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December 13, 2017

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2 Minute Coaching: Follow-Up, Client Wounds and Discounts

This monthly article gives you quick, easy-to-implement ideas on various subjects. This month’s topics have to do with marketing follow-up, exposing client wounds and discounting.

Topic #1:

The Follow-Up Marketing Script:

Probably the least effective part of most marketing plans has to do with follow up or more specifically; the lack of consistent follow-up. One of the reasons for this is that many recruiters do not know what to say on a follow-up call. Often they get tripped up on coming up with a reason to call every 30 days.

Here is a simple follow-up question that you can use over and over with your clients: “Are there any types of candidates that you’d like me to keep an eye open for in the next 90 days?”

This question does a couple of very useful things for you. First off, it prevents procrastination as you now have an “evergreen” script for each follow-up call. Second, it positions you as someone who is trying to add value by acting as a talent scout for your client. Lastly, it avoids negative trigger words such as “openings” or “requisitions” that may make your prospect become defensive. You’re not asking if he any has official openings but rather if he would like you to keep an eye out for any particular skill set.

If the answer is “yes”, you drill down by asking good questions. If the answer is “no," you get off the phone quickly and move onto your next call. Topic #2 below will expand on the idea of asking questions to expose your client’s wounds.

Topic #2:

Is Your Client Wounded?

I love this simple but profound statement; “questions are the answer." It is your job as a recruiter to ask quality questions to expose your client’s wounds and to gather information. Below are some of my favorite client questions:

  • What do you like most about your current relationships with other search firms?
  • What do you like least about your current relationships with other search firms?
  • What qualities do you look for when you are selecting a search partner?
  • What are your perceptions about us?
  • What do you know about our firm?
  • What strengths do you perceive our firm to have that led you to invite us to speak with you?
  • What have you tried so far? How has that worked? Were you happy with the results?
  • What happens if this job remains unfilled (qualify urgency)?

Topic #3:

Should I discount my fees for a good, long-term client?

In general, if ever there is a good time to negotiate, it’s with a client that you’ve already made placements with, a client you have good cooperation with or a client that has multiple job orders. I am not a fan of offering discounts to brand new clients- they have not earned it. But, with a high quality client who has paid you fees, it may make sense to offer an incentive to keep them hooked into using your service.

Here are some discount options:

  1. You could offer a discount for each additional hire above a certain amount within a calendar year. This way it's not a blanket discount. It only applies to multiple hires. So for instance, maybe you knock $1,000 off of the fee for each hire beyond the first one in a calendar year. So for the second hire, it is a $1,000 discount, for the third hire, it is a $2,000 discount etc.

    This is a good way to go because it encourages the client to use you to fill multiple positions. It is also good because the discount only kicks in when they have paid you at least one full fee. Lastly, it is a sound option because the discount resets to zero at the end of the year.

  2. Another option is to ask for something in return: In office interviews, meetings with new hiring authorities, work directly with hiring authorities, shrink the guarantee, exclusives/retainers etc.

  3. Finally, you could ask for a rolling retainer of $5K-20K/ month if they have multiple hires and want a discount. This way you receive guaranteed income and better access and they receive an overall discount. This can be a very effective way to dig in deeper and become the vendor of choice for a high quality client.

- Gary Stauble

Gary Stauble is the Principal Consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a Coaching Company that provides Recruiting Professionals the Training, Tools and Systems to make More Placements with Less Effort. Gary offers several Free Special Reports on his website including, “$1 Million Time Management”, 15 Critical Candidate Questions” and “The 3 Things that Lead to Placements”. Get your copies now at www.therecruitinglab.com.