In this article, leading Recruitment Sales Training Expert Andy Preston looks at 5 common mistakes most Recruiters make, when it comes to cold calling prospects/clients in particular…….
We already know that being (or getting to be) a top performer in Recruitment isn’t easy. There is usually hard work, long days and plenty of low points (as well of high points) along the way – candidates not turning up for interviews, clients not giving feedback, candidates getting counter-offers and many things like that.
And one of the hardest parts of the job? Cold Calling.
The art of winning new business and new clients over the phone is one of the toughest parts of any sales job, but especially in recruitment. We’re calling people that already have an existing agency they use, have a PSL, or refuse to use agencies at all!
And yet it’s our job to convince them to use us, and to let us find someone on their behalf. And they have to pay a not-insignificant fee for that privilege.
We know we’re going to face objections, rejection and probably ‘stubborn refusal’ from the majority of people that we’re going to be calling. So how do we ensure we get the best results possible, start to fill our pipeline full of vacancies and generate sustainable revenue going forward?
Let’s start by making sure we’re avoiding these 5 common Recruitment cold call mistakes…..
A common mistake that most Recruiters often make, is that they fail to prepare for their sales calls properly. This can range from not having the right details for prospects, or sometimes not even having a list of people they want to call prepared BEFORE the day (or the calling session) starts!
I can guarantee you that a lack of preparation will almost ALWAYS show up in your calls somewhere. Whether it’s an objection that you weren’t prepared for (and therefore don’t handle that well), a question a prospect asks you that you can’t answer or getting caught out because you don’t know a key piece of information, it WILL catch up with you!
Make sure you are prepared and ready BEFORE your calling sessions! You ARE running calling sessions properly, aren’t you?
This is a mistake I see many salespeople (not just Recruiters) make. They fail to separate existing customers and prospects in their mind. Not just into separate calls lists that they should call at separate times (although they need to do that too!). They fail to separate the two types of calls in their approach.
So what do I mean by that? I mean that they call prospects as if they were existing customers. They don’t mentally separate between the two. Which means they’re often caught off-guard and unprepared for the sort of reactions and objections they can face from ‘new business’ prospect calls.
This also appears in their questioning. In other words, they ask prospects the same questions they would ask their existing customers. This makes no sense. Especially when you consider they don’t have the same level of rapport with them, same level of business relationship with them, and definitely not the same history as them! Definitely a bad idea.
This is a major problem I often see in a competitive sales environment, and especially Recruitment! Failure to differentiate from your competition in a very competitive market is sales suicide!
Differentiation MUST start early in the process, for the decision maker to even have a chance of seeing you as different at the end of it! And these days, differentiation is very difficult to do based on your product or service, or even your company name and reputation. Therefore differentiation is down to the salesperson, or consultant in the case of recruitment.
In order to be perceived as different, you need to behave differently. You need to say different things to competitors, do different things to competitors and behave differently to competitors, all as early in the sales process as possible!
You can’t say, act, and behave like the competition, then complain when decision makers don’t see you as different from them! Start to differentiate, now!
Let’s face it – if you’re going to cold call, you’re going to get rejection. However the majority of consultants making business-to-business phone calls aren’t resilient enough.
As an example, think about how many times that you (or a member of your team) haven’t handled an objection well enough? Think about how many times someone you know has got up to make a drink, started reading their emails or called an existing customer when they were meant to be cold calling?
You have to have a certainly amount of resilience to be in recruitment to cope with the ‘knockbacks’. It’s even more important in cold calling, where you’re going to get more rejection than ever!
Do you or your team fall over at the first objection? At the first bad call? Or are you resilient enough to carry on and get results from your calls?
Okay, so the 4 mistakes above were important, and this one is probably THE most important of all. The majority of Recruiters fail to get enough commitment from their clients, and this is very much the case when they’re cold calling as well.
The problem is, most of the commitment falls on the Recruiter’s side. Ever committed to sending some information? In that case the commitment probably was more on YOUR side than theirs. Who committed to sending the information? You did! Did they even commit to reading it? By a specific time? If not, the commitment was probably all yours! Can you see how this happens?
The more commitment you can gain from a client, the more likely the ‘next steps’ you have proposed will happen. Fail to gain commitment and be prepared for the client to ‘forget’ you next time you call, not do what you asked, or fall into an endless loop of call-backs where they keep saying ‘I haven’t had time to look at the information you sent yet’. Sound familiar?
If you want some help getting your team to get far better results from their cold calling and prospecting efforts, call +44 (0) 161 401 0142 or contact Andy here……..