Through a rainmaking system of client development (that I both teach and practice personally), I was able to make ten phone calls and get one strong potential client. As a consultant to the executive search industry, I constantly hear from recruiters that they make hundreds of calls to get one single client. With those types of results, I believe they are making the wrong type of call and taking the wrong approach. I can make ten calls and get one client for my search practice. Most recruiters believe that cold calling high level executives will yield results. Perhaps that is why so many people leave the business each year. They see tremendous energy and effort put into a model of recruiting that was effective in 1985. But in today’s world, it doesn’t work.
Part of that is because they see themselves as recruiters. You are not a recruiter. You are a provider of solutions. That’s the difference, and when you sell to high level prospects you must possess that mindset. If you only sell to HR then it might not work because HR sees filling positions as just filling holes in the organization. Line managers and executives see filling positions as ways to solve problems.
My search practice (www.attorneysearchgroup.com) is a relatively new brand, and our focus is to recruit partners with portable books of business, serving the DC area exclusively. I have one sensational recruiter on board with several years of legal recruiting experience who joined me. My role is to chase down the new clients, bring them in, and work together on filling the positions.
Through my rainmaking efforts of several weeks ago, I have one strong potential client. Tomorrow I am playing golf with him at his club in DC. We hit it off several weeks ago, and didn’t talk about recruiting one single time during our seventy-four minute conversation. The call was all about him and his company’s vision and his role as a leader and overcoming challenges and building organizational resilience. With high level prospects who run large organizations, hundreds of sales people and recruiters call prospects just like him each month to get their business. You have to take a different approach and develop the brand of being a ‘trusted advisor’ in your practice. When your prospects see that you can add value to helping them achieve the vision they have for their organization or solve problems that they face, then they’ll invite you into a relationship, and at that point the selling process begins.
- Scott Love
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Copyright © 2012 Scott Love