You might have heard that cold calling was on the way out for recruiters. You heard wrong. Cold calling is still an absolute gold-mine of opportunity in 2018…provided you do it right.
However, aren’t AI and social selling taking over all kinds of sales, including recruiting?
With the onrush of artificial intelligence in recruiting and the exploding role of social selling roles via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, a strange thing is happening in the world of sales.
The sound of the human voice on the phone is becoming a novelty.
The key to translating cold calls into billing numbers lies in being human. It always has been.
Successful cold-calling is about the human rapport. It is the human skill of noticing a person’s voice is showing signs of impatience and changing tack. It is about making a joke or sharing your disgust over the weather. It is about knowing that the person on the other end probably has a recruitment frustration, and just figuring out how to get them to tell you.
The person who can sell well on the phone is the one that succeeds in creating a genuine, human rapport.
After all, would you chat and laugh with a robot on the phone? Moreover, do you get the same feeling of personalisation from seeing a vacancy pop up on Facebook as you would if a recruiter took the trouble to call you to talk about a role? No, didn’t think so.
Cold calling can be your ticket to an exploding talent and client pipeline. Really. You just have to put all your effort into being as good at is as you can be. And with so many recruiters happily turning their backs on cold-calling, you can stand out in a way you could not before.
So let’s get on with it. Here are some killer strategies for cold-calling.
Whether you are cold-calling a prospect or a passive candidate, you can’t behave like a robot. Don’t read off a script or you will put people off instantly.
Show that you have done your research. Nothing puts people off more than a generic opening. If you are calling a client, show that you already know what vacancies they have right now, and have a suitable candidate ready to offer them.
If you’re calling a passive candidate, figure out an opening that will make them more receptive to your call. Look at their LinkedIn to see if you have similar contacts if you know any of their past employers or anything else where you can find a common bond.
Remember to make it about them. A savvy recruiter never makes their pitch about themselves and how good a recruiter they are, but instead asks searching questions to identify the client’s most significant business need when it comes to recruitment or the candidate’s true career desires.
Show off your knowledge of the sector. The best recruiters are knowledgeable about the trends in the recruitment landscape. If the skills shortage is biting in the client’s industry, it will pique the interest to mention data on the average of how many jobs offers a good candidate gets. If your company has a white paper or blog about how to attract candidates, offer to send that through.
Make sure you are taking complex notes. If you get a second call or meeting lined up, you do not want to embarrass yourself by having to go over the same ground twice.
Be ready to counter any objections they have. You should know exactly what to say if they mention they are happy with their current recruiter or are trying to do everything in-house.
Follow up via email straight away. Don’t put it on tomorrow’s list; they must receive an email when your conversation is fresh in their minds. This immediacy also shows that you consider them a priority.
Ask the person if there are any other departments within the company who might have recruitment needs or anyone in their circle. Referrals are a powerful way to make cold-calling work for you.
Set yourself targets for every day, and every call. You might set aside an hour every day purely dedicated to cold-calling, or you might do more significant blocks a few times a week.
Know your strengths and fill your gaps. You will have already noticed that you seem to have more success with individual businesses. Why do you think that is? Do you have a stronger knowledge base in that sector? Personal experience even? That is great, but now it is time to figure out how you can beef up your knowledge about other niches or industries so you can maximise your results.
Finally, lots of people do not like cold calling. However, remember this:
1. The more cold calling you do, and the better you get at it, the more confident you become. Confidence is a billings-magnet, you know this!
2. The very same phone skills that you build cold-calling…are the same phone skills that you will be used when closing a deal over the phone with a CEO. Every minute you spend on the phone makes you better at it.
So follow these steps this year and learn to LOVE cold calling. Just remember, don’t be a robot. Be real, because that is the human connection everyone is looking for.
Until next time,