July 20, 2018

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I Just Canít Get On the Phone

The biggest frustration that I hear about consistently from veteran recruiters is actually one of the easiest to solve. Itís the issue of not wanting to get on the phone. We can change the reluctance into action by modifying how we think, feel, and execute.

Here are five steps that you can take to elminate this issue from your desk. Don't let the simplicity of these exercises keep you from using them. Just because it is simple and not sophisticated doesn't mean it is ineffective. It doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to work.

  1. Create a habit of starting early. The sooner you start making calls in the day, the better those calls will be. Remember, this is a habit. A habit is really a goal that you donít need to think about or write down anymore. When you start setting the same goals of performance improvement over a period of time, eventually those goals become habits that you donít have to consider anymore. Performance improvement is really changing the way you think. Your success starts in your head, and if you can condition yourself to change your behavior, then you will re-wire your brain, which results in performance improvement.

  2. Set a goal to have five by nine. Make five connects by nine in the morning. Thatís five conversations. Perhaps they are just Ďcheck-in'sí to see if the candidate has the resume ready to email to you or if the client received and read the references. It doesnít really matter what these calls are if we are going to change your behavior, but it's a good idea to call those people whose conversations will bring the deal closer to a closure. Make those calls which are closest to the money because they bring you closer to a placement and remind you of how much fun this business really is. And if it's fun, you'll do more of it and stay on the phone the rest of the day.

  3. Slack off. Once you start making five calls by nine in the morning, then at that point take a ten minute coffee break. Once you get into this habit, you wonít start your morning routine with your coffee and reading the paper. Instead youíll start it with revenue-generating activities. Start your routine with five phone calls close to the money, then take a break and spend the ten minutes that you normally do at the beginning of the day reading the paper after you make your calls. First make your connects then slack off for ten minutes, but then get right back on the phone when your break is over.

  4. Get real and get accountable. Weíre recruiters for crying out loud. We donít do anything unless someone is going to check up on us. Show your manager this article and tell him or her that you want to start doing five by nine and to check in with you everyday until it becomes a habit. If you are a solo practitioner, find another solo practitioner and ask for help.

  5. Pretend you have already solved the issue. Spend three minutes imagining that you perform at a level you have never yet experienced. See yourself productive, effective, and doing the important things all the time. Success starts in our imagination. Once we start seeing ourselves succeeding then we start succeeding. Jack Nicklaus said that he never hit a golf ball that he first did not see going in the hole. See yourself the way you want to be and get your imagination involved.

Donít let the simplicity of these exercises keep you from trying them. Success really is a simple issue. Start today and see how easy it will be for you to get on and stay on the phone.

- Scott Love

Copyright © 2005 Scott T. Love

Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms and staffing agencies. His training website,, has become one of the largest free internet training sites for the industry. To have him show your staff how to produce more than they thought possible, call him at 828-225-7700.