Want more clients? Warm up those calls
Tue, 14 Aug 2012 | By Adrian Evans
The secret to maximising the return on calls is building a trusted, reciprocal network. It is almost impossible to achieve anything for yourself without helping others. Think of the last candidate you placed — was it good for your business? Was it good for the candidate’s career? And was it good for your client’s business?
We live in an interconnected and interactive world so use this to achieve more client relationships.
Here is a proven three-step formula for gaining more clients:
Which industries present the greatest opportunity for you to grow your business in the next two years?
E-tail v retail, e-payment v banking, cloud computing v software, thought leadership v following the well-established way? Which companies present the greatest opportunity for you to grow your business in the next two years? Segment and prioritise your target companies into an ABC list.
A list = 20 immediately attractive potential companies, B = 30 next most attractive potential C = 50 next most attractive potential companies.
What ‘unique value proposition’ will you bring to your next client? Is it your market understanding, network of candidates or your passion for their business?
Planning phase complete, now ‘do the do’ — you miss every target you do not shoot at so keep firing.
Which 10 people you connected with now would most accelerate your business?
These people may be the head of a function or a director or chief executive. Think of people within your trusted network who know these individuals and ask them for an introduction. This is priceless and worth more than 100 cold calls. This gives you access to understanding a company’s business needs, culture and how you can add value. This upfront investment pays off.
Clients want the best talent for their business and, increasingly, market-leading organisations are proactively talent pipelining before roles go live. The best place to be is to have a client’s mindshare before a role is active in the marketplace.
Commit to breaking through any obstacles that will inevitably come your way — what are your plans B and C?
Identify how you can help these people’s businesses:
Could you pass on a lead or a valuable market insight? Networking is about giving — giving and hopefully receiving some returned value in the future. View yourself as a business problem identifier and solver, not as a recruiter. Build relationships by climbing the stairs together, based on connecting with people whose behaviour you trust, like and respect.
Step outside your comfort zone to explore new connections. Use your intuition to connect with the right people — if it does not feel right don’t do it. Keep detailed notes of your progress and refine your actions to keep moving forward.
These conversations could last five minutes or could be a 30-minute coffee or an hour plus lunch — take what you can, whether they are one-offs or ongoing relationships. See all connections as representing their whole network and their network’s network. Look for opportunities from every connection — do you spot them every time?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain so make new connections to grow your client base today.
Adrian Evans is a headhunter, passionate speaker and results-achieving coach. In conjunction with being an author, he is the founder of Be a Job Magnet — a coaching and career development academy committed to transforming professionals’ confidence and results.