Own The Close; Increase your close rate through candidate prep, not coaching

We've all worked with tough to please Hiring Managers. They're the ones that can find flaws in any and all candidates you bring to the table. Candidates that are rock-stars in phone-interviews or meeting with a recruiter face-to-face crumble in the presence of these managers.

When dealing with these managers, it's the recruiter’s responsibility to Own The Close. If you are working with a Hiring Manager that fits the description above, it's up to you to ensure that 'A' players are preparing properly for the interview. Preparing a candidate is much different than coaching. Coaching a candidate’s means giving them the exact questions that they will hear and then telling them how they should answer. This will lead to canned answers and another rejected application. However, giving the candidate an understanding of the types of questions that he/she can expect to see and some direction on where they can do research to be properly prepared will enhances your candidates chances.

Let's do a quick example of a Sales Representative in the Printer/Copier industry:

Industry Knowledge

1. Knowledge/Value Proposition of Printers/Copiers within an organization (provide a link to a good resource)

2. Which members of an organization can realize that value from a Printer/Copier solution?

3. What is the value proposition of Printers/Copiers to each of the key executive (e.g. CFO, VP of Sales, CTO/CIO, VP of Marketing, Customer Support/Service, CEO, etc)

4. What are the key pain points Printers/Copiers can resolve?

General Knowledge of the Company (provide a link to a good resource)

5. Knowledge/Understanding of the product line (provide a link to a good resource)

6. Knowledge/Understanding of key differentiators (provide a link to a good resource)

7. Knowledge/Understanding of key competitors

Past Experience Knowledge

8. Compensation

a) What is the breakdown of base and commission?

b) What were your On Target Earnings (OTE) for the previous year?

9. Quotas

a) What are your monthly/quarterly/yearly targets in your current position?

b) What percentage of plan were you in the previous year

c) Where does that rank amongst your peers

10. Your Sales Cycle

a) What is the length of the sales cycle in your current role?

b) How many transactions do you make in a month?

c) What is the average revenue per transaction?

This example will need to be tailored specifically for the role you're looking for, which could take some time. The investment that you put into finding good resources for your candidate to check-out and your ability to give them a framework to do research prior to the interview is what will allow you to Own The Close.

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