Whether you’re a seasoned recruiter or a rookie being thrown straight in at the deep end, canvassing for new business is one of the toughest challenges of the job. Which is why developing good practice when it comes to your business development strategy is key for making best use of your time and ensuring you reach your targets every month.
With this in mind, here are 5 key business development tactics that every recruiter should be regularly practicing.
1. Warm calling
It’s likely you’ve heard people talking about how ‘cold calling is dead’ in discussions about sales tactics, but try telling that to a recruiter! Our BD strategies will always involve picking up the phone to call prospects (and yes, even after GDPR!).
However, it’s true that successful calling strategies have changed in the sense that prospects should always be warmed up before you call them. Nowadays, there's really no reason to call a prospect and them not have at least a vague idea of who you are first.
Do this by connecting with your prospect on LinkedIn, for example, or ask an existing client for an introduction. This might sound like it involves a lot more effort than just picking up the phone and trying your luck, but you’ll see how much it pays off when you consider your call-win ratio!
2. Sharing success stories
You can rant and rave all you like about you and your agency’s success in the business, but where’s your solid proof?
Prospects will be hearing the same recruitment pitches day in, day out from numerous other recruiters, so the thing that’s most likely to push them over the line is some evidence that you do great work.
If you have a great relationship with a client, or have helped them with a particularly difficult challenge that the prospect can relate to, approach them and ask for a testimonial (video testimonials are really effective in BD) that you can then host on your website or even send to prospects directly by email.
3. Marketing yourself as an expert
Investing in the social selling aspect of your BD is one of the single most important strategies for recruiters.
If you use social media effectively, share the right content (including your own blogs on relevant topics), and provide a valuable and knowledgeable contribution to discussions within your network, you should even be able to get to the stage that you’re getting enough referrals and recommendations that you won’t have to make half as many prospecting calls.
This is the kind of tactic that does wonders when it comes to keeping your sales pipeline full as a recruiter, provided you keep it up!
4. Focussing on quality, not quantity
Making hundreds of dials in the hope that the laws of probability will carry you to your sales goals is a BD tactic guaranteed to get you nowhere. The days of call volume KPIs are long gone!
Yes, you should be picking up the phone as much as possible, but the quality of your calls matter much more than the number of calls you make. And the key to having better quality calls with your prospects? Doing your research!
If you’re in a position that you’re able to have a more engaging conversation from the very start because you actually know who exactly who it is you’re calling, what they do and what their hiring challenges may be, you’ll have a much higher chance of conversion.
My best tip for ensuring a solid focus on quality in BD is to make sure you always know the answer to these 6 questions.
5. Leveraging every success to create new business leads
If you know you’ve done a great job for your client, as soon as that placement is in the bag you should be thinking about what you can do to leverage this into an opportunity for your next lead.
And how do you do this? By asking for a referral, an intro, or a social media recommendation – even just a tag in the comments of a relevant LinkedIn post or something similar can work wonders to keep the ball rolling and help create a healthy inbound recruitment sales process.
And if you're interested in seeing an example of what a successful referral intro email might look like, check out our business development email tool below.