Many beginning recruiters (and even some veterans) find their hopes of a new client immediately diminished when they get a voice mail that sounds something like this: “Hey, Joe, I wanted to let you know that I took your search proposal before the executive team and they said they were going to pass. But thanks for your time!” And that’s it. With that short voice mail message, you’ve lost them as a prospect forever. Trying to resurrect the business is an act of futility, and if you try to overcome his comment then you look like a desperate loser. The decision has been made and you lost the business. Why? Because you were talking to a messenger and not a buyer.
Reaching the buying decision-maker is critical to winning the business. Many in the search business, though, feel that if they’re talking with someone in human resources, or even the vice president of human resources, or even a VP from an operationally significant department, then they’re talking with a buyer. Perhaps you might be for some companies, but you never really know because human resources is just a facilitator of information, and not a department that can execute decisions that are outside the scope of policy. Here are three ways that you can determine whether or not the person you are talking to is a real buyer of search services, or a messenger.
Hopefully by using these steps in finding the real buyer, the next voice mail message you receive says “Congratulations” rather than “Thanks for your time!”.
Copyright © 2004 Scott Love
Scott Love is a syndicated columnist, an author, and the most frequently-published trainer in the search and staffing industry. He improves the performance of recruiters and recruiting managers regardless of the economy. To book him for your next meeting, call him at 1-828-225-7700. His speaking clients include large search firm franchises, independently owned staffing and search firms and major staffing industry trade associations.