QUESTION: Getting new clients is a challenge for me, but it never used to be. Could it be because there are too many recruiters? – Debbie
ANSWER: I started in 1989. There were lousy clients in every decade I have been in this business. Therefore, I do not think getting good clients is impossible, but it is always a challenge. First, let me define a good client. A good client is somebody who works with you exclusively. For me, it is giving me money upfront, but it does not always have to be. A good client returns your calls and respects you.
The path to getting a good client is changing your approach. If your approach is “pitch” based, and by pitch based I mean you essentially say “We have placed these types of people at these levels. We find great candidates through our unique sourcing and selection process.” This approach is falling on deaf ears. They have heard it all before.
Finding great clients, or good clients – I will use your term, Debbie – finding good clients requires you to ask phenomenal questions and changing your approach. If you have not already invested in our Retainers for Recruiters product, I go into detail on the entire way to change your approach. We have people doing the process I teach in coaching programs with an almost 100% success rate. The only time it does not work is when people do not apply it or do not apply it consistently.
When I say it works 100% of the time, I do not mean it works with 100% of the people you talk to. No matter how good you are, there will always be people that shop at the low end of the market. After serving that market in the early to mid-1990s and being incredibly frustrated with being a free resource. If the client happens to hire the resume that I submitted I will get paid $15,000. From that frustration I evolved, because I needed the mental stimulation and a challenge, plus I wanted to be paid for my time and to make a really good living.
To create a better approach to recruiting, I started studying all the things that go in the process of the buyer of search to help them understand why it was in their best interest to work with me my way. There are only to hearing that message if they are having trouble filling openings the way they have done it.
The same old techniques that were used 10-15 years ago when “it was easier” worked when the industry was different. In a great economy, because of the low barrier to entry, it does not cost a lot to open a solo recruiting operation, it is a laptop and an optional LinkedIn subscription, or you are not paying for because you can use free LinkedIn. You are not buying a machine or need to hire 20 people at $100,000 each. All you just need a tabletop, a laptop, an internet line, and maybe a phone line. A lot of people are using their cell phones that they have already anyway.
The way you differentiate yourself from all the other recruiters is to completely change the approach, so your approach is completely different than the one your competitors are using. If you want help with that, reach out to us and we can go a lot deeper. Thank you so much for the question.