Last week I shared my recent blog article The Great Upskilling with recruitment legend, Greg Savage.
Greg and I have shared a few drinks together over the years and I have the utmost respect for the tremendous work he’s done in the recruitment industry. Greg and I were totally on the same page in agreeing that there is an urgent need to upskill recruiters with the very best business development techniques.
A few days later, Greg published 17 selling tips for recruiters. Once again, the advice he gave was excellent. Of course, it’s very difficult to cover everything in one article but if I can be so bold, I’d like to add one hugely important business development ingredient that’s missing in those 17 excellent tips.
It’s something that only the very best recruiters do.
And it’s critical in tough markets.
Closing for commitment to the next vacancy
Closing is the name of the game in recruitment – but, unfortunately, it’s not a game that many recruiters play particularly well.
Check this out for yourself. Which of the following scenarios do you see most often in your business when a recruiter returns to your office after meeting a prospect client to win new business?
Recruiter returning to the office after meeting a prospect client
Manager: “How did you get on?”
Recruiter: “Ah, she’s lovely. We got on so well and I built great rapport with her. It was an excellent meeting.”
Manager: “What problems did you uncover at the meeting?”
Recruiter: “Well, I found out that 6 out of every 10 candidates she interviews are unsuitable. I also uncovered that of the 15 people she’s hired this year, 4 of them left within six months and all of them outside the rebate terms of the other recruitment company.”
Manager: “What did you close for?”
Recruiter: “She’ll be calling me exclusively with her next vacancy, which is likely to be in eight weeks.”
This is a routine outcome for recruiters that know how to do it!!!!!!!
Selling is not about pushing and it’s not about just using your personality and building relationships.
It involves asking skillful, professional questions that uncover issues the prospect client didn’t even realise they had until you asked those skillful questions. And to then explain how your superior service can make those problems less likely when they recruit via you.
And crucially, to close for commitment…
So, what’s the best thing that you can close for with a prospect client who isn’t currently recruiting? Well, believe it or not, you can pick up vacancies and temp/contract requirements from clients that ARE NOT HIRING!!!
To access a 4-minute video of this a special technique simply comment on this article and DM me with the words “Reality Recruitment”. NB: one of my clients in Sydney used this little-known technique and won an account (with 20 temps) from a competitor and increased the charge to his new client.
Close for commitment
The next best thing you can get in the above scenario is a firm commitment from your prospect client to call you exclusively, or first, or alongside the current supplier the next time they hire. I promise you this is easy with the right training.
“But hold on Mike, how many of these people will actually stick to their word, even if you close them?”
Once again, that’s a training issue. But to give you a small steer on improving the percentage of prospects who do stick to their word, simply confirm their commitment from those meetings – and from subsequent follow-up conversations – in writing, like the examples below:
Example email after first meeting
It was good to meet with you earlier today.
I’m delighted that you will be calling me exclusively the next time you hire.
In the meantime, should you wish to discuss any other areas in which I can help you inject cost and time savings into your hiring strategy, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Example next follow up call:
“Great to catch up with you again Jenny. I appreciate you’re still not recruiting. Oh, by the way, I’d just like to say thanks once again for your commitment to work with me exclusively the next time you hire. I presume you’re still comfortable with that?”
Example email after first follow up call:
It was good to speak with you earlier – as discussed, let’s do lunch soon.
Also, many thanks once again for your commitment to work with me on an exclusive basis, the next time you hire.
That means a lot to me and I’m confident I’ll be able to help you find the right person and save a lot of time for you when you next recruit.
As you well know, many prospect clients perceive that recruiters provide roughly the same kind of service – irrespective of which recruitment companies they work for.
Establish a need and close for commitment
So how do you differentiate and win business from prospect clients who believe that all recruiters essentially provide the same service?
And why do most recruiters bill circa $150,000 per annum whilst a small minority bill $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more?
The simple answer to those questions is that big billers professionally establish a need for their services by asking better questions (it’s a training issue) and then close for commitment to the next vacancy rather than relying on some vague hope that those clients will notice how professional they are, that they’d ‘built good rapport’ or that their company has a good reputation in the marketplace.
The starting point to becoming a more effective closer is to be aware how easy it can be to get what you want. At a basic level, sometimes all you have to do is have the guts to ask for the business!! However, becoming a great closer obviously requires much more sophistication than that.
And the very best recruitment sales training.
To access the free Reality Recruitment video: Vacancies From Clients That Aren’t Hiring simply comment on this article with the words “Reality Recruitment” in your comment.
NB: One of our clients in Sydney used this little-known technique and won an account (with 20 temps) from a competitor and increased the charge to his new client.