QUESTION: Hi Mike, I assume I have already connected with my leads on a brief introductory conversation and subsequent email. What is the preferred strategy on followup email, 2 weeks or a month later, or is a direct phone call better?  – Susan, Kenya

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ANSWER: Great question.  When you have the introductory conversation, one of the questions I always ask the hiring manager is – Going forward, Susan, what do I need to do to earn the right to help you build your team?

Not – How often should I stay in touch with you? Do not ask the commodity-based questions.   

They are not going to know how to answer that half the time or more. They are going to say something like – stay in touch. My response to those people was – So you are saying annoying you via voicemail, email, or text is enough to earn the right to help you build your team? Let me be a little more clear. I am recruiting in our industry and our niche every day.  What insights, what knowledge of your competitors, as long as they are not one of my clients, would be beneficial in helping you scale your business?  

Recruiters do not do this because recruiters are all about placements and what the hiring needs are. This type of questioning will lead to a more interesting dialogue.  

When I follow up, I can say to you 2 months from now, Susan, we talked a couple months ago and you told me if I discovered any information on blah, blah, blah, I got some really neat insights I wanted to share with you. Give me a call when you have a moment.  

Real specific. I am going to go right to that point.  

The other thing I want to ask when I end a phone call is – Obviously, the timing of our call is not good right now. You do not have any openings, or you do not have anything you need help on. But let me ask you this question – When you look at hiring on your team, what are 3 or 4 bullet points under the word “excellence” come up for you that you look for when you bring on talent?  

Now, I have got like a mini-profile of the type of person they hire, and depending on how easygoing they are, I will probably extrapolate upon those to get a better profile in my head so that I can follow up with them in an email and say – Hey, Susan, We spoke a couple of months ago, and you defined excellence as blah, blah, blah. I just identified an individual I think who has most of those traits.  When is a good time for us to talk about this person in greater detail?

If it is a candidate with a background, I can do that via email a little bit easier to get them on the phone. If it is some insight, I can do that actually both in voicemail and email. Some people respond to calls and some people, as the economy evolves, some people do not even have voicemail extensions anymore unless you have their cell phone. You can do either of those or both, but when I had insights I would probably start with that one with a voicemail.

That is how I would do it. That is a great question.