The Recruiter Files

News and Advice from the Recruiting Industry!

The Recruiter Files is a Select Group of Recruiting Professionals sharing their experiences, knowledge and thoughts regarding the Recruiting Industry.

The Recruiter Files - News and Advice from the Recruiting Industry!

Being Politely Persistent

Have you ever heard the phrase “politely persistent”? It’s not original, I stole it from another sales person a while back. The phrase resonated with me and I still think about being “politely persistent” almost every day. I take business development, or sales, very seriously, I always have. When I was young I read and studied every sales book I could get my hands on. I spent time talking with successful sales people in the effort to try and understand what is was that drove their success.

Equally, I have studied customers. I have worked hard to understand what motivates them, what turns them off, what their typical day looks like, how they schedule meetings, how they manage priorities, etc., etc. Several important things important things have revealed themselves to me over the years. For example, the higher level the executive, the more meetings they have each and every day. C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies typically break up there days in 15 minute increments. That’s why those who request 60 minute, even 30 minute meetings never get responses. Ask for a 15 minute introduction with a Fortune 500 executive and you’ll almost always get it, I do anyway.

That gets me back to being politely persistent. Customers are busy, some busier than ever before. They are trying to do far more with far fewer resources. I know too many sales people who write off a lead or a prospect if they do not get a response to their first voice mail or email. I follow-up, and I follow-up again, and I follow-up again. Honestly I will continue to follow-up until a person tells me to stop calling them. That almost never happens. Instead I usually receive an apology for not getting back to me sooner.

I actually had a customer that told me the reason they ended up doing business with me was because my persistence showed that I was genuinely interested in doing business with that person, at that company. They said that my follow-up made it clear I was not just a smiler and dialer like all the others sales people calling on them day in and day out. That customer turned into one of my biggest accounts ever, the contact became a personal friend, and she actually came to work for me when I launched my own firm.

Your customers, even candidates, get calls from people just like you 10 to 20 times per day. Email is even worse with them sometimes receiving hundreds per day. I know C-level executives who sort through thousands of emails every day. Persistence is one way you can stand out. Don’t mistake harassment for persistence. You need to be creative and non-intrusive. Add value to be sure you are not only persistent, but politely persistent and you will no doubt be viewed as different from the competition.

What Would Grandma Say?

How does an individual looking for a job, or a professional interacting with other professionals determine what is, and is not, appropriate to post on social networks?

I’m on Facebook, I’m on Twitter and I’m on LinkedIn. I have been a social media participant for several years now. For business I use Twitter and LinkedIn. For personal use I’m on Facebook in order to stay in touch with family and friends. The line between business and personal is sometimes grayed as many clients and co-workers have moved from business associates on LinkedIn to personal friends on Facebook.

If you look at what I post I try to keep almost everything informative however I usually incorporate some aspect of my personality. Typically this means blending my sense of humor into what is usually a link to a business article. I operate in a professional world where work does not stay at the office. Cleveland is a small town and I run into clients and candidates every time I go out with friends or my wife. Long story short I have to portray professionalism in real life and via social media in virtually everything I do.

In all honestly, I have sometimes struggled with taking my sense of humor too far, saying something that you might not find funny or posting something that could prove offensive. We’ve all heard the horror stories about individuals who have lost jobs or not been hired because of something they posted in the past. Remember, what you put online never goes away.

That’s why I follow my own rule of “What Would Grandma Say?”. What would my grandmother say if she saw this post. Would she be embarrassed for her grandson, or proud. If my grandmamma would object to how I say something, or something I plan to post to Twitter, I probably shouldn’t post it at all. I’m a big believer in being yourself, and that we should all communicate and share in ways that show off our positive qualities. That said, the things I say and do in front of grandma are typically much more filtered than what I say and do in front of friends. As such, the things I say and do on social media should also be much more filtered than what I say and do in front of friends. What Would Grandma Say about this post?

Sales: Where Do I Start?

It has been some time since I have been asked to contribute to a blog. When I received my login information for The Recruiter Files I did the same thing I always do… I asked myself “where do I start?” There are so many topics I could write about related to the business development side of staffing but where do I start? As I was asking myself that question I realized that is how most of my days begin. 

I sit at my desk, or in my car or even while I’m still laying in bed and think about where am I going to start today. What can I do right now to meet my metrics? What can I do right now to find that next client and to get that next opening? What can I do right now to convince this client to hire my guy, or gal? What can I do right now to increase my commission? What can I do right now to kick my competition’s butt and dominate my local market?

One of the most brilliant recruiters I have ever worked with/for once told me never hire a guy that smokes a pipe. Why I asked? He said because if you watch them, they’re always pacing around, puffing on their pipe, pondering where to start. They are usually brilliant people but they never get anything done because they never get anything started.

The point is to just start! Or, Just Do It as Nike once said. Don’t get me wrong, I prioritize and I have my running to-do list. But once I pick up that phone the ball starts rolling, momentum is gained and before I know it it’s 5pm. Then I ask myself… where will I start tomorrow?

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