It seems to be a typical practice in the world of independent recruiting to present or pitch a candidate on that first cold/sales call with a potential client. It is a bit of a baiting method, as you outline exactly what they need, but do not offer the candidate up officially until the contract is signed. Not only does it offer the client something immediate, but shows you know how to deliver value in your space. Here are five other collective cold calling strategies for recruiters to keep in mind as they work business development:
- If you do not have a candidate to pitch to a client, lead instead with an alternative hook. A good idea here is to lead with a list of who else you work with in that particular sector. By dropping a few good client names, you can then go further into some challenges those clients collectively have faced that you addressed, and then follow up with an inquiry as to if their company has some of those same challenges. You have opened the door to an active discussion, and likely kept their interest as we all love to hear what competitors’ challenges are and how they compare to our own.
- Calling the wrong prospects: Rather than making random canvass calls, be strategic about whom you call. Decide who your target market is. What is the profile of your ideal client? Identify companies who fit that profile. Prepare a prospect list made up of companies who you know have a requirement, and/or companies who are likely to have future potential. Call your hottest prospects first! At the end of each day, invest 15 minutes to create your call list for the following day. (source: Mark Whitby)
- Be prepared for questions. Echogravity posted an article from a client perspective on recruiter cold calls. In the article, the hiring manager was immediately pitched a Java developer even though the company does not have an IT department or Java applications. He tells recruiters to know these answers before placing a cold call: 1. Do I really know what this company does and why am I cold calling them? 2. Does the person I’m calling have a potential need for the services my company offers? 3. If they ask me tough questions, am I prepared to respond?
- Follow the formula. Jenifer Lambert, VP with Terra Staffing group, shared a successful formula for cold calling clients in an article on Dice that outlines her best practice. A. Identify the need: I see that you are currently recruiting for an XYZ position.
B. Diffuse the objection: I assume you are getting a lot of response to that advertisement.
C. Create differentiation: I wanted to connect with you because XYZ searches are one of my areas of specialization.
D. Demonstrate your market insight: My clients are telling me that they’re getting more quantity than quality and that the high performers they need are hard to find and recruit.
E. Provide a solution: That’s when they call me. I am working with several very strong XYZ candidates that I thought you may be interested in hearing about as a comparison to the response you’re getting on your own.
- Last but not least, do not give up too easily: The biggest cause of failure among sales people is giving up too soon: 48% quit after the first contact, 20% quit after the second contact, 7% quit after the third contact, 5% quit after the forth contact, 4% quit after the fifth contact, and yet 80% of customers say “yes” after the sixth contact! (source: Mark Whitby)