Quite a few years ago, before I was a coach, I used to be a pretty successful Executive Recruiter for extremely high-level Wall Street players. Now, you may be wondering how this could help you or even be pertinent to your particular business. Well, it can absolutely turn your whole business around!
Well, when I was working as a recruiter, I was surrounded by other recruiters who were often struggling. They would come in to work, slog away, and for the amount of work they were putting in, there were not a whole lot of results. Some recruiters hardly ever placed anyone.
And I wondered why I was successful and they weren’t. Why were they floundering to get the right people in the door? Why did what I was doing, work? What was I doing differently?
I thought a lot about it and analyzed the secrets to my success.
So, here’s the deal.
What I was doing differently had to do with how I was persisting and the style of how I was persisting in my communications with my clients and candidates.
I have used these secrets in every venture since then, and now in my coaching business. Not only with my clients but with all the people I hire, and deal with in any capacity.
These following secrets (which are about to no longer be secret!) can be applied to so many different situations in all areas of how you communicate in your business and even your personal life.
Secret #1 Follow up.
Well, you might think that follow-up means calling people back once or twice and then deciding that it just didn’t work. And, going to grab a coffee. Not so. I followed up, and followed up until I got an answer one way or another.
The largest number of follow-ups I clocked for one person was 48! Yes. I called a prospective candidate and left 48 voice mail messages for him. I felt that this person would really be a good fit for a particular high-level job and that he would appreciate hearing what I had to offer, so I wasn’t about to give up.
He finally called back, yelled at my assistant and said that I should never call back again. Ever.
Well, now I had a response and a juicy new reason to call him. So, I called him back immediately to ask what the problem was and if I could help him. He was quite sheepish at his outburst…and of course, I used this opportunity to run the situation by him!
Once he heard me out, he was very compelled by the job spec and he ended up coming in for an interview!
I was named the “Pit Bull” from that moment on because they just couldn’t shake me once I had gotten a hold of them.
This was because I had made following up an actual system. And I stuck to it. Like glue.
Secret #2 Don’t take anything personally.
I didn’t take it personally if someone was unpleasant or didn’t get back to me. I just continued with the job. Because it’s rarely personal in business and even if it is, don’t let that bother you. Keep going.
So much is not done from worrying about what other people think. Imagine that you are the only person that matters what you think of you and how you would act if that were the case. The more you practice this, the more real confidence you grow for yourself.
Secret #3 Volume matters and so does Specificity.
You have to sow many seeds to get a good crop. That same principal applies when contacting people by phone or email, or reaching out in person. You can’t generate big results unless there is a lot of activity.
As a recruiter, I would put in many, many calls each day. I cast as large a net as I could.
But, I didn’t make calls without having the analytics put together. Meaning my lists were very targeted and basically not a waste of time! This meant that I was making high impact calls, and a LOT of them. This brought in the maximum of golden leads and more possibilities of placing the right people.
So, for example, when marketing your business, be specific about who exactly you want to reach, and get a really solid, targeted list together. And then, really make those calls and send those emails. The more material and intention you get out there, the more chance you have of generating leads and business.
Because in the end, it is all a numbers game.
Secret #4 Always, But always, be Polite!
On one of my job searches, I had an extremely difficult candidate to handle. And I truly had to try and recruit this person as my client specifically wanted him. Nobody else.
It was hard, but I would brace myself, and get through each call as gracefully and politely as possible, keeping my calm at all times.
Did I mention yet that this was hard?
And, I would not take it personally (as per Secret #3) that he would bark things at me like: “Why are you calling me again?”
Even though the candidate was extremely rude each time, he would always end up asking a little question about the position, despite himself…as I kept piquing his curiosity. And then I would tell him that I would find that out and get back to him.
Well, on one call he asked me angrily, “What makes you think I even want to hear about a job like this?” and I replied very sweetly, “Because you keep taking my calls and asking questions. Do you think perhaps I could run the job by you now?”
He agreed. And the end result was that I placed him in the position!
Now here is the kicker and PROOF of why you must always be graceful and polite in business:
A couple of years later, I was consulting for a different Executive Recruiting firm and on the very first day, the CEO came to see me. After I introduced myself, he said “I know exactly who you are. I know all about you.” Of course, the first thought I had was “Uh, oh. What has he heard?”
He explained that he was the best friend of the abrasive candidate mentioned above, and that at the time, each and every conversation I had with the candidate was run by him. He said that he was impressed at how I handled the situation because he knew how rude his friend was to me. He added that he couldn’t believe that I had succeeded in landing him.
Apparently, as soon as this CEO heard my name come up in a meeting as a possible consultant, he immediately agreed to hire me.
Now, this is a very unusual situation in that I had direct feedback about my actions, my tenacity and demeanor. This won’t always happen.
But people always remember your demeanor, so maintain a good one. It will hurt you otherwise.
And besides, we all just feel better about life in general when we have harmonious interactions with others.
So, take a good look at how you are communicating with all the people in your business, including your clients. Always follow up until you get an answer. Persist, yet keep it pleasant, no matter what. Really do your best to not take things personally. Be very active when reaching out to people, but don’t waste time on unspecific lists or leads. And do your research to maximize your time to produce the highest impact results.
If you aren’t practicing this already, then why not give it a try? It would probably change your business, and maybe even your life!
Please share with us by commenting below what you do from this list of “secrets” and how it’s helped your business. We all help each other!