Converting a client on a client visit
Most people have heard about setting your goals depending on the desired end result and your intention. When you go on a client visit, what is your intention? Is it crystal clear and are you there for the client or for yourself?Recruitment is a sales driven industry with lots of KPIs and client visits form a key part of these performance metrics. But if you and your manager are not clear on why you are visiting your clients, then most likely you will be wasting the client's time and your time with very little results to show for it. Unfortunately this also adds to the bad reputation some parts of the industry has.When people come for sales coaching, it continually surprises me that few have even thought about “why” they make sales calls and visits. Yet we know that to achieve the results you want, you need to know exactly what your end goal is. An Olympian does not train haphazardly to see what happens and hopes for the best; she will know exactly what her end goal is with the appropriate milestones to get there and so should you as a professional recruitment consultant.So first of all, know what you want from your visit, you will need a list, say of 5 things, which may look like this:
- Job order
- Thank you (this is when the client thanks you for visiting and demonstrates that you have given value)
Now in order for you to get anything on your list, put yourself in your client's shoes and ponder what they want from you. They are busy people so be clear that you are there to serve them. Their list might look like this:
- Establish your professionalism (can you do the job?)
- Is there rapport?
- Look at your track record
- Understand your processes, pricing, guarantees etc. (notice this is last even though many recruiters think, this is the most important aspect for a client)
The disturbing thing about client visits is how some consultants will go in and talk incessantly without gaining any insight into what the client wants and what their decision making process is.The secret to being a good sales person/recruiter is using the consultative sales process where you “Ask, Tell and Ask”.You only have limited time; a good client visit can be done in 30 minutes (unless you're actually taking a job order), so become adept at finding out what's important to the client, provide your “social proof” and ask for the order quick and painless so you show respect for the client's time.Be honest; have you ever measured how successful your visit was, based on how long you were there, thinking fallaciously the longer the better? The only measure is, whether the client will use your services or not.Here is the blueprint for a client visit that will set you up to be in the front row when job orders come up:
- Ask what the client is looking for in a recruiter
- Ask what they like and dislike about recruiters previously used
- Tell them how you do the same or better (to what they like) and how you do things differently (to what they do not like). Here you use your sales vocabulary focusing on benefits rather than features.
- Tell stories from other client experiences that are similar to their need or pain and how you solved them. At the end of the day, people are emotional buyers. Stories are how you can quickest connect to your clients' emotions. Plus stories are also what people remember rather than your sales pitch.
- Ask if they now know enough to give you the next job order. If not, ask what they are not sure about. Tell another story so they can have their concerns allayed.
- Ask for the job order. If none now, ask when the next one is. Tell them you will follow up closer to that time (and make sure you do).
Be completely clear that for you to get the results you want, you need to be there 100% for the client; listening to their challenges, uncertainties, desires, likes and dislikes. When you can demonstrate that you are only thinking of them and their challenges, you will be the one they choose when they have a vacancy.