QUESTION: Hey Mike. I am working to implement several concepts presented during the 2017 Recruiting Firm Owner Summit. One is the business development process that Greg Doersching outlined. I am trying to reach a balance in time invested in my daily and weekly activities. What do you recommend as the percentage of time of business development, strategic lists versus MPC, versus recruiting? – Mark
ANSWER: That is a really good question Mark. In the beginning of my recruiting career, I structured my time that way and I found it much less effective than knowing my metrics. Honestly, here is the thing I learned. Time is irrelevant as it relates to results. Maybe irrelevance is strong, but I want to have people that might be multitasking listen to this. Time is irrelevant.
I know people that work 12 hours a day that struggle to bill $100,000 a year. I know people that work 12 hours a day as solo recruiters that bill over $1 million a year, and I know whole gamut in between. We all have the same 24 hours. We all have the same 52 weeks. There are a bunch of reasons, but those that truly, truly excel in this business versus those that are average or mediocre is there are some distinct differences.
I am telling you big billers, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000, $600,000 and above, do not ever look at it like I need to do 90 minutes of marketing. Maybe once in a while they are doing that, but here is what happens – $500,000 in billings, just to use a high number is probably 4 first time interviews per week whether on the phone or face to face.
There are a number of components than need to be in place for somebody to be able to get 4 first time interviews. Sometimes it could be 3 or 3-1/2 depending on average fee and interview to placement ratio. The question then becomes instead of how much time do I work on each. Take your financial goal. This is what I teach extensively in our coaching programs. If you have not been trained in metrics, find somebody to teach you how to use metrics the right way. If you are not using metrics to forecast your revenue you are on a roller coaster revenue ride.
This is the Cliff Notes version – $500,000 is 3-1/2 to 4 interviews a week. The question when you are planning for the next two weeks becomes what do I need to do to ensure that I have 8 interviews over the next two weeks? I always look 2 weeks out. I will get to why in a moment. Then you would look at what you are currently working on and see that you have got these 6 searches. All of them are hot. All of them are exclusive. You say to yourself, I need to buckle down and I can get probably a couple submitted on this one, a couple submitted on that one over the next week.
Now, I am never going to stop marketing, but I am in that situation where I have 6 exclusives or I have engagements, my marketing might only be 20 minutes or half hour a day. This activity is mainly MPC mail marketing or flip marketing which are concepts that I teach in my programs for recruiters. The reason I am going to turn the faucet down on marketing, but do not want to stop is because the best time to market is when you do not need the business. This is because the confidence is going to come through in your voice and when somebody tries to throw garbage at you, 18%, work with our 19-year-old internal recruiter who cannot spell placement, you are going to confidently say no. By the way, the more you pass, the more desirable you are to the prospect/client and more likely you are to get your terms, not by genuflecting and worshipping them.
When I look at the people that are low billers, $150,000 and below, if you are new that is probably not low, but if you have been around for a while in this economy you are doing $100,000 or $150,000 there is a lot of existing at your desk. I imagine there is a lot of email checking, LinkedIn profile reviewing, you tell yourself a story that no one can find the LinkedIn profiles better than me. Well, how do the $800,000 guys do it? If anything, they are more adept in their marketplace and are delegating some stuff.
Part of my job as a coach is to be real blunt and I do not mean to beat anybody up. You know when you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing. Stop it! Seriously, this goes a little bit beyond your question, Mark, but really it is (1) understanding exactly what you want to bill, (2) being passionately committed to that number, (3) understanding exactly, specifically, and precisely what needs to happen every quarter, every week, and every day on your desk.
You get to Friday and a deal blew up or you got a freeze on a job order, but you hit all the other metrics. This means you talked to the right number of candidates, you had the right number of submittals on your openings, you talked to the right number of hiring managers. If all of your metrics are hit, you can walk out of the office with your head held high.
The problem with our business and this is how we were all taught so it is not your fault, is we were brought up under the false teaching of focus on making placements. That is insane because out of the whole process it is the one thing we cannot control. We cannot control the emotional basket-case that promised you on a stack of Bibles they were going to take the job and then through a cowardly little email or a text tells you, I am not going to be able to because I have to do what is best for my family and take another job. No matter how well we do that process, we still run into liars.
They are specific results based on each on of you, what you goals are, that if you hit them everyday, not goals, by the way, targets that you execute to. You hit those every day, you hit your billing target. All the clients I measure my metrics on, it works 100% of the time, and when I say works 100% of the time, are all my clients necessarily hitting their targets? No. But I am going to tell you right now since I have access to their metrics, if they are frustrated and they are not at their billing target and I pull up their metrics and I clearly see why they are at about 70% of their billing goal.