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To hear Chet Holmes tell it, doubling your sales isn't all that difficult. The sales and training star should know; he's done it many times with both his own companies and those he consults for.
In The Ultimate Sales Machine (Portfolio, $24.95), Holmes lays out a specific path concentrating on time management, employee training, holding effective meetings, hiring the best people, selling relentlessly and seven other basics.
The linchpin of Holmes' advice is "pigheaded discipline and determination." Thus, when he says you need to cold-call sales prospects, he means to do it once, twice and again until you get through--in fact, it takes more than eight calls to get through to the average prospect, according to Holmes. But it's not all about hammering down doors. Holmes reveals a host of marketing tactics, such as integrating direct mail and telephone solicitations to get to hard-to-reach prospects, as well as many hiring and management suggestions, that make this far more than just another sales book--if the laudatory forewords from top entrepreneurship authors Jay Conrad Levinson and Michael Gerber didn't already tell you that.
The Best of the Best
Entrepreneurs can hire top college grads even when competing with ace recruiters from Microsoft and McKinsey, say the authors of Recruit or Die (Portfolio, $24.95). Co-authors Chris Resto, who runs an internship program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and recent college graduates Ian Ybarra and Ramit Sethi outline a strategy for enticing the best and brightest to join the smallest companies--and it doesn't have to cost a ton.
While cash is also nice, the three say that what many grads want as much or more are opportunities for high-profile achievement, frequent job changes, interesting experiences, personal recognition and the conviction that their work is important. They tell how to pitch the benefits of working at your company to elite graduates, including how to revise your advertisements, throw recruiting parties and more.
Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Staff Smarts" columnist.