When we talk about recruiter phone call reluctance, we’re not talking about just ANY recruiter phone call. We’re talking about cold calls, specifically cold calls that recruiters make to prospective clients.
Sure, recruiters also make cold calls to candidates. But in that case, the recruiter almost already has a job order. So there’s really not that much pressure involved with that phone call. But . . . if the recruiter is making marketing phone calls for the expressed purpose of gaining exposure and snagging some job orders? Then there’s more than likely some pressure involved. And with pressure comes reluctance to face that pressure. (After all, recruiters are human, too.)
Phone calls by third-party agency recruiters
Now, if you’re an internal recruiter or a corporate recruiter, then you’re not making phone calls to prospective clients. That’s because you already have an employer—the one that gives you a paycheck for making these recruiter phone calls. So the focus of this particular blog post is on independent, third-party agency recruiters and agency owners. Because, as we’ve mentioned on many previous occasions, those constitute the majority of Top Echelon Software customers.
So—how do you overcome recruiter phone call reluctance if you’re a third-party agency recruiter or search consultant? To help us answer this question, we’re going to draw upon the wisdom of recruiting industry trainer Gary Stauble. Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.
All reluctance is an emotional short circuit that diverts energy from the act of prospecting to the act of procrastinating. Instead of making calls and adding contacts to their recruiting software, call-reluctant salespeople are busy preparing to prepare, and avoiding the phone. They allow their fears to stand in the way of their goals—and it extracts a high emotional and financial cost.
I’d like to point out that cold call reluctance is an internal roadblock. This is not something that exists in any place other than your mind. If I asked you to bring me a jar of call reluctance, you would not be able to do it. So there is no “call reluctance” in the world, there are only recruiters thinking negative thoughts that make them reluctant to get on the phone.
Cold call reluctance can extend beyond the sales call to also avoiding in-person meetings with a prospect. This is detrimental to the sales process because if the recruiter is not making calls, there will be few appointments, fewer search assignments, and ultimately lower profits for the recruiter and the company.
Call reluctance researchers George Dudley and Shannon Goodson report in The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales that “as many as 80% of all salespeople who fail within their first year do so because of insufficient prospecting activity.”
In the search industry, we know that the vast majority of newbies who attempt our business fail within the first year,and much of that failure comes from cold call reluctance.
Causes of recruiter phone call reluctance
Although there are many reasons for recruiter phone call reluctance, they can be described within three major categories:
1. The Fraud Factor: This has to do with a lack of belief in your ability to deliver great service. Successful selling involves two parts; the first is selling to yourself and the second is selling to your client. If you are not 100% sold on the quality of your service, you will tend to avoid selling situations.
2. Repeated Failure: This occurs when the recruiter attempts to attract new clients, but continually gets the door slammed in his face. Each time he hears a “no,” it makes it harder and harder to pick up the phone and this can become a negative cycle.
3. Fear of Rejection: This third factor holds people back from selling with confidence. When a recruiter makes a marketing call to a prospect and goes through his sales questions, he will often meet some level of resistance on the other end of the line. If this rejection is taken personally, it can lead to call reluctance.
Using the “30-Minute Rule for Overcoming Recruiter Phone Call Reluctance”
Think of cold calling like jumping into a cold swimming pool. Your best bet is to just dive in without too much thinking. You see the pool, it’s cold, but if you dive in you will get acclimated pretty quickly. If, on the other hand, you keep walking around the pool, dipping your toe in, putting on sun tan lotion, adjusting your suit, etc., you’ll start to have second thoughts and become paralyzed by procrastination.
Once in, it’s easy to continue because your body is acclimated. You will actually start enjoying yourself and realize the water doesn’t even feel cold anymore.
It’s the same with making marketing calls. The 30-minute rule means you pick up the phone and make your first call within 30 minutes of arriving in the office. You might even want to have an egg timer on your desk. You come into the office, put down your briefcase, and set the timer for 30 minutes.
The 30-minute rule will help you to get into action before you have time to start procrastinating. Think of making your calls as a video game. If your man dies (you are rejected), so just hit re-set (make another call) and play another game. You might want to start with an easy call first to get your blood pumping. If you dive right in each day, you’ll find that this becomes second nature, and your production will increase substantially.
Recruiter phone call training . . . and other training
Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars in our Recruiter Training Library. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.
Gary Stauble has two videos in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Library. These videos are listed below. Click on the title of each video for access:
- “The #1 Strategy for Billing More and Working Less”
- “3 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Performance”
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.