Published by: Kristian Martin
"Sales is for sharks."
"Salespeople are only after your money."
Hold on, isn’t recruitment sales?
During one of my training sessions I often ask newbies & experienced recruiters if they believe recruitment is sales. Everyone says yes, after all that is what I was taught.
I ask them later to shout out what thoughts & feelings they believe people feel when they are contacted by someone in sales. Responses include;
After my money
In it for themselves
You get the picture.
I then ask the same people to describe how they want their customers to view them. Responses include;
If they believe they work in Sales how can they expect their customers to view them positively?
This is something I have worked on personally for many years and I believe the answer is very simple. It is encapsulated in 6 words….
Recruitment is a service based business
Whether you agree or disagree with the perception of salespeople it exists and you have to find a way around it. By shifting the emphasis from sales to service you drastically change how your recruiters manage a customer.
Service based businesses exist to add value – that’s how they win.
Here are my top tips to make the shift from Sales to Service
1. Don’t cherry pick – I understand the higher paying role will give you more commission but that is a short term view. The most successful recruiters are the ones that “touch” a customer more than others. Every email, phone call, voicemail, meeting & call back is a touchpoint with your customer. The more touches the closer the relationship (excuse the pun)! The closer the relationship the more successful you will be – simple.
2. Represent your customers brand – A service provider adds value at every opportunity. When you are out there speaking to candidates you are representing your customer. Take this responsibility seriously. Treat the candidate just like you would want to be treated. One of my previous blogs was all about the candidate experience and you as the recruiter have a huge influence on this.
3. Don’t rush – Working in recruitment comes with pressure, I get that. But to deliver results you need to add more value than your competitors, you don’t do this by rushing the process. Cover every base, ask every question, search under every stone and respect the process – Don’t rush.
4. Innovate – Once you know your customer start to think like them. What is causing them pain, how can you help? Go above & beyond. This added value will make you standout.
5. Be honest – lastly and most importantly be honest. Things go wrong, candidates choose other opportunities, you make mistakes – it happens. 99% of the time your customer will understand if you tell them the truth. Problems occur when you try to cover up or blame someone else. – Be honest
There is plenty more you can do to make the shift to a service provider however start with these and you will be adding more value than your competitors, and that is a win win for everyone.