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.

Trust a recruiter – we can help make your interview count…

Part of my Job is to prepare you for the interview.   This includes Interview Prep and Debrief afterwards.   I understand that candidates do not interview every day – I do.    If you were just laid off from your job, after 15 years, that could mean, you have not interviewed in 15 years.   A lot has changed since then and you need to be prepared for your interview.  I can give you some helpful tips and suggestions that hopefully will help you get a second interview or better yet – the job.   

 

Interview Prep.:

Before the interview you will have all the info. you will need to be successful.  You will have the complete job description, details on the job/company and my experiences working with them, as a recruiter.   I will ask you to do your own research on them and on the Hiring Managers.  We will then discuss what you found.    

We will discuss the questions you still have and how to ask them, along with asking some great follow-up questions at the end of the interview.   We will discuss how to answer salary questions, goal related questions and how to end the interview.

My goal is to make the interview as painless as possible and hopefully you were prepared and there were no surprises.   I will let you know what to expect from me, as your recruiter and what I expect from you, as my candidate.  

 

Interview Debrief:

After the interview, you should call me as soon as possible, while it is still fresh in your mind.    I am going to ask you 100 questions about the interview.   Questions like:  What time did you arrive?   How long were you in the interview?   With whom did you meet?   What questions did they ask?  How did you answer?   and so on…   I need to understand how the interview went and what was the vibe.   

The most important question I will ask following your interview is:  “Is this still a position you are interested in and if it meets your salary requirements, would you accept?”   I am looking for a YES or NO answer.   Anything else usually means it is not the right fit for you – for what ever reason.

We are a partner in this process and need to work as partners.   I have worked hard in sourcing, finding and recruiting you for the opportunity.   I will not let a bad interview stop me in getting you the job you want, need and dreamed of.