Ever seen those training providers that promise to help you unlock the secrets to cold-calling?
Most of the time this “secret” turns out to be something inane like sounding really happy when you make the call or only doing it when the sun’s shining.
What seems to drive of most of the recruitment sales training I’ve ever seen is the fact that cold-calling is an omnipresent part of a recruiter’s life - and so they had better get good at it.
Frankly, I think that’s bullshit.
It’s bullshit not because it isn’t true, because it is. It’s bullshit because it doesn’t have to be true.
Cold-calling is probably the toughest part of the sales process because it’s time-consuming, it’s boring and repetitive and because it’s often hard to even get through to the decision-maker. The only thing that makes it a worthwhile activity is:
1. If what you’re selling has a high-margin, one-off sale price.
2. If the cold-call is the first step in a longer sales journey where the customer regularly buys an increasing number of products/services from you.
Recruiters can fall into either or both of those categories.
The first is when they’re canvassing-out a specific and available candidate.
The second is when they’re broadly looking for jobs to fill.
Canvassing-out candidates can be a valid way of establishing some credibility with a potential client, but it requires some decent market research before any calls are made. Many recruiters seem to struggle with this part.
Assuming they do establish that credibility, what next?
Invariably what the recruiter is looking for next is a regular source of new roles to work on - which brings us to the 2nd category. More jobs.
The trouble with getting more jobs from more companies is that on average, a recruiter only fills about 1 in 4 of those they get given access to. And I’m being generous here - for some it’s closer to 1 in 6.
That means that around 80% of the time the recruiter is going to disappoint the client.
“But sometimes I will fill some jobs with some of those clients!” I can already hear you saying.
But all you are entrenching here is the perception in the client’s mind that your performance is somewhat ad-hoc and difficult to predict.
If that’s the pinnacle of how your clients view you then I have some potentially bad news for you; You’re always going to have to be spending large chunks of your time cold-calling.
The upside is that this is good news for the recruitment training industry
There is no secret to being good at cold-calling when all you’ve got to sell is probable disappointment.