Aug 5, 2008

The best recruiters I know execute the fundamentals of recruiting well and have developed good “habits” within each step of the recruitment process.

One simple, but powerful referral sourcing technique is closing each recruitment cold call with the question: “Can you do me a favor?”

As we all know, much has been much written about overcoming the objection “I am not interested…” or “I am happy; thanks, but no thanks…”

But in reality, you will not be able to turn a “no” into a “yes” in many (if not most) of these situations.

Yes, they might listen to your message (or pitch) but in the majority of cases, they won’t be interested or, they won’t be qualified.

Of course, when this happens, it is your job to network with this person to get referrals. Your ability to extract referrals and/or leads to help you with your search depends on many factors; including (among others):

  • How you opened your call.
  • If you were able to build rapport in the first 30 seconds of the call.
  • The thought-provoking questions you ask during the call.

At some point, you will exhaust your ability to harvest referrals and will end the call.

This is where the “Can you do me a favor?” line can link you to your next hire!

A good habit to get into (if you are not doing it already) is to close each one of these calls with the line: “Can you do me a favor?”

Of course, expecting the worst, the prospect might come back with a line like: (shaky, nervous voice . . .) “Yeah, what is it?”

“I was wondering if I could shoot you an email outlining the specifics of this opportunity and my contact information (attach your Outlook v-card)? If you think of anyone who could benefit from the info and/or could help me with my search, I would appreciate if you would pass this info along.”

And 99.9% of the time, they will say “sure,” if for no other reason than to close the call and get on with their day.

While this may not seem like a big deal (some of you use this technique already), the benefits of this simple “habit” are huge:

  • If you do not have their personal email address, this is the time you can harvest it to send the email.
  • The written word is more powerful than the verbal word. Most people comprehend information better when reading it. Often, you will send a well-crafted “Attention Grabber” and . . . they will shoot back an email saying they are interested!
  • It will sit in their inbox. When something negative occurs at their workplace, they will look you up.
  • They end up passing this email to their peers. We know the whole power of being LinkedIn!

The record in our office is a sixth-generation hire. An email was forwarded six times, ending up in the hands of the person who we actually hired.

We achieved all this by implementing a simple routine at the end of a sourcing call.

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