Referrals, organic growth and repeat business are the ideal scenario for running a recruitment desk but successful recruiters know that in reality there will always have to be time dedicated to new business acquisition.
I meet many, many recruiters that have a dislike for chasing new business and this can have a crippling effect on running a consistently profitable business. The first line of defence is generally ‘’I’m not good at closing sales’’ or ‘’I’m really bad at sales’’ or ‘‘I really don’t know how to push through objections’’. But when we really start to investigate where the problem lies, it is often way back at the beginning of the interaction with the client – there can be no middle or end, without a good beginning after all.
Whether it be on a call, in a chance meeting or at a networking event, it’s a common mistake for recruiters to talk about recruitment almost immediately… and nothing turns a client off more! You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make yours count.
Top 10 tips for approaching new clients:
1. Relevant targeting. Identify and target companies and connections which are relevant to your aims and capabilities. The more focused your targeting, then the more receptive your prospects are likely to be.
2. Set an objective. Setting an objective will give you structure and direction when making sales calls. A good objective has 2 parts:
PURPOSE: Why are you are calling that particular client?
MEASUREMENT: Actions taken either during or following the call that show the result.
3. Plan your call opening. Don’t wing it! Do your research, make sure you have enough information about the company so that you sound knowledgeable and interested in their business.
4. Build credibility. This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and gain the client’s interest, differentiate yourself – be sure to explain briefly that you are a specialist in your field
5. Have a good business reason to call. Your preparation will pay off now! Refer to something of interest to the client. It should always include the words ‘you’ or ‘your’. It is at this point when you should stop talking about yourself and start talking about their business. That is what they want to talk about!
6. Don’t be a RAT. When calling a known agency user, bear in mind that this person will receive calls from agencies on a regular basis – some more than 30 every day! These clients are probably more skilled at getting rid of recruiters than recruiters are at making the calls in the first place… they are experts at sniffing out R.A.T.S and as soon as they hear the following words, alarm bells ring that may make them end the call quite quickly:
Instead of talking about RATS, focus your questioning on the client and their business.
7. Leave the sales pitch at home. When you start a sales call with a pitch about yourself, your company or your candidates, the client is most likely to disengage after the first 10-15 seconds. Some great ways to start the conversation and avoid selling too early may be: Topical issues
Products and services
Projects or peaks in business
Expansion, growth or organisational restructures
8. Build Rapport. Remember at this stage in the call you are unknown to the client, why would they honestly answer any of your recruitment based questions?
9. Ask open questions. When opening a call, it is vital to also keep the questioning style open. Open questions (beginning with what, which, why, where, when, who or how) will elicit more descriptive answers and limit the chances of the call closing too quickly. If a client can answer yes or no to your question, then you may find you have closed down your own call open. Here’s some examples for you:
Closed Question: Are you currently recruiting at the moment?…… No! The client has a perfect opportunity to end the call with you right now!
Open Question: Great news about your new project, what is your involvement with the planning for this?
10. Have personal integrity. Always keep your integrity – it is vital for trust to develop. Trust is simply not possible without integrity. Building trust is essential for growing a strong business network. These qualities require you to be genuinely interested in others; to listen properly, and to reflect back meaningfully and helpfully.
So next time you pick up the phone to speak to a new client, I challenge you not to talk about recruitment as a first line of questioning….. Be topical, relevant, take a genuine interest in them and their business and you may find that statistically your prospects say ‘no’ less often.
All listed public workshops can be tailored to your specific organisational requirements. Talk to a member of the Fusion team about how we can develop customised programs to incorporate client specific examples, case studies and industry focused examples.