Considering this year’s market predictions that involve a period of stagnancy for most recruitment businesses, diving into your pipeline and making the most of it is key to staying afloat. And yes, that includes the dreaded task – contacting your lost clients. Research shows that increasing your retention rate by only 5% can increase your profits by as much as 25% to 95%! And it might not be as hard – or impossible – as you think! You just need the right strategy.
Research the issue they had with you in the first place
Let’s be honest, you probably don’t remember every single lost client – neither do I. So before reaching out to them again, you need to do your research on why you lost them in the first place. Whether it was a competitor that offered something you couldn’t, or something else, make sure you dig deep and really understand the problem. Although it is important for you to try and understand the reasons for them leaving, it is equally important that you do not get too hung up on this – you don’t want anxiety to get the better of you! You are just looking to gain insight, so you have a better understanding of how the call may go.
Become the problem solver
After you find out what the issue was for the customer no longer using your services, it’s time to show them how you improved over time – so now you can exceed their expectations. There could have been a number of reasons why the customer has gone elsewhere for their recruitment, i.e. it may have been a bad hire, they were not happy with the service levels that had been provided previously, or they started using another agency simply because they established a stronger relationship with them. Once you have done some digging, it is time for you to put a plan together to solve the issue. Make sure you have solid examples of how you are solving other businesses’ recruitment problems, case studies, referrals, and any other past successes that have to do with the same area.
Don’t be afraid of objections
Chances are if the client has already turned you down once, he will have objections this time as well – and ones that might be even harder to overturn. Make sure you are prepared, starting with repeating the ones they gave you before. It is also important to listen to their concerns, as they may be different from the ones they gave you before. Don’t go into the meeting thinking you already know what they’re going to say! Once you are certain you fully grasped their struggles, show them how things can be different this time around. The key here is to show your prospect how much you’ve improved over time!
Address their concerns first
Contacting a lost client, your first instinct might be to approach them as if they were a new one – but that’s recipe for disaster. Don’t be afraid to start by addressing their previous concerns – it will show them that you not only remembered their issues but also did the work to solve them (otherwise you wouldn’t bring them up). It will let the customer know they are valued, which is a great way to warm up the lost relationship! There would be nothing worse than going onto a BD call with an ex-customer as if nothing ever happened.
Create a special offer for them
Since the client already knows you – and they’ve decided, for whatever reason, that they don’t like you or what you’re offering, you can’t simply approach them with the very same proposition you had last time. To make it worthwhile, think of bringing something to the table that wasn’t there before. Unfortunately, simply showing them how you will resolve the issue they had and how you will do things differently might not work these days – so adding some sprinkle onto that cake might just be your golden ticket!
To learn about creating a bulletproof pitching strategy, have a read of our eBook!
Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.