What would happen to your desk if every client and candidate increased their willingness to follow your lead if all you had to do was ask two simple questions?
Try this the next time you finish up a conversation with either a client or a candidate. After you are through telling them about your protocols and when you are done establishing expectations, ask them this: "Are you okay with that, John?" This is a simple and soft trial close that will usually elicit an affirmative response. That means that they have verbally agreed to comply with how you run the search. Just this simple act of them giving you a verbal agreement gives you an increased likelihood of them complying with what you request. And that means everything when it comes to closing the deal.
Hereís the catch. Whatever you do has to be in their best interests. This is not manipulation. It is legitimate influence. People will do what is in their own best interests anyway, and if you try this type of technique with something that isnít a benefit for them, then itíll backfire on you and you will come across as selfish and manipulative. But if the candidate is interested in the opportunity, or if the client is interested in hiring you for the search, tell them what they can expect from you, what is expected from them, your protocols or procedures, and ask them that trial closing question.
The second question is appropriate after itís been a few days since youíve talked, and this type of phrasing is appropriate when you want to make sure that the candidate is still onboard or the client still has the opening. "Has anything changed since we talked last?" This question gives them permission to tell you that they received another call from a prospective employer or that a last-minute candidate magically appeared into the search process. It will save you countless hours. But it only works if you have developed the type of open and honest relationship with either the client or candidate from the beginning. Theyíll never tell you what you need to hear if they donít trust you.
Remember that a successful career in recruiting is a series of successful relationships, and by building appropriate and honest relationships, these two questions will give you more influence with your clients and candidates.
- Scott Love
Copyright © 2005 Scott Love
Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms by working as a consultant, in-house trainer, and keynote motivational speaker. Scott believes that burning desire outperforms natural talent and reminds his audiences that it was the tortoise who won the race. To have Scott inspire, motivate and train your team to bill more than they ever thought they could, call him today at 828-225-7700, ext. 11.