So you’re reaching the pressure point of month end and your target line for winning new business looks about as achievable as finding a purple squirrel. How do you get back on track and ensure you smash those targets every month? Here’s where a bit of playing hard to get in recruitment can come in handy…
Catch them off guard
The next time a prospect asks you the question “Why should I do business with you?” why not try giving them an answer they don’t expect…
“At the moment, I’m not sure if you should”
Using this kind of reverse psychology in sales will help you stand out from your competitors. Not only this, but it also encourages you to take a step back and resist jumping straight into your pitch of products and services – which can often result in the prospect throwing their guard up.
“Are you happy with me asking some questions first to determine if I can help you?”
This response should remove the pressure of the question and opens things up for a more relaxed conversation. Conveniently, it also gives you another opportunity to ensure you fully understand the client’s needs before answering what is a really difficult question, and shows you aren’t taking the ‘one size fits all’ approach.
These answers will catch your prospect off guard, as they’ll be expecting the usual song and dance about how your agency is the best and only option – in other words, the exact same response they’ve had from recruiters one, two and three before you!
Offer them more with less
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overwhelming your prospects with too much information when you’re eager to secure your next job. But when presented with too many options, it’s likely they’ll either start to over-think the situation, or become so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to start. A common result of this is that the prospect will slip into ‘action paralysis’ and no decision or action will be taken at all.
When I’m asked “What does Firefish do?” I don’t dump everything I believe to be amazing about our software on a prospect’s lap. Rather, I’ll focus on one or two points in a condensed 30-second pitch. As my guide to creating the perfect elevator pitch explains, keep it short and engaging and this will leave your prospect wanting to know more.
By keeping your offerings to a minimum and focusing on what you do best, this gives your prospect a chance to digest everything you’ve said and allows them to get a better grasp of what’s on the table.
Put the ball in your prospect’s court
Rather than pushing your prospect for a decision (you guessed it – prospect’s guard activated!) or telling them you’ll call at specific time and day for an answer, try placing the ball in their court instead.
A simple closing sentence such as “I’ll be led by you - what would you like the next steps to be?” can really pay off, as if you give someone more autonomy in their decisions, they’ll tend to trust you more. This option also indicates to your prospect that you value their time and are taking their busy schedule in to consideration.
Finally, when you’re at the point of sending a follow up email, send some positive client testimonials to back up what you’ve been telling them and let hard proof do the work for you. This technique will again remind the prospect that the ball is very much in their court, whilst empowering them to do their own research and ultimately come to a decision on their own.
So if you’re behind on your targets as the month comes to an end, give these reverse psychology sales techniques a try – you’d be surprised how far a bit of playing hard to get can take you!
Joanne is a Senior Growth Specialist at Firefish. She loves bringing on board new recruiters who are looking to recruit smarter.