Training, Development & Retention
There I was at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dallas. It was the first time I had allowed myself to attend a multi-day “wealth and tax planning retreat”. My expectations for taking away any life-altering information was exceptionally low and I was really treating the trip as a business-deductible mini-vacation more than anything else.
Then during one breakout workshop, just as I was about to fall asleep in my chair from boredom, a few bits of information began making sense. One presenter talked of “Hidden Assets”. Assets which are untapped and not visible on your CPA-prepared balance sheet. In other words these are the “real assets” which tapped correctly can be converted to cash.
Then he began listing “hidden assets” many of us possess yet have not mined or developed including:
- Intellectual Property
- Specialized Knowledge
- Ability to speak/lecture/present
- Ability to travel
The mobility and intellectual property suggestions were the ones that struck a chord. I had been using “handouts” and “pamphlets” and “booklets” in my practice for well over a decade, yet never considered the value these items could bring to others since I treated them as my “trade secrets” that I did not want to share. This tied into the intellectual property as well as some of my pamphlets and booklets (now available on Amazon.com and major online retailers) took years of refining, re-editing and improvement to reach their final versions.
The mobility aspect was especially intriguing as the year of my conference was 2005 which happened to coincide with some of the highest bloated property values (which escalated within the shortest number of years) in the history of American property values.
The connection and link was now set in my mind. If properties are at all time and perhaps, unsustainable highs (compared to salaries which were not increasing 10% yearly), and my business/profession is mobile, I could take advantage of mobility and transfer from one of the most expensive states to conduct business (New Jersey) to one that is less costly (North Carolina).
Since I had an office condo, rental property, as well as my prime residence, I began scaling back one step at a time to put what was a 2 year plan into motion.
The lubrication for making this transition easier than ever was the fact internet, high-speed cable broadband, email, and increasingly powerful software allowed me to set up shop anywhere with little use for a physical office space with only a handful of professionals visited each week anyway.
That single idea led to a cascading domino-effect of revolutionary business re-engineering tactics I pursued over the next few years. Following is a rough idea of the highlights. Perhaps sharing my three year re-engineering plan may shed light on possibilities for you:
1. Divesting of office real-estate. Place best recruiters on work-from-home model using remote software.
2. Sell the new approach as a gas saving, expense reducing way to obtain increased discretionary income from sales and production
3. Install, tune, and upgrade software and systems to support remote field recruiters (at the time they were stretched between Albany and Philadelphia).
4. Re-tool future hiring to focus on work from home recruiters only
5. Focus on new clientele that would not care so much of our physical location and whose focus were candidate hiring results.
Once the above model was in place and humming along nicely, another world of opportunity yet opened up for me. It helped of course, that I picked the peak of what was probably America’s greatest real estate bubble to sell such assets which were all divested between 2005 and early 2007 just prior to the “big dip”.
The result was a massive infusion of liquid cash added to my balance sheet which I could now use for retirement, operating capital, and reserves. Placing myself ahead of the curve instead of reacting to events.
If you see such events for wealth planning, business planning, or estate planning my advice is to attend as many as possible. You may be bored to death at 90% of the material that is discussed but it only takes one small idea to trigger a big difference in your approach to life and your business.
You too, might be surprised with the unexpected tips you can apply to your business model once you get out from behind your desk and attend such workshops and functions.
And as a minor bonus, one of the pamphlets I had been making “required reading” for each client before they sign our contract for the last ten years and had been sending out first as a MS Word document and years later as a PDF, was re-edited and re-compiled by a hand-selected team of experts I hired, and is now a best selling popular book used by recruiters and available on amazon.com. That booklet is titled “A Manager’s Guide To Maximizing Search Firm Success” and it has been responsible for helping me convert two out of every five contracts to a partial retainer with a non-refundable upfront deposit.
To see for yourself how it works, pick up a few copies through your favorite online book retailer (all of them carry it) and send it out to five of your next new client prospects before asking them to sign any fee or recruiting agreement. They will practically beg you to pay you an upfront deposit once they have read it.
Frank Risalvato made the plunge into the search industry in 1987; He founded www.iresinc.com, the search firm he continues to operate today. Within two years he was earning fees on a monthly basis that were comparable to his entire previous annual salary. Today he specializes in the low to mid-six figure hires and manages multiple openings each month. He works like a mad-man, in eighteen directions simultaneously. While he has not invented recruiter training, he views himself as someone that improves perfects and enhances pre-existing techniques. His newly published book,, “A Manager’s Guide To Maximizing Search Firm Success©” by Searchlight Publishing has earned him more partial retainers and engaged fees—while knocking out contingency-only competitors—than any other technique ever used, it is available now on www.amazon.com
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