you can that you’re the right person for the jobs that are still open. This means showing in clear terms how you’ve made an impact at your previous companies. Building out your Betts Connect profile is a great place to start.
She also offered advice for people looking to start their own businesses who are undeterred by the current circumstances. Here she had a lot of things to say, but the most important takeaway is probably this: “You’re going to work harder than you ever have in your life.”