Recruiters know how to use the phone since they spend so much time calling clients and candidates yet many are ineffective in their ability to set appointments or present candidates. I still hear recruiters telling me all the time about how they submitted a candidate via email vs doing a call-and-present. Technology is a great asset to us but we need to get off email and do more F2F, especially in this market, and the best way to get there is to improve your phone skills.
Here are some tips to help recruiters and job seekers alike to break through all the noise and to get in front of decision makers. It' hard to get a relationship going if you can't sit down with the client or get to the second step in the process...
> Remember the objective or purpose of your call - Why are you calling? If you are trying to set an appointment for a visit then don't reveal too much. You can't close the deal on the first call so give up trying.
> Get into the right frame of mind - Be positive and put a smile on your face. Clients and candidates want to work with recruiters who are happy and eager to help them them. A smile is just us important over the phone as it is when you meet in person. People love to be on the phone with people who are warm and friendly.
> Be a big ear with a little mouth - Don't conduct one-sided conversations. Give your clients a chance to respond to questions and listen to their answers. Don't try to solve all the problems and answer all the objections on the first call, instead think of these as a reason for getting together or for a second call. Most of all, ask open-ended questions and let them do most of the talking.
> Be personable - There is no sweeter sound to another person than the sound of their own name so refer to them by name whenever possible. Focus on their needs. Don't forget to say "thank you" at the end of a call. Avoid small talk, most people don't like it when a stranger opens a conversation with "How ya doin'?" Try to stick to the point of the call and save the schmoozing for later.