Are you afraid of the dark?

Despite the constant drum beat of doom and gloom from the mass media, there are plenty of statistics that provide the basis of hope for our businesses and economy.

Economic activity expanded in September in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors, and employment increased. In short, businesses increased spending and investment. The increases were slight, but they exceeded market expectations and increases beat decreases.

We are not economists at Treeline and don’t even pretend to play economists on TV: we are just salespeople who work hard every day for other salespeople. So we are simply sharing what we are experiencing; which is to say that our clients are hiring more sales people in 2011 than 2010. That’s good news.

Yes, there are big issues out there that are real, such as sovereign debt in America and in Europe namely Greece. Consumer spending is a factor. The Federal and State regulatory policy are also creating uncertainty at the moment. However, the media is exacerbating fears around these issues and making us afraid of these largely nebulous and uncertain risks. They are making us afraid of the dark.

Lately, I am reminded of the mass media drum beats every summer about shark attacks. Yes they happen every year, but every year the media amplifies reported incidents and sightings and make many people believe that the danger is new and escalating beyond control. Honestly, I’m a bit afraid of swimming in the ocean and that was never the case before.

Shedding light on reality can help us make better decisions –

By the numbers:

Date Statistic Market Expected Actual
3-Oct Institute for Supply Management (ISM Index) 50.5 51.6
5-Oct ISM Services 52.8 53.0
5-Oct ADP Employment Change 45,000 91,000
7-Oct Nonfarm Payrolls 60,000 103,000

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 28th consecutive month, according to the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business(R).

Source: Institute for Supply Management – September 2011 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business(R)

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 22nd consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business(R).

Source: Institute for Supply Management – September 2011 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business

The employment report is actually two separate reports which are the results of two separate surveys. The household survey is a survey of roughly 60,000 households. The establishment survey is a survey of 375,000 businesses. Both surveys cover the payroll period which includes the 12th of each month. The establishment survey not only surveys more businesses, but each business employs many individuals. Source:

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 91,000 from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report(R).

Source: The ADP National Employment Report for September 2011

Total nonfarm payroll employment ticked up by 103,000 in September. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

One final statistic and note of optimism …

As I mentioned above, Treeline placement activity is up. In fact, placements are up approximately 55% year over year. Companies are hiring more sales people in 2011 than 2010 through Treeline’s sales-focused executive search firm. Now, we are not sharing this information to brag because that’s not our style. We are sharing this information to cast one ray of light on the shadows and fear that consume news reports on a daily basis.

So, together we can chose to be afraid of what might be lurking in the dark, or we can harness the power of positive expectations. We can control the quality of our products and services, the inspirational tone and substance of our corporate missions, the ways in which we align talent with our corporate strategies, the efficacy of our sales forces, the accuracy of our forecasts, and the decision processes around prudent investment that drive the sustainability and scalability of our businesses.

Let’s decide not to be afraid of the dark.

Now, if I could only stop being afraid of sharks…

Treeline, Inc. ( is recognized as an award-winning sales-focused executive search firm. Treeline is also the developer of DADO — a first of its kind Social Recruiting platform and community that fuses 21st century technologies (including social media) and behaviors with recruiting best practices. In this new paradigm, recruiters add knowledge and support thereby fostering and reinforcing the social recruiting service for the 21st century, which is knowledge-powered, technology-enabled, collaborative, and social.

Published On: October 14th, 2011Categories: Blog News, Sales Recruiting, Sales Trends

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