The Calls Companies Want to Receive in Today’s Economy

May 12, 2009
This article is part of a series called Fordyce Forum.

Editor’s note: The following article by Kathleen Kurke delves into how to understand your clients’ business reality and how to speak their language when making marketing calls. To learn even more, join Kathleen at The Fordyce Forum on Friday, June 12 at 3:30 p.m.

In today’s marketplace, the thought that hiring executives are sitting around waiting and wanting to receive marketing calls from recruiters can seem too good to be true. Because it is too good to be true.

It can be easy for us to stop making marketing calls because we believe no one wants to answer our calls. And it’s easy to believe that when the media besieges us with reports about huge automotive companies declaring bankruptcy and banks closing their doors.

But the truth is that companies are still hiring, and they still need us as recruiters to access the top talent that will help them survive and thrive through these challenging economic times. So, we need to call them so they know we’re here and we’re here to help.

The answer is to make calls that connect with hiring managers’ real pain points and real needs. This means we need to make calls that are REAL (Relevant, Evidence based, Action oriented, and Leading to money). It means we need to make calls with a purpose that goes beyond “who do you need to hire?” or “I’ve got a guy . . .”

We need to understand, and then approach, our clients based on their reality , on what’s most important to them. And while our managers might be banging on us for sendouts and placements, that is NOT what’s in the forefront of our clients’ mind. If we want the work we do to be relevant in our clients’ minds, we need to do our work within the context of their reality.

That means we need to understand their business from their point of view. We need to rethink how we approach our clients, how we make marketing calls, and how we do every aspect of our job. We need to re-script every aspect of our conversations with clients to focus on the business issues and trends they’re facing, and the corresponding problems and opportunities — for them. (Problems and opportunities for us will follow, but that’s another issue!)

What does that look like? Consider structuring your marketing calls to prospects and clients to follow the REAL model:

  • Part 1: Relevant (to them): “Client/Prospect, I know the craziness in the marketplace is causing lots of upheaval in your organization”

To ignore or deny what’s whirling around them (and us) is to keep our heads in the sand, or implies that their heads in the sand. I’m not recommending that we buy in to ways that the media escalates even the smallest hiccup, but I think we lose credibility if we pretend to be doing our work in an environment of pure pollyana.

  • Part 2: Evidence based: “With the recent announcement that you’re laying off 3000 folks, I suspect it’s hard to imagine that it makes sense to bring more, or bring other people in to your organization.”

Referencing a point of information that is specific and fact based about their organization or their industry reinforces your credibility. Sources for the specifics and facts might be industry newsletters, specialized blogs or general media.

  • Part 3: Action oriented: “I’ve got a suggestion to move you past your current pain point.”

I’ve always believed that the most successful recruiters are the ones that clients look to as a resource in getting something done, so you’ll always find me advocating an action orientation.

  • Part 4: Leading to money: “I’ve identified a candidate with a history of increasing profits/reducing costs in a marketplace with challenges similar to the one you’re in now.

When reduced to its simplest form, every company cares about making money. And there are two ways to do that: increase profits or reduce costs. By connecting every candidate we present to one of those two outcomes, we attach the work we’re doing to what’s most basic, yet most important, to our client organizations.

By making marketing calls that are REAL, you’ll be making calls that are more closely tied to your clients’ reality. You’ll be making calls that are more closely tied to helping them improve the current condition of their business reality. And those are the calls that clients WANT to receive.

This article is part of a series called Fordyce Forum.
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