27 July, 2012

Chick-fil-A Brilliantly Increases Same Store Sales By Getting Rahm Emanuel To Attack Them

When from blue states restaurant permit denials spring, red state Chick-fil-A cash registers ring.

Chick-fil-A just increased its same-store sales in existing markets by cultivating another important enemy: Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. Yeah, Emanuel says "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values" and that he will support Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno's pledge to deny Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in his 1st Ward.

Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching - can you hear those Chick-fil-A cash registers ringing in those conservative neighborhoods where Truett Cathy built his chicken empire? 

Chick-fil-A's strategy of getting lefties to attack them is brilliant. Let me explain: opening new restaurants is much more expensive than simply figuring out how to increase same store sales so Chick-fil-A can actually grow profits faster if they simply grow same store sales instead of opening new restaurants. Chick-fil-A doesn't want to open restaurants in Chicago, they simply want to make the right enemies. It's a brilliant strategy and it works every time. Every time The Left attacks Chick-fil-A for their "courageous" Biblical stand against gay marriage, conservatives in existing Chick-fil-A markets just buy more  Chick-fil-A chicken. It's brilliant and for a restaurant chain that operates mainly in Republican, evangelical, Obama-hating neighborhoods, it's a very smart business strategy. 

The only thing that would increase Chick-fil-A same store sales more than being attacked by one of President Obama's allies and operatives is getting attacked by The President himself. I'm sure Dan Cathy is working on it.

If I were Chick-fil-A, I'd apply for restaurant permits in every gay-friendly neighborhood in America and pray that every one of those permits are denied and that lefties and gay-organizations protest Chick-fil-A in every gay-friendly market. Every time Chick-fil-A is denied a permit in blue states they'll get increased same store sales in red states.

For more on the brilliant strategy of selling more chicken by cultivating the right enemies, see my July 25 post.
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26 July, 2012

Michele Bachmann: Bat-Shit Crazy Or Just Making The Right Enemies?

Don't worry, my lefty friends, neither Michele Bachmann nor her mentor/model, Sarah Palin, will ever be President of the US. And they know it. They don't care. They don't have to hold ANY elected offices to  have long and financially rewarding lives as spokespeople for the bat-shit crazy.

In yesterday's post I explained that when Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy made seemingly stupid remarks about gays he was crazy like a fox, brilliantly making the right enemies so he could sell more chicken to Republicans and Evangelicals.

Michele Bachmann is making enemies of The Republican Establishment so she can sell more bat-shit to the bat-shit crazy which is why she can't be "reigned in", why she won't recant or apologize and why being denounced by Establishment Republicans like John McCain and John Boehner will only make her  post-Congress career as an issue advocate and leader of the bat-shit crazy even sweeter and more lucrative.

By the way, Michele Bachmann will be starting her new career soon - which , I'm sure, is OK with her. I don't get the idea that Michele Bachman and her mentor/model, Sarah Palin, really ever wanted real jobs anyway. And why would they? Why have a real job with real duties and real accountabilities when you can make a tour bus full of money for offering validation to people whose intelligence, education, religion and knowledge of civics offer them none?

When an Australian reader asked me how he could make a living being an atheist, I told him to attack Australia's largest and best-known Christian organizations until they start naming him in their fund-raising appeals then use those mentions to raise money from atheists. If he follows my advice he can quit his day job and have a lucrative career as a professional atheist.

For more on making more money by making the right enemies, see yesterday's post in my archives.
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25 July, 2012

Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy Wasn't Making A Bird-Brained Business Mistake, He Was Selling More Chicken To Republicans And Evangelicals

Christina Pesoli (of the Huffington Post) is wrong about Chick-fil-A President, Dan Cathy. He didn't make a bird brained, business-killing  comment about gays. He excited his base. He rallied the chicken-eating consumer base Chick-fil-A has always pursued: gay-hating evangelicals and Republicans.

When chicken king, Dan Cathy, became the object of The Left's scorn and derision, every fundamentalist Christian and every conservative Republican in America went to Chick-fil-A and bought chicken, which is exactly what Dan Cathy knew they would do.

Chick-fil-A has long been a darling of The Evangelical Right. Chick-fil-A offers special deals to churches and to chapters of the CBMC. They close on Sunday. Their franchisees are often pillars of their conservative churches. Chick-fil-A doesn't need to sell chicken to progressives and Democrats.

The truth is, this strategy of offending your non-customers to earn even more business from your customers is commonplace. If you watch TV you already know that there is a whole industry of issue advocates who need - yes, that's right, they need and even cultivate - enemies to help them attract contributions from their core constituencies. There's even a saying about "making the right enemies". That's what Dan Cathy did when he uttered what seemed like bigoted and socially tone deaf remarks against gays: he made the right enemies. The more the gays and the lefties complain about what he said, the more his core constituency stands in solidarity with him by buying more of his chicken.

None of the professional issue advocates will admit it but they have a symbiosis with their  ideological opposites. The smart ones cultivate the right enemies and then ask their ideological base for money. A few years ago I even wrote some fiction (loosely-based on a preacher who was once arrested for burning a gay flag at a gay pride parade) to show how it works.

Capitalizing on his new-found fame as a defender of the Christian faith, the gay flag burning preacher goes on Christian talk radio and conservative right wing talk radio and announces that the next time there is a gay pride event in his area he will walk through the crowd with a can of gasoline and that he will flick gasoline on the gay people. After he has flicked gasoline, he announces, he will then flick lit matches into the gasoline-moist crowd. After announcing his intention to assault gay people with gas and lit matches, this preacher then asks supporters to contribute money to his new "ministry". Every gay hater, conservative Christian and conservative Republican within the sound of his voice sends him $10 or $20.

Likewise, gay and lesbian groups use the preacher's promised gas-and-matches assault to ask for contributions from their base of gays and lefties.

Everybody makes money. Both "sides" made the right enemies and were rewarded with contributions.

This is what Dan Cathy did when he made insensitive remarks about gays. He made the right enemies. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Please note that, in the non-fiction and fictional stories above, nobody is being converted, nobody's mind gets changed. That's why churches and other Christian organizations don't do evangelism anymore. Evangelism is not the goal. Everybody is just trying to make the right enemies to keep the contributions rolling in.

And to keep conservatives eating chicken at Chick-fil-A.
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24 July, 2012

Two Alabama Public TV Executives Fired By Theocratic, Tea Party Affiliated, Activist Commissioners File Civil Suit

Thanks to Chuck Anziulewicz for the following update in the case of the 2 Alabama Public Television executives who were fired by Tea Party affiliated, theocratic, activist APT commissioners. According to the DemocraticUnderground.com story Chuck sent me, the two fired executives, Allan Pizatto and Pauline Howland, have filed a civil suit.

' "According to the lawsuit, “certain members of the Commission wanted to impose their own personal, political and religious views” on the commission and staff to guide the station’s programming, and at least one commissioner “has publicly expressed support for and aligned himself with a political group with a stated goal of defunding public broadcasting.” The Plaintiff also notes that a mass exodus of staffers and fundraisers followed the firings and that a number of commissioners “made threats against the Plaintiff.” ' - source: DemocraticUnderground.com.

For more on how theocrats are trying to use taxpayer funded, public broadcasting to advance their political and religious agends, see my 23 July, 7 June and 20 January posts.

Higginbotham At Large welcomes comments as long as those comments are not anonymous or pseudonymous. Readers and "lurkers" may remain anonymous but there will be no anonymous or pseudonymous comments at Higginbotham At Large. No Ring of Gyges for you.

23 July, 2012

Two Public Television Executives Fired For Refusal To Air Theocratic Programming

Broadcasting & Cable reports that Alabama Public Television's board fired executive director, Allan Pizzato, and deputy director, Pauline Howland, presumably because Pizzato and Howland refused to air programming from WallBuilders, an organization whose stated mission is to present "America's forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built." 

Let me translate. WallBuilders wants to redact America's history in accordance with founder David Barton's teachings that America should be a Christian nation with no separation of church and state. If you've ever watched Glenn Beck, you've probably seen David Barton preaching his theocratic vision for America.

So far, all of the involved parties are mum about why Pizzato and Howland were fired but "minutes from recent AETC meetings reveal that commissioners had been working behind the scenes to pressure APT's professional staff to broadcast programs from evangelical historian and conservative activist David Barton." says Current.org. 

If Current.org and Broadcasting & Cable got the story right, Howland and Pizzato were right to resist pressure from commission member, Rod Herring and others who want to use a taxpayer-funded public broadcasting service to distort American history and promote a Glenn Beck/David Barton style theocracy in which there is no separation of church and state.

Read my 7 June and 20 January archives to learn about how West Virginia Public Broadcasting's staff has been promoting Christianity through its programming.

Higginbotham At Large welcomes comments as long as they are not anonymous or pseudonymous.  

18 July, 2012

How Best Buy Can Turn Its Browsers Into Buyers

As investors already know, Best Buy (stock symbol BBY) is best known these days as "Best Browse" because people go to Best Buy to look at a product before they buy it through an online retailer. Some stock mavens predict that Best Buy won't survive. When Best Buy is mentioned on Mad Money With Jim Cramer, viewers always hear the "SELL, SELL, SELL" sound effects and see the Bear graphic.

But I don't think Best Buy has to die if they remember that there are certain types of manufacturers who cannot sell their products without a brick and mortar distribution network where knowledgeable brick and mortar employees demonstrate those products, answer questions and provide a little tech support.

Unfortunately, Best Buy isn't handling products from companies who need them. Best Buy is handling the products of companies who sell to all Best Buy's competitors and, in some cases, even directly compete with Best Buy via their own online stores. Bose, for example, is as much a direct competitor as they are a Best Buy vendor. I say drop Bose and replace their products with the products of a company that really needs Best Buy, a company that doesn't sell their products through an online store (or will agree to cease doing so), a company that absolutely can't sell their products unless customers can experience them in person at a brick and mortar retailer. 

Best Buy is squandering its chance to become the exclusive listening room and exclusive distributor for companies that have little or no brick and mortar dealers and desperately need exposure Best Buy can provide. Many of these manufacturers would gladly forsake all other forms of retailing for the chance to get their products into Best Buy stores nationwide and the chance to train Best Buy employees how to demonstrate, sell and service those products. Audio manufacturers like Cambridge Audio, Rotel, Bowers-Wilkins, Peachtree Audio, Creek Audio, MBL and others with little or no American distribution might jump at the chance to make Best Buy their listening rooms. 

But Best Buy would have to do some jumping, too. They would have to do a much better job at turning browsers into buyers. I was in the Charleston, WV yesterday. Some of the speakers weren't hooked up to the showroom demonstration console and some of the speakers were misnumbered so it was hard to compare speakers with the push of a button. No Best Buy employees offered to help or even seemed to notice that I was giving off buying signals. 

An entire generation of Americans have grown up listening to music on tiny earbuds from an MP3 device and they have no idea what their favorite music is supposed to sound like. Best Buy has the opportunity to introduce the iPod generation to true high fidelity sound and to sell that generation its first quality home sound system.

And after Best Buy gets its act together and learns how to leverage and monetize its clout as The Listening Room for serious audiophiles, they can do us all a favor and demand that manufacturers stop making components that are black and ugly. Did you ever notice that virtually every TV, every Blu Ray player, every CD player and all the home entertainment furniture is black? Who sent out that memo? When Best Buy gets their act together and become The Listening Room for mid-to-high-end audio manufacturers they can use their retail muscle to influence manufacturers to build components that look as good as they sound.
Higginbotham At Large comments policy: If you submit a comment pseudonymously or anonymously, that comment will not be published. For those of you who use the word "outsource" when you mean "offshore", the word "pseudonymously" means under a name not your own. It doesn't matter if I recognize your pseudonym and know your identity. No Ring of Gyges for you. 

17 July, 2012

Democrats: To Beat Mitt Romney By Chanting The Same Word Over And Over You Must Use The Right Word

When Democratic politicians start using the word "outsource" they remind me of a boss I once had at a company that both outsourced and offshored. When this boss learned a new word, which is to say she learned how to say it but not when to use it, she would throw the word around incorrectly drawing suppressed sniggers or looks of confusion from her underlings. Later, when The Boss was gone, we would warn each other that Our Boss had learned how to say a word she didn't yet understand.

Yesterday during his appearance on the Martin Bashir Show, Democratic strategist, Julian Epstein, demonstrated that he knows when to use the word "offshore" and when to use the word "outsource". I find that encouraging. Since the journalists won't call them on it when guests incorrectly use the word "outsource" and its variants, perhaps Democratic strategists like Julian Epstein can hold a seminar for Democratic politicians and teach them that if they want to beat Mitt Romney by repeating a word over and over, they need to use the right word.

In fact, I was so encouraged to see a Democrat using the correct business term on Martin Bashir's show that I am inspired to teach my Democratic politician friends another term they should learn if they want to sound smarter and more business savvy than they are: the term is "BPO" (business process outsourcing"). It's common and it doesn't necessarily cause a net decrease in American jobs.

There is a whole industrial class of companies called BPOs. These BPOs - or business process outsourcers - do exactly what their name implies. They perform a process or a function for other companies. One such company is a huge American company called ACS which was recently acquired by  Xerox. ACS runs call centers, mail centers, data centers and performs all manner of functions for companies who, for one reason or another, don't wish to perform those processes for themselves. When a company outsources a function to ACS that function might be performed in the US or it might be performed offshore. If they perform it in the US, they employ Americans. If they perform that function or process offshore - say in India - American jobs are lost.

If the Democrats hope to beat Mitt Romney just by chanting the same word over and over they need to use the right word. When voters who work for BPOs hear Democrats calling Mitt Romney an outsourcer, they just gave these BPO employees a reason to like Mitt Romney. Millions of Americans are employed by BPOs. Right here in the Kanawha Valley hundreds of people work for TRG, a BPO that runs call centers for other companies.

But no American likes an "offshorer" - a guy who fires Americans and gives their jobs to other countries so if Democrats want to beat Romney by repeating a word over and over let that word be "offshore".

Oh, and with any luck the word "offshore" will do Romney double harm because it might remind voters about his offshore bank accounts opened with money he earned by offshoring American jobs.

For more on understanding the difference between "outsourcing" and "offshoring" see my July 15 post on the archive.
Higginbotham At Large comments policy: If you submit a comment pseudonymously or anonymously, that comment will not be published. For those of you who use the word "outsource" when you mean "offshore", the word "pseudonymously" means under a name not your own. It doesn't matter if I recognize your pseudonym and know your identity. No Ring of Gyges for you. 

15 July, 2012

To My Fellow Democrats: Don't Say "Outsourcing" When You Should Say "Offshoring"

Democrats who keep using the word "outsourcing" when they should be using the word "offshoring" sound like the business illiterates Republicans say we are and journalists who allow the use of the word "outsourcing" when the speaker should have said "offshoring" are simply not doing their jobs.

Just in case I have readers who need to learn the difference between "outsourcing" and "offshoring", let me provide definitions and examples.

First, let's talk about that overused word "outsourcing". Outsourcing, contrary to what some Democrats apparently believe, does not always result in the loss of an American job. Outsourcing occurs when company A contracts with company B to perform a function that company A doesn't wish to perform for itself. For example, if your American company doesn't want to hire a janitor and finds that it's adequate to contract with a janitorial service to come in 3 times a week to clean the office, your company has just outsourced a job but you have not eliminated any American jobs because the janitorial service is hiring people on American soil and is paying taxes in America. If a hospital hires Filipino nurses to work in their American hospital they have outsourced but they have not offshored. Those Filipino nurses are working in America, buying American goods and services and saving the lives of Americans in American hospitals.

Now, Democrats and news media, let me introduce you to what is apparently a new word to some of you: "Offshoring". Offshoring occurs when an American company builds a research and development center in the Philippines so they can fire "expensive" American engineers and replace them with cheaper Filipino engineers. Offshoring occurs when American workers are replaced with workers who don't live or pay taxes or spend their money in America.

Within a space of one hour I heard Dick Durbin and Rahm Emanuel on Sunday morning TV shows using the word "outsourcing" when they should have said "offshoring". The TV journalists didn't correct them.

Journalists, do your jobs.

Democrats, learn a new word. Stop reinforcing  the Republican narrative that Democrats don't know anything about business.
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14 July, 2012

More On Breaking Bad Season 5

Again, if you have only recently become addicted to Breaking Bad and you're trying to finish watching seasons 1-4 before the season 5 premiere tomorrow night at 10 PM, be warned that this post contains spoilers.

A pseudonymous would-be commenter asked what Jesse will do i season 5 but I couldn't publish his comment because I don't publish pseudonymous or anonymous comments. 

Let me tell you what I think would be fun in season 5: Walt and Jesse open the best coffee shop in Albuquerque using Gayle's formula and brewing method. In season 3 episode 6, Walter meets his overqualified lab assistant, Gayle Boetticher, for the first time and is treated to a cup of Gayle's coffee steaming hot from the coffee machine Gayle built himself. Gayle explains his theory of how to make great coffee to Walt so Walt knows how to make Gayle's coffee.

Jesse had to kill Gayle at the end of season 3. 

If you didn't see my season 5 predictions, look at yesterday's post in the archives.
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13 July, 2012

Breaking Bad Season 5 : Predictions

When the Charleston Gazette's Amy Robinson wrote her Breaking Bad season 5 tease, she inspired me to offer some Breaking Bad season 5 predictions.

Warning, if you are a new Breaking Bad addict and you're trying desperately to watch seasons 1-4 before the season 5 premiere (10PM Sunday July 15) this is a spoiler alert. I can't make my season 5 predictions without mentioning things that happened in seasons 1-4.

First, we're going to find out that, despite killing Gus Fring and destroying his superlab, Walt's season 4 finale declaration that he has "won" is premature. The Germans,  the people at Madrigal Electromotive GmbH  who bankrolled the superlab, are not going to be happy that Walt destroyed their superlab and killed their drug kingpin. If Walt has "won", where's the season 5 tension? No, Walt hasn't won. The Germans are coming.

Second, I predict that Walt's brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank Schrader, will figure out that the elusive "Heisenberg", maker of the 99% pure blue meth, is Walter White and, I predict that Hank will NOT arrest Walt. He'll look the other way because, Breaking Bad's recurring theme was summarized in a flashback scene from Season 3 episode 7 when Tio Salamanca horrifyingly taught future cartel hit men, Leonel and Marco Salamanca , that "family is all". 

I have a running argument with some of my friends about this last prediction. Some Breaking Bad addicts don't think Hank is smart enough to figure out that "Heisenberg" is Walter White. But while it's true that Hank isn't exactly an intellectual, he has shown that he is a pretty good investigator - and he already has all the clues he needs to put the puzzle together. I mean, the season one "break-in" at the high school science lab gave Hank reason to suspect Walt but Hank simply can't follow the clue trail to Walt because, well, Hank can't see Walt as a criminal. I predict that in season 5 Hank will amass such overwhelming evidence that Walt is the elusive “Heisenberg” that he will have to decide whether to arrest Walt or look the other way. I say he will look the other way because “family is all.”
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06 July, 2012

Higginbotham At Large Welcomes Your Job Search Questions

A few days ago a fellow board member told me I should re-introduce myself to the Kanawha County Workforce Investment Board and write a little bio to remind them of why I was appointed to the WIB in the first place. 

OK, I'll do that in a moment but first I want to invite my fellow WIB members to submit suggestions about the topics I should write about on my blog. 

As my regular readers know, I already write a considerable number of posts about job search and career topics but now that I'm on the WIB I  think I should do more. 

Send your topic suggestions or job search questions to JosephHigginbotham@gmail.com.

Here's why I'm qualified to write about job search:

Over the past few decades I've earned a considerable percentage of my income by finding executive and technical talent for clients. I'm not a "recruiter I'm an executive search consultant or "headhunter".

I've found architects, engineers, sales reps, licensed healthcare professionals of all types and managers at all levels of responsibility for both private and publicly-traded companies.

I've served as an expert panelist for college career counseling departments, an on-air job search guest expert for radio stations, a job search workshop presenter/facilitator and, of course, I've written job search and career articles for magazines.
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05 July, 2012

The Casey Anthony Story We Want But HLN Won't Tell Us

Attention HLN, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace and everybody else at HLN: Casey Anthony is not the story. Casey Anthony's parents are the story. Tell us about them.

If HLN were a novelist and their coverage of Casey Anthony were the novel, the novel's fatal flaw would be its failure to develop the two most important characters: George Anthony and Cindy Plesea Anthony.

Yes, the "Tot Mom" who many believe got away with the murder of her 3-year-old is back in the news but we don't care. Her lawyer, Jose Baez, wrote a book and we don't care because Baez' book won't tell us what we want to know: how Casey Anthony became Casey Anthony. That's the story we want and it's the story HLN won't tell us.

We'll buy a book written by someone who knew the Anthonys and the Pleseas back in Niles, Ohio.

We'll buy a book written by a Casey Anthony classmate who hung out with her at the Anthony home  after school and remembers when Casey was a shy, quiet kid, not the party girl HLN thinks we want to hear about.

Why did George and Cindy cover up Casey's pregnancy for 7 months? How was Casey able to hide the baby bump from her own brother, Lee, while living under the same roof with him?

Why was Casey able to have a fake job for 2 years while she lived under her parents' roof? 

Why did Casey's parents let her fail to graduate from high school?

Why do some of Casey's childhood friends say Casey underwent a drastic personality change?  

What can former friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers back in Niles, Ohio tell us about the Anthony family?

Most of HLN's viewers will never experience the loss of a child but most of us are or will be parents and all of us are products of parenting so while we may not be able to emotionally connect with the cynical coverage of Casey Anthony, Hot Body Contestant we all worry that domicile may be destiny and that the parenting we received or gave is a determinism that may have already produced the next Casey Anthony.

Higginbotham At Large does not publish comments submitted anonymously or pseudonymously. For example, a comment submitted by JosephHigginbotham@gmail.com would be published. A comment submitted by "anonymous" or by "FuzzySlippers@Morons.com" would not be published.

04 July, 2012

Why Employers Should Learn To Use Linkedin (Instead of Paying For Employment Ads That Bring The Wrong Candidates)

Paid employment ads are helpful when you need to hire 100 call center workers or 50 temps but they aren't very useful when you need to hire a one-of-a-kind professional with very specific SKEs (skills, knowledge, experience).

For example, Charleston area DME (durable medical equipment) companies recently paid Charleston newspapers for ads they hoped would attract sales reps, customer service reps and managers. Whether the ads said so or not, these DME companies were hoping to attract applicants with DME experience. In fact, they hoped to attract applicants who were currently doing these jobs for a competitor but they probably didn't because people who already have a job aren't usually looking at employment ads. These people are called "passive candidates" because you can't attract them by running an ad, you have to go out and find them. You could hire a headhunter to do the job or you could learn how to use Linkedin and do it yourself. Over the years I've found respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, sales reps and all levels of managers and executives for DME companies and collected some ridiculous fees for doing so but I never, ever paid for ads since, as I said, ads only bring in people who are looking at ads, so why didn't these three Charleston area DME companies use Linkedin? 

With my free Linkedin account and a few minutes of my time I found dozens of  "passive candidates" within 25 miles of Charleston who currently work in the DME industry. Do you suppose some of these people might know somebody with DME experience who would be interested in a DME management, sales or customer service job? I also found hundreds of health industry people within 25 miles of Charlelston who work in places where they come into contact with DME people. Social workers. Physical therapists. Case managers. Respiratory therapists. Nurses. Pharmacists. Do you suppose some of these people may know people with DME experience who might want to talk to these paid advertisers about their management, sales and customer service openings? Of course they do. 

There are also dozens of DME-specific and health industry groups in Linkedin where these paid advertisers could meet thousands of DME professionals who might know somebody who wants those management, sales and customer service openings.

During my decades of headhunting I never found a DME sales rep or manager that the client couldn't have found on their own had they simply networked a little. In fact, on several occasions I was paid 5 figures for "finding" candidates the employer already knew. 

To find such passive candidates all they need is a free Linkedin account and the willingness to learn how to use it.
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