Surely there’s an alternative to cold calling?
There you are at your recruitment desk, bash bash bashing away at the phone, playing the numbers game with cold calling. And why not? It’s tried and tested! It works!
Sure. If you don’t mind making a whole lotta calls for depressingly low conversion ratios.
The toolkit for today’s modern recruiter is so much bigger than “smile and dial”.
If you’re stumped for different ideas, give this a shot:
1. Create a truly useful and interesting flyer that would appeal to the prospects in your market. What sort of information could you share that would help their business? Market insights? Strategies for reducing turnover? Tips on employer branding for attracting the best talent in their particular industry? Think of the sort of information that, at first, would seem as if you are trying to put yourself out of a job: information that could help them to do their own hiring/retention.
2. Get door knocking – who does that anymore? A small few, it’s certainly a point of difference.
3. DON’T ask to see the decision maker – in most cases you’ll be hard pressed to see them anyway so instead, charm the gatekeeper/receptionist. DO NOT put pressure on them to introduce you through to the decision maker. Keep it casual. Gather some good intel on the company if you can. If it feels right, ask for the hiring manager’s name. But don’t push it or risk coming across at all ‘salesy’. Get on their good side, get them to know, like and trust you.
4. Ask for a favour – Once you’ve built rapport and a proper connection, leave them with your truly useful and interesting flyer and ask them if they would do you a favour and pass it on to the appropriate person. If you’ve built your rapport well, they will. They will want to do that for someone as likeable as you.
5. Follow-up and offer more – check in with your new buddy the receptionist. Build that relationship a little more, check in on how the flyer you handed to them was received. Probe for more details of the person it was (or should be) delivered to. Ask if they would like to receive your next update on happenings in their industry. Would they like to receive the digital version in their email? (ensure you send or drop in a hard copy next time as well, remember – point of difference!)
6. Connect. Once you know your flyer has been received and viewed by the decision maker, you can reach out to them over LinkedIn. Join the groups they are in and post even more truly useful and interesting information. Ask them for advice. Invite them to connect. Stalk them at networking events; you should have plenty to talk about with the research you’ve done and gathered from the receptionist, but if all else fails – you’ve always got the really useful and interesting information from your flyer!
If you’d like to receive a whole swag of other cold calling alternatives, come and have a look at Win in Recruitment Without Cold Calls.