From Resources To Riches
From training new hires to handling employee retention initiatives, human resources departments handle a great deal of critical management work for corporations large and small. There is a wide scope to how H.R. professionals go about handling their work, but certainly the use of gift, incentive and even promotional products plays a large role. Whether it's holiday food gifts, rewards for safety compliance or branded items to reinforce a training program, H.R. departments are very often in need of a talented product vendor. For those looking to fulfill this need, below are five tips on how to sell to human resources departments.
1) REFERRALS ARE A GREAT DOOR-OPENER
If you're looking to break into the H.R. marketplace for the first time, an inter-company referral from a different department could be a good route. "I have been very lucky in that I have gotten all of [my H.R. clients] through referrals from the marketing area," said Cris Nigro, owner of Proforma Creative Precision, Foxboro, Mass., a distributor experienced in working with human resources departments. "I hardly ever target human resources directly, I always start somewhere else," she explained, noting that though she often begins in marketing, other departments, like the office secretary who orders forms and mailing materials, may also be viable alternatives.
2) MOOD MATTERS
With improving employee morale being a central purpose for so many human resources programs, looking into the emotional climate of a client's company can be the key to designing a successful promotion. Nigro said it is important to ask questions about employer-employee relationship, such as, "What's the employee culture right now?" and "What's the satisfaction level?" For a company with happy employees, she recommended figuring out what workers like most about the company and working that into the program somehow. If employees are unhappy, Nigro suggested telling customers that even with the job market being so poor, dissatisfied workers will eventually look for work elsewhere. To help stem this loss for clients, she recommended offering to design an affordable program that would improve morale and make a difference in the company's mood, which in turn will help improve employee retention.