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The Hidden Art of Selling


Your job title may not necessarily put you in the front line of Sales and Business Development but for today’s professional it is essential to hone in on your sales prowess in order for you to sharpen your communication skills and fuel that all important growth within the business. Below are three easy to implement mindset changes to help you stand out from the crowd.

Elevate your thinking

I can’t begin to tell you how many people I meet that have a negative perception of sales professionals and Recruitment Consultants in particular (just check your LinkedIn feed!). Unfortunately there are certain people that do not understand why someone would want to work in the industry or that being in sales was indicative that you couldn’t find a career elsewhere.

My belief is that to be truly successful in sales you need to look at it from a completely different angle. The very best salespeople focus on helping others get to where they want to go.

In recruitment for example you only succeed when you help others achieve their goal, from a clients perspective you have solved a skill gap issue which will allow them to achieve their business targets and the candidate has landed their dream move with an organisation aligned with their career aspirations.

Tip – Elevate your thinking and identify the wider impact of your sales activity.

Question Time

The very best salespeople I have worked with always lead with intelligent, probing questions. I know there are a billion articles online highlighting the importance of questioning however it really is key to becoming a more effective communicator and salesperson.

Effective questioning does two things, firstly you display a level of humility that will serve you positively in any interaction. Secondly and most important of all you will start to receive key information that your competitors could only dream about. It is truly powerful for both parties when great questions are being fired around in a sales presentation.

Tip – Prior to your next sales meeting do your research and ensure you come prepared with great open questions to get under the hood of your clients needs.

The Problem Solver

One easy way to make you stand out from your competitors is to become obsessed with solving your client’s problems whilst at the same time delivering real value in your market place. You will see that salespeople within your organisation who are at the top consistently do not look at a prospect as a sale; they look at it as an opportunity to solve a problem.

You should be utterly obsessed with solving your client’s problems, and when you start to do this regularly your business and life will transform.

You will be known as the problem solver not the salesperson.

Published by: Sue Withers – Managing Director

Meet The Team: Introducing Hellen Nduta Recruitment Consultant



• What made you join Summit Recruitment & Search?

I was seeking for a career shift and a way to enhance my HR skills. I heard about Summit Recruitment & Search through my classmate and friend who spoke highly about the team and company and in one of our conversations she mentioned there was an opening and I decided to give it a go. I always wanted to get more involved with talent management, head hunting and executive search and recruitment. This gives me the perfect opportunity to work across East Africa and South Africa and learn about new cultures.

• What does your day entail?

My day depends on the roles I am handling at the time and entails the following;

• Source, executive search and attract candidates by using databases & headhunting.
• Client relationship management through client meetings and updates.
• Conducting interviews and assessments. All our candidates undergo rigorous psychometric testing, including Myers Briggs (MBTI), OPQ32.
• Screen candidate’s resumes and job applications.
• Sifting through CV applications for various roles in Kenya and East Africa and South Africa through our database.
• Performing background checks for the candidates.
• Offer advice to candidates to career path or goals.
• Analyse the psychometric tests done by the candidates.
• What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

That would be definitely interacting with people from all walks of life. When you get to listen to candidates, you learn something either about life in general or about the companies and jobs. Also,the thrill of not knowing what will happen the next minute you walk in the door. It might be a client loves a candidate so much they offer them the job on the first interview or a perfect candidate about to accept a job pulls out at the last minute; there is nothing better than the feeling of bringing together a qualified candidate with a great career opportunity. In Summit I have been able to experience it all.

• Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an extrovert who loves people, nature and wildlife. I spend most of my free time with my 2 kids who are a handful but love it either way. I love baking a lot and swimming (even though I can’t ha-ha). I spent most of my “young life” in the wild, am in love with wild animals well “almost all” apart from the snakes. I can’t watch them on TV, Books or life. They freak me out totally and that’s a fear I don’t wish to overcome. Am currently a working mum and a student, I try to find a balance of all 3 to ensure I stay sane.

A Day in the Life of a Recruitment and Executive Search Consultant, based in Nairobi, covering East Africa and South Africa.


6:00 am – Open eyes. Yawn. Rub eyes. Get up. Open curtains. No! Rain! I suddenly go into hyper-mode. The traffic will be awful so I need to get a move on….
….fast forward

7.30 am – Arrive at the Office and turn on my computer to find 136 emails awaiting me. A coffee is placed in my hand – thank you Camilla!

8.30 am – 80 emails done, but I have a few problems to resolve. 1 candidate has rejected an offer made yesterday by Z Dynamics. Odd – everything was agreed. I wonder why John rejected the offer? 2 new roles have come in; 1 from a company called WE R Useless and they are asking for a mature Project Manager with 10 years experience, but the salary is Ksh12,000 per month! How could a company believe that is a sensible salary for the role? The second role is for a CEO – that looks for interesting. I shall call them and try and arrange a meeting to better understand what they need. 4 candidates have interviews today with Blah Company at 11am.

9:30 am – John says he changed his mind about the job, so now I have to go back to Z Dynamics and make HUGE apologies AND start the search all over again. Urgh!

10:00 am – WE R Useless are of the opinion that Ksh12,000 is a good salary for a Mature Project Manager, so much so, that they want CV’s today! I have explained that the task is impossible.

11.15 am – Oh no – my internet has gone down! Better make some calls instead! Just talked to Blah Company, who were interviewing at 11am. Only 2 of the 4 candidates turned up. Have called the 2 guilty no-shows. 1 has turned off his phone and the other one says he has changed his mind about the job – having confirmed 24 hours before. Why do people do this? So annoying and makes us look really bad to the client. 1 of the interviewees hadn’t shaved and had a ripped shirt on. Don’t think he will get the job!

12:00 pm – 3 candidates are in our offices for interviews. They are all interviewing for the Brand Marketing position in Naivasha and are busy doing the psychometric tests and skill set tests.

2:00 pm – Have spent the last 2 hours interviewing and have forgotten lunch. Never mind. Only 1 of the 3 candidates was a ‘fit’ for the Brand Marketing role – but I shall do their references and send the 1 over to the client. Whilst I was interviewing one lady – her teeth fell out – that hasn’t happened before!

Hurrah! The internet is back on!

2.30 pm – Have just been shouted at by the MD of WE R Useless who still insists that he wants CV’s for mature Project Managers. I shall send the CV’s – with the proper salaries…he can then decide what he wants to do. Tried to explain again that they need to increase the salary.

3.30 pm – A new client has just walked into the office and says she wants to open a company in Kenya and will need 8 roles filling. However, she wants CV’s instantly and doesn’t have a single job description! So, I will now need to pull off sample JD’s and give them to her to amend to her liking.

4.30 pm – Finally I have finished the rest of my emails. 3 new jobs put up on our website, with JD’s and I shall await the responses. WE R Useless have been on the phone again and I have sent over the Project Managers – on sensible salaries. I can see the phone ringing again and I think this is one call that can wait until tomorrow….

10.30 pm – Lights out. End of another day. So to sleep…..

Published by: Sue Withers – Managing Director

Meet The Team: Introducing Bree Bichanga Talent Sourcing & Social Media Specialist.

##1. Bree Bichanga

• What made you join Summit Recruitment & Search?

I was hoping for an Internship position that would enable me to acquire on the job experience and a feel of the business marketplace. Summit Recruitment and Search advertised an Internship placement for a Social Media and IT Intern. Given my background of IT and business I thought it would be a good match therefore I applied for the position and was successfully shortlisted and got the position. It has been 2 years and 9 months down the road.

• What does your day entail?

On the social media aspects:

• Ensuring the website is optimised in different search engines.
• Manage the database.
• Update different social media pages.
• Update the website.

On talent sourcing and acquiring:

• Head hunting and Executive Searching for specialized roles across East Africa, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
• Client relationship management through client meetings and updates.
• Conducting interviews and assessments. All our candidates undergo rigorous testing.
• Engaging both passive and active candidates.

• What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

Getting a chance to share what Summit Recruitment and Search does with the outside world on a day to day basis. In addition to this I enjoy the process of searching for specialized talent skills. This affords me a chance to interact with passive candidates who are not looking on job boards, but more than happy to explore exciting career opportunities.

• Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Accomplishments can be taught, but passion is innate. Passion to me is what keeps me up, restless, as I attempt to figure out how to work something. I am easy going, enjoy dealing with people, fashion, technology and travelling. I am a big fan of the TV series, Game of Thrones and winter is coming!
I love change and I believe there is a reason for everything – we connect the dots later on.

For more information regarding the team at Summit Recruitment & Search:

Meet The Team: Introducing Camilla Musonye Consultant and Receptionist


• What made you join Summit Recruitment & Search?

I came to Summit a year ago looking for career development. I found out about Summit online and I was greatly impressed by the team setup and felt that it would be a great opportunity for me to enhance my HR skills. Being a fresh graduate from university, I have been able to gain a lot of skills on people management, recruitment, talent management and head hunting.

• What does your day entail?

My day has a variety of duties and responsibilities required to be performed in a timely and orderly fashion. These include;

• Providing general administrative and clerical support to candidates from across East Africa.
• Maintaining electronic and hard copy filing system
• Open, sort and distribute incoming correspondence
• Perform data entry and scan documents
• Assist in resolving any administrative problems
• Answer calls from customers regarding their inquiries
• Schedule and coordinate meetings, appointments and travel arrangements for staff.
• Recruiting, selecting, orienting candidates.
• Client relationship management.
• Handling legal division of the company such as permits among others.

• What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

In my time spent in Summit I have come across various personalities from different cultures in and out of Kenya. I find it fascinating learning about new cultures; Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, East Africa and other further afield countries. It is hugely satisfying to carry out a head hunt or executive search for a position and place the right person into the right company. I enjoy meeting different individuals and being able to provide much needed assistance in their career growth. Summit offers a melting pot of cultures that allows career development not only locally but internationally.

• Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a protective and humble lady who gives her all when it comes to life and work. My love for cooking is known widely (from a survey conducted by my colleagues ha ha ha). I enjoy reinventing everyday recipes to create mouth watering dishes that leave nothing but beautiful explosions of flavours in your mouth and heart. In addition to that I love shopping and visiting new places.


What are the basic elements of a good C.V?

1. Basic Elements of a C.V - 450

We aren’t born knowing how to write a great CV, so it’s up to you to find out for yourself how to get the basics right. From font size and format to photos and filling in the gaps, there is a certain etiquette that should rarely be broken. Recruiters and employers receive constant streams of applications – don’t let a basic mistake send yours straight to the bottom of the pack.

Below is a guide that answers 6 crucial questions:

1) How long should a CV be?

When it comes to length, try to think of your CV as a tasty appetizer that will get people coming back for more.
It should be around 2 pages long to ensure that you get your message across quickly, without dragging on like an old encyclopedia, boring employers and recruiters.
If you feel your experience is as good as gold (and listing it all will make you a shoe-in for the job), don’t worry too much about going over. Just be sure to keep it at 3 pages or less.

2) What font should I use in my CV?

The saying ‘keep it simple stupid’ exists for a reason and is unquestionably a principle that applies here.
Use a simple font that looks professional and is easy for recruiters and employers to read. For example (Tahoma, Times New Roman and all time favorite Cambria).
Size matters too – you can’t go wrong if you stick around the 10/12pt mark.

3) Should I include a photo on my CV?

Generally speaking, your best profile picture didn’t grace its presence on your CV.
Unless you are applying for an acting or modelling job (which would most likely specifically request photographs), there is no need to include one on your CV. It will take up space that could be better used with text that demonstrates the value of hiring you. Show them how you’re so much more than just a pretty face.

4) Should I hide employment gaps on my CV?

Take the guesswork out of your CV.
You don’t want recruiters or employers scratching their heads trying to fill the gaps themselves, so if you have long periods of unemployment you should be up front and explain them. Keep this short and sweet, after all, it’s just to let them know what was keeping you occupied during that time.
Ideally use constructive reasons such as personal projects, study or travelling.

5) Should I include interests on my CV?

As a general rule, only include interests if they are relevant to the roles you are applying for and will make a positive impact on your applications.
If you feel including your passions or pastimes adds to the profile you want to show your employer, put them in, but don’t get too carried away. Always keep it as professional as possible.

6) Should I include my date of birth on my CV?

Age is only a number, right?
Employers do not make recruitment decisions based on a candidate’s age, so there’s no need to include your date of birth.

For C.V writing tips and advice, contact us today;
Phone: +254 (0) 707 293 147 / +254 (0) 713 461 279

Meet the team: Introducing: Amina Ali Senior Recruitment Consultant.

Amina Ali - Meet the team

Amina Ali is a Senior Consultant at Summit Recruitment & Search specializing in Senior Executive Roles in the following industry sectors; Agriculture, Retail and Manufacturing.

• What made you join Summit Recruitment & Search?

I wanted a job with Summit Recruitment & Search about 5 years ago, but they did not have any positions available for my skills at that time, but then Summit called me a couple of years later and asked me back as a Junior Consultant. Growth and immense development professionally is what I would describe as key achievements in my time in Summit.

• What does your day entail?

Depending on the roles I am handling at the time my day entails the following;

• Headhunting and Executive Searching for specialized roles.
• Client relationship management through client meetings and updates.
• Conducting interviews and assessments. All our candidates undergo rigorous testing!
• Sifting through CV applications for various roles through our database.
• Performing background checks for the candidates.
• Offer advice to candidates to career path or goals.
• Analyze the psychometric tests done by the candidates.

• What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

I must say it’s the people interaction. I get to understand a part of the candidate’s life (personally and professionally) which will inevitably assist in setting the pace regarding their career growth. I think of it as a small window to a candidate’s soul that I have the privilege and honour of viewing. Not many jobs offer that on a daily basis.

• Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a fiercely optimistic person whose view of life has always been a glass is half fulll!! I enjoy spending time with my 3 year old son David, crafting, cooking (Chef in the making :-)), writing (cool kids call it blogging) and exploring new frontiers. I thrive on sunshine and flowers and all things chocolate. Most importantly is trying to juggle motherhood (no manual provided by the way), work and me time. All in all so far so good!!

Meet the team: Introducing: Kate Mbithe Senior Recruitment Consultant.

9# Kate Mbithe Senior Consultant Summit Recruitment - 450

Kate joined Summit Recruitment & Search 3 years ago as a Junior Consultant and has been promoted over the years. She is now a Senior Consultant, specialising in Senior Executive Search positions, such as C-suite positions, GM’s, Directors, VP’s and Managers and tends to deal in the legal, private equity, agricultural, marketing/branding and manufacturing sectors.

• What made you join Summit Recruitment & Search?

I came to Summit seeking a change in my career. I knew about Summit through a friend and Summit was highly recommended. I applied for a role and was invited for assessments. I left only to be called 20 mins later by our MD to inform me that she had a role, a different one, which she felt I was a perfect fit for. It was to join the Summit team!
Three years later, after much growth and continuous development I am a Senior Recruitment Consultant.

• What does your day entail?

My role provides a vital link between clients and candidates. The role is demanding and diverse and involves:

 Client meetings to better understand their mission and vision.
 Perform job and task analysis to document job requirements and objectives.
 Source and attract candidates by using databases & headhunting.
 Screen candidate’s resumes and job applications.
 Conduct interviews using various reliable personnel selection tools/methods to filter candidates within schedule.
 Assess applicants’ relevant knowledge, skills, soft skills, experience and aptitudes.
 Reference checks.
 Monitor and apply HR recruiting best practices.
 Provide analytical and well documented reports to the rest of the team.
 Act as a point of contact and build influential candidate relationships during the selection process.

• What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

I am a people’s person. I tend to enjoy meeting new clients and interviewing candidates for roles I find exciting e.g. CEO, Finance and any PR and/or communications roles. Aside from that, it gives me a platform to understand different cultures from different parts of the world. I find it exciting placing candidates in places like Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia – in fact anywhere! It feels like every candidate’s journey for employment is a journey we take together.

• Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a fun loving person who loves cooking and watching football (especially when Manchester United is playing!!). I am terrified of chameleons. I don’t understand how such small creatures with their colour changing capacity can move so slowly without having a hidden agenda. That being said I enjoy watching National Geographic to at least try and find out how to deal with a chameleon attack! I have a hectic schedule that entails school, work and private life. It’s not always easy but having a planned day/week helps incredibly.

What happens to your resume when you apply for a jobs online?

What happens to your C.V once you apply for a position online

Are you applying for lots of jobs online and not receiving any feedback? You could have all the skills and experience to make you the best candidate for a role but no reaction to your job application.
Below is what happens to your resume when you apply online;

• First applications are received 200 seconds after a job is posted
• An average of 250 CVs are received for each job position – but only 4 to 6 on this people would be called for an interview
• Average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds
• One spelling or grammar mistake and your CV will be chucked in the bin
• 88% job rejection rate if you have a CV with the wrong layout or format.
• 76% of CVs are ignored if your email address is unprofessional.
• 10% of job seekers have applied for 50 or more jobs without hearing back.
• 68% of employers will find you on LinkedIn
• 17% chance that your cover letter will be read

For more information on upcoming C.V writing and Career Advice which will ensure you stand out from the crowd, contact us today:

Phone: +254 707 293 147 / +254 713 461 279