Recruiters and Sellers – Separated at birth?

recruiterI had the pleasure of working with recruiters from contract through leadership of large corporate talent management departments, and learned a lot from them.  For nearly 20 years, working on strategic/tactical plans in a variety of industries, I found some commonality about how the most successful went about their business.

TUDE – Always positive, upbeat and high energy.  Project a positive, vibrant image of the company to energize and excite candidates.

PIPELINE – They build and maintain DAILY a fertile pipeline of candidates, sometimes sourcing candidates from candidates who turn them down.

NETWORK – I’m not sure if it was recruiters or real estate agents who invented this, but great recruiters have strong, broad networks with which they interact regularly.

CLOSERS – If you’re not a great closer, you’re just a sourcer.  Great recruiters understand metrics, why they matter and how to drive them.

Any of this starting to sound a little familiar?  If not, it should because this is the blocking and tackling of sales and where sellers repeatedly falter.  Recently, I used a tactic I learned from recruiters, with a great outcome.

I was holding an inservice meeting for an existing client and there was a new member on the team.  She told me she was only there 3 months.  So, I asked where she had worked prior and she told me ACME (obviously sanitized).  Well, it so happens ACME is a target account I have had difficulty navigating.  “Oh, do you Betty Boop (ibid)?”  Betty was a lower level person I had met with earlier who didn’t have the clout to move me forward.  “Yes, we were on the same team, but in diffierent buildings.”  Now I was set up to ask the question I wanted to ask.

I asked my new friend if there was a corporate person who had oversight and direction for this function at all their seven locations.  You know the ending – I got the name, researched her on LinkedIn and added her to my database to begin prosecuting.

Just like recruiters will source candidates or company information from a candidate, I used that tactic to get a name I had been unable to find anywhere else.  This can be particularly effective with your current clients, where you are a trusted resource.  Peoples’ favorite subject to talk about is themselves and most of your clients worked elsewhere before – usually at a competitor, which could be a prospect for you.

Like I said, separated at birth.


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