Whilst social selling, networking and emailing often leads to new business in recruitment, our phones are still our biggest weapons – provided we know how to use them! But canvassing for new business is still an agency recruiter’s toughest challenge and rejection will always be a necessary evil of the job, so it’s easy to fall out of love with your phone when you’re having little success using it.
If you’re in a funk with your phone at the moment, here are some tips on how to make amends so you can bounce back and start smashing your targets again!
1. Focus on calls that are likely to convert
Making as many prospecting calls as possible to hiring managers in the hope that the laws of probability will somehow bring you some success is an old school technique that just doesn’t work anymore.
This kind of ‘spray and pray’ methodology will just make you dread the conversations you’re going to have each time you pick up the phone, and the vast majority of them will end in rejection.
We have so much information at our fingertips nowadays that there’s really no excuse for calling prospects without doing your research first so you’re confident they’ll be a right fit and likely to convert – and this will make your relationship with your phone so much better.
A great tip I learned from our Chief Fish Wendy from her own days doing recruitment BD was to “know who’s doing what and who’s doing it well”. That way, you can fill your recruitment pipeline with prospects who have cash in the bank and are most likely to convert to cash on the board – read Wendy’s strategy on how to do this here.
2. Become a warm-call-only zone
Nurturing a good relationship with your phone isn’t just about calling the right people – it’s about knowing exactly what you want to say when they pick up the phone too.
The easiest way to have a serious fall out with your phone is if you set yourself up for bad conversations by making ice cold calls without putting any effort into researching first. Do you have some solid background knowledge on the person you’re calling? And do you have answers to the most common questions recruiters face during calls to prospect, clients and candidates? Don’t go near the phone until you do!
If you make sure every call you make is a warm call, you’ll always pick up the phone feeling confident - and have more success as a result.
3. Embrace rejection and turn it into a positive
Unfortunately, rejection is just part and parcel of being a recruiter, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle when your prospect tells you they’re not interested in working with you on a role you’re confident you could fill with one phone call.
Fearing phone rejection will only make you slow down, procrastinate and become less effective at your job. And the key to not letting rejection make you want to hide under your desk or throw your phone out the window? Embrace it and take these 5 steps to turn every rejection into a positive!
Also, try spending some time developing some solid objection handling techniques like these so you know how to approach potentially awkward situations in the future. This will mean you’re always prepared to bounce back from even the most difficult conversations.
Which takes me to my next point…
4. Have better conversations!
Easier said than done, right? Well, there are some simple actions you can take today that will improve your phone conversations vastly. For example, talking more than listening, interrupting someone or asking a question but not listening to the answer because you’re too busy thinking about what you want to ask next... these are all examples of small subconscious negative habits many of us practice when we speak to people on the phone and they all make the experience of a conversation a lot less enjoyable.
The first in this list of great TED talks for recruiters has loads of tips on how to improve the conversations you have every day. Well worth a watch!
Cover all these points each time you go to pick up the phone and you can guarantee the nature of your calls will improve, you’ll enjoy picking up the phone again and your figures will improve massively as a result.
And once you start having these positive calls with prospects and clients, you’ll be in a great position to start approaching the possibility of retained business with them! Download the eBook below to find out how to package up and sell a retainer offering that clients can’t refuse.
Joanne is a Senior Growth Specialist at Firefish. She loves bringing on board new recruiters who are looking to recruit smarter.