We all know that we should keep in regular contact with our clients, even if we don’t have current requirements with them. But what kind of contact is the right frequency to stay at the front of their minds when the next role comes up, without coming across as annoying, or just plain fishing for jobs?
There’s no definitive answer and every client will be different, but here are five good ways to gain your client’s respect:
1. Making a placement
Naturally, you’ll be in close contact with your clients when negotiating offers and placements, but remember not to disappear as soon as everyone says yes! It’s easy to consider your part done once the client and candidate have all the offer details, start dates, etc., but sometimes this isn’t the case. Clients may still contact you about getting references, invoicing queries, even putting together an induction program.
Even if you’re not the person who can help them, a quick, “I’ve copied in our accounts team who should be able to help you with that,” or scheduling a call to offer advice when it’s convenient should do the trick. This way, you gently point in the right direction and can decide what to deal with yourself, without taking too much time out in the process – good job!
2. Connect and/ or follow on social media
If you’re not connected with your client already on LinkedIn, or following the company on social media, do it now! Personalise your invitation with something as sweet and short as, “It was great working with you on the consultant role as always – let’s keep in touch.” This makes the invite more deliberate, as opposed to one click of 30 on the “people you may know” screen and lets your client know that, yes, you would like to keep in touch and build the relationship.
3. Make connections count and be visible
Once you’ve connected on social media, don’t disappear. As much as possible, read the updates / articles they’ve shared and show that you’re engaged with them by adding valuable comments where possible. Something like, “totally agree,” is unlikely to bump up your credibility; think along the lines of, “Great post – your point about cybersecurity really stood out for me as our agency has been working hard to ensure that our websites and systems are secure, from a data protection perspective. Will be really interesting to see how this affects recruitment in IT in the coming months.” With this, you are inviting further discussion and showing that you and your client care about the same things.
Really like the post? Why not share it yourself and tag your client with a comment to say why you found it share-worthy!
4. Review calls
This should be an obvious one. Check in with your client every so often to make sure your placed candidate is still doing well and identify any potential issues early on. Hopefully things are going well and there’s not much to say, but don’t just hang up after 23 seconds; use this as an opportunity to mention that article again or congratulate your client on winning that award last week. This shows that you’re paying attention and aren’t just calling to get more jobs.
5. Follow up on leads
That being said, there will be times when you see a new job ad, or hear about a vacancy through the grapevine but you haven’t been approached with any requirements. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your client and investigate the situation. Highlighting that you have expertise and offering a helping hand should hopefully gain more interest than that template “can I send you some CVs” email you put together in your fourth month in recruitment.
How else do you like to earn trust and respect from your clients? Are there any good ways in which people keep in touch with you? Let me know in the comments below.
Cassandra is a Tester, UX enthusiast, blogger, speaker, software investigator, quality activist. Ex-product owner, -business analyst.