If you’ve spent any amount of time on a recruitment sales floor, you’ll know all about the lengths people will go to win business - specially when you're reaching month-end.
When you and your team still have numbers to get on the board, things can get heated and the next thing you know, the sales floor starts looking like a scene out of The Wolf of Wall Street!
Here are just a few of the most cringey sales tactics we've all seen in the office when everyone's trying to reach target.
1. Using lines from sales movies
There’s no denying that the classic sales movies can get you motivated to make those BD calls, but their one-liners should really stay on-screen.
Whether you’ve witnessed your colleague practising selling a pen like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street or shouting for the “Glengarry leads” during a tough BD session, I’m sure we can all agree that these lines are for the silver screen and not the recruitment sales floor.
I once heard a colleague channelling a young Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire when trying to win over a client. Unsurprisingly, the famous phrase “Help me, help you!” didn’t work out for him, and he had to face a real slagging from his team when he put the phone down.
This isn’t Hollywood, so instead of using lines from sales films, try using proven recruitment sales techniques to get results.
2. Repeating the same one-liners
There’s always a constant murmur of chatter and phones ringing on the recruitment sales floor. But one thing that always cuts through the noise (no matter how hard you try not to hear it!) is the sound of your colleague pulling out their trademark one-liner on every call.
The client doesn’t know they’ve said it a hundred times before, but you do. For example, “I don't mean to be presumptuous” and “I've pulled out all the stops to get you this offer” – these one-liners are unnatural and cringey because they reek of a silver-tongued salesperson who’s only in it for the cash!
So instead of repeating the same cringey lines every day, read up on top negotiating tips and you’re much more likely to wangle yourself a better deal with your client.
3. Overusing recruitment clichés
We're all guilty of using cringey recruitment clichés on calls with candidates and in job ads. These overused, unclear and unhelpful phrases have been done to death.
Here’s a few common recruitment clichés and what they really mean (and candidates know it!):
- "Are you happy to jump in at the deep end?" - this company won’t have time to train you
- "The role is a real mixed bag" - you’ll need to do whatever is thrown at you
- "A good sense of humour is a must" - are you easily offended?
- "You'll be regularly making new business enquires" – you’ll be cold calling (a lot)
There’s a whole lot of competition out there, so you need to be smarter about how you sell your jobs. Ditch the clichés and try some job-selling tactics that work.
4. Repeating the prospect’s name constantly
You might think you’re personalising the experience for your candidate by constantly repeating their name, but in reality, you’re coming across as a bit slimy and over-familiar. You don’t walk around the office repeating everybody’s name to them, so don’t do it on sales calls. Here’s how it sounds to prospects:
Recruiter: “Hi, is that Andrew?”
Prospect: “Yes it is, how can I help?”
Recruiter: "Great! I’ll tell you why I am phoning Andy…is it okay if I call you Andy?"
Prospect: “Sure…I guess.”
Recruiter: “Ace! So Andy, good to speak to you Andy, I’m calling today about...Andy… Andy are you still there?”
It’s good to personalise your calls and emails, but don’t overdo it!
5. Begging for business
It’s the end of the month, your pipeline is looking light, and you need to bring a job on to meet your targets. You can see you won’t be getting a deal out anytime soon and the desperation is kicking in. You pull a few strings, call around but you’re still getting nowhere and you’re aware how you’re sounding to your colleagues around you... desperate.
At this point, it is crucial to understand (and respect!) that no means no. Don’t beg, just let it go.
Begging - whether outright pleading or slashing your rates - is embarrassing and unprofessional. You could damage your fees on future negotiations, or worse, lock yourself into bad terms with a client.
It’s more dignified to let the month end a little short and reflect on what you could do differently next month to keep your pipeline full.
If you cringed your way through this blog post, it could be time to update your recruitment sales strategy. Download the eBook to find out how.