There are only two ways to generate new business and I'm not talking about placing an ad on a website or doing some other kind of marketing. To drive business development and in recruiting talk that means getting new signed fee agreements or job orders, you either have to reach a hiring manager by phone or get out into the field and meet with them face to face.

The worst thing that can happen to an account manager is to not be out meeting with prospects and for a recruiter to not be speaking with new candidates. The best thing we can do to fill our desks with opportunity is to be on the phone cold calling. This means we have to smile when we dial and call people who don't know us.

Most recruiters who hammer on the phone make things happen. You should think about cold calling like a game. You can't take rejection personally. Don't be afraid to cold call. We like things we are good at and if you practice you will improve.

Recruiters and staffing sales professional should take a lesson from Babe Ruth. He was the home run leader for a long time but most people don;t know that he struck out way more than he hit home runs. The numbers for him show 1330 strike outs and 714 home runs. You can't break the records without taking a lot of swings.

To find a top candidate or to break into a new account it will take a ton of calls, so have some fun with it! Calling people allows you to interact with them directly. Try making 20 cold calls each day for the next week. Working smart is good but make sure you are working hard, especially in this economy. Don't kill yourself but give it your best every day.

The key to being a great cold caller is to have a positive attitude. Believe in yourself and ask a ton of questions. Create a list of people to call so you can get to the right people and then make sure you are calling them at the right times. Sure you may have to get around some gatekeepers so be friendly, make a strong first impression and they may just become your helper in getting through.

Remember that cold calls are not a time to sell. What is the purpose of your call? Usually it is to set an appointment or to get some much needed information.

Be good news. Smile. Relax. Be positive.


Views: 708

Comment by Mat von Kroeker on July 23, 2009 at 12:39pm
Doesn't make me like it any more. Ugh---
Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on July 23, 2009 at 10:42pm
being an enthusiastic cold caller helps, but we should also work on leaving good voicemails and emails. By good I mean "containing value for them, not a diatribe about what a great recruiter I am"

A sad reality is that people don't like answering phones anymore, so we have to develop skills to be heard in any medium we have to use.

My two favorite internet resources on this topic are "art sobczak's tele sales tips", and, a site run by frank rumbauskas..lots of great tips and thought provoking content.
Comment by Slouch on September 2, 2010 at 10:33pm
I always like your posts craig. no phone calls, no placements.
Comment by Debbie Cantin on September 3, 2010 at 12:48pm
I view cold calling as a fun and exciting way to meet new people. Most of all, make sure to research the person or company that you are calling before you call them. Try and find some common ground or interest to open up the conversation. This method works very well and has led to some very long lasting professional relationships.
Comment by Chaser on September 3, 2010 at 12:50pm
Agreed Slouch and Craig! However I'm totally guilty of not doing it enough!
Comment by Craig Silverman on September 3, 2010 at 1:08pm
I'm banging out a few calls right now!
Comment by Saundra Lee on September 3, 2010 at 1:18pm
Not the most efficient use of time anymore given the time people spend on email and social media at odd hours, almost to wind down, however I must admit, I still get a charge out of it. Sometimes, I just get impatient and want to take action NOW and when I get through it is like an adrenaline rush.
Comment by Mike Hard on September 3, 2010 at 1:24pm
Craig - excellent post but let me debate a point (the best posts always prompt this).

Agreed that when you do biz dev, you need to be positive and aggressive. I love Debbie's response to your post because I think it reflects the winning attitude you were trying to stress.

But you are KILLING me with the Babe Ruth analogy :).

My whole business model depends on 3rd party recruiters being successful, but ask any employer what they dislike about headhunters - and the #1 beef is "throw it against the wall" cold calling. They understand when recruiters aggressively market a candidate - but they hate it when you are simply calling a hundred companies with the hope that one will stick.

Nothing can replace meeting a hiring manager face to face, and cold calling has a place (especially if you target your calls to employers that are truly a match for your candidates), but I disagree that they are the only ways to do biz dev in this day and age. Every good recruiter should be supplementing them with other means of marketing candidates.
Comment by Craig Silverman on September 3, 2010 at 1:37pm
I agree with you Mike. The problem is that many recruiters now spend their time emailing, searching databases and posting jobs on boards... Marketing is a great way to expand your reach and I love being out in the field on client visits but often find that you have to pick up the phone to schedule a meeting or just break through the clutter since everyone is so busy.

Happy Hunting!
Comment by Mike Hard on September 3, 2010 at 1:43pm
With you 100%, man. I hope many people read this. Good subject


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