Peter Kazanjy

Co-founder of TalentBin.com (Acquired by Monster.com) - Accidental early stage sales leader with the scars to prove it. Fascinated by revenue acceleration, professional identity, reputation, and recruiting.

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I’ve Worked with Hundreds of Recruiters - Here’s What I Learned

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“Pllleeeaassseee no moar resumes….”

This post originally ran on First Round Capital’s First Round Review. It was inspired by Nick Soman

Other early stage recruiting posts here

When you run a recruiting software company, you end up fielding a lot of questions from other founders who are just starting to hire. The number one question I get: How can I find a great recruiter?

This is a top priority for good reason. If you’re doing it right, hiring is one of your most time-consuming and energy-depleting tasks. That’s simply how you find the best people at the beginning. But when you hit hyper-growth, or your leadership needs to jam on the product, this isn’t always realistic. It’s easy to fall behind. A well-matched recruiter can not only catch you up, but help propel your startup through massive step changes.

The operative part there is “well-matched.” If you end up working with a

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How to Crush a Raffle Ticket Sale with Pro Sales Techniques

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“Wait, are those raffle tickets?”

For the second time in recent memory I was able to help volunteers with no sales experience apply professional sales techniques to transform their raffle ticket sales outcomes. I was fascinated at how easy it was, so wanted to share. Also, the techniques are more broadly applicable than just raffle tickets, but the context is a fun example.

Some background: Last night Tracy took us to SOMArts’ open house down in, you guessed it, SOMA.

I’d walked by there a bunch of times but never really realized what was going on inside, and if you have the chance, you should go by.

The event was a fundraiser, and we had paid for tickets to get us in early, but there were other parts of the fundraising as well, namely, a raffle ticket sale.

As is usually the case, the volunteers were more about arts than sales. This is the common case in pretty much any

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Referral Recruiting Strip Mining: Methodical Network Recruiting for Early Stage Hiring Gold

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This ain’t panning in a stream. We’re mechanized here, son.

This post also ran (with less profanity) in First Round Capital’s “First Round Review” [here](firstround.com/article/Mine-Your-Network-for-Early-Stage-Hiring-Gold).

Do you know where your first 10 employees are going to come from?

Your and your staff’s network. You probably already knew that.

But do you know how to go about mining that network in a proactive, intentional, methodical fashion to make the most of it?

Probably not.

 This is how to proactively mine your and your staff’s networks for early stage hiring excellence.

Many, many others have talked about the importance of the first people on your team being high quality because that’s where your next hires will come from. Birds of a feather flock together, etc. etc.

I believe this, and am going to assume for the purpose of this post that you do too.

But those

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Pitching Practice: Public Relations Launch Checklist for Early Stage Startup Founders

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Who’s ready for some pitching practice?

The post was inspired by my buddy who’s approaching a launch. I wanted to document 4 years of startup PR learnings for him.

At TalentBin, we’ve historically been pretty good at PR (some examples).

But it’s not because we are particularly “strategic” in our communications approach, or anything that hifalutin’. Rather, I would attribute the majority of our success to being willing to roll up sleeves, do work, and execute the proper blocking and tackling required (and that 90%+ of others don’t do) to target, pitch, and support press who are excited about our space.

 This is a list of those things you need to do to have success in your launch / announcement

I get a lot of people asking me about PR, and how to achieve coverage, especially around a launch or announcement.

At the end of the day, it’s not a big mystery. It’s a B2B sales campaign

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Win the Call

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Sales an activity-centric enterprise. Generally speaking, the more activity you put in, the more value you get out.

But not all activity is equal. A call is not a call is not a call.

This is how our team thinks about high quality activity, and how they can “win every call.”

 MDR First Downs

On the TalentBin sales team, the highest activity folks are our Market Development Reps (“MDRs” for short.)

Our MDRs are part of our sales team’s specialization (more on this in a later post), but are essentially junior sales people who are responsible for engaging with relevant, qualified accounts (whose key business characteristics have been well-modeled, right?!), and setting qualified appointments for our Account Executives to run with.

Ultimately, they are measured on how many of these “demos” they set (and which subsequently hold), but on their way there, they are executing high volume

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The Biggest Screwup You Can Make as a First Time Startup Sales Guy or: “How to Sell Like an Engineer”

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There are a lot of things you can screw up as a first time sales guy – especially having never done it before. I know. I’ve screwed them up.

One of the worst is having a crappy way of thinking about your prospects and the key datapoints that help you qualify and prioritize between them.

So, when I say “sell like an engineer” I do NOT mean roll into the office 11AM, stay till 2AM, and stare at your shoes when you talk to someone ; )

What I mean, is that borrowing rigorous modeling concepts from your tech team might be one of the smartest things you can do as an early stage sales leader.

 WYMIWYG

My friend, and TalentBin technical lead, Rodrigo Leroux has this handy saying – What You Model is What You Get.

Now, he’s typically talking about this in a data model capacity, as relates to modeling software engineering candidates via TalentBin (or other such logical objects in a

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Pitching the Inevitable

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“You hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.”

One of the things that sales people constantly struggle with is how to project a sense of authority in their interactions with prospects.

If you’re a Market Development Rep, it’s about being authoritative enough to persuade a (likely more senior than you) recruiter to take a demo. If it’s an AE, it’s the authority to recommend a certain course of action to an agency owner who’s been running his business a certain way for 20 years.

One way to do this is to ensure that your sales staff truly are authoritative, by training them to truly be “students of the game” – and be able to talk shop right alongside, or better than, the prospects they’re selling to. But that’s a big investment. More on that in another post, because I believe it’s worth it, and we do it like crazy at TalentBin

But short of that, there are some hacks

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Hello world

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When you’re running a startup, you learn a ton of, mostly painful, lessons.

For good or for bad, there’s often an impetus to share them.

Maybe it’s because misery loves company, or a philanthropic drive to help others not walk into the same plate glass windows you have. Either way, I found myself driven to share these hard earned lessons.

But then there’s the fact that you’re running a startup.

There are about 1000 more pressing priorities, and so blogging feels like a dereliction of time resources. Like you’d be letting down your team, customers, investors etc. Let alone the mixed incentives of making the story about yourself versus the company: a lot of founder blogging comes off as the lead singer expropriating spotlight from the band. I’ve often remarked that a marked rise in founder blogging frequency is probably not a great sign about the underlying business.

For all

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