Instead of opening your headhunting calls with “Are you looking for a new opportunity?” You might consider opening with one of Harley Marketing’s, 10 Valid Business Reason for interrupting someone’s day:
1. Solve a problem
The best interruptions rarely have to do with the services you sell. Instead, share information that helps your prospects address their most important challenges. For example, you could offer:
– How to’s on issues that matter to your customers (kind of like what you are reading right now!)
– Tips on leadership, management, hiring, motivation, productivity improvement, cost control, technology, and any other topics that are relevant to the recipient’s job function
2. Share local & industry news
– forward articles you see in the paper
– share stories you find about companies that are in your clients’ industries
– share experiences and trends you’re seeing in the market
3. Provide statistics
Publish data that would interest your prospects, such as industry trends, hiring costs, turnover costs, etc. For example, when I was in the staffing industry, we published a quarterly clerical and office salary guide showing the local pay rates (min, max and average) for about 20 different positions. We collected the data just by reading the classifieds each week and recording pay information in a spreadsheet.
4. Offer access to competitive data
Do you have information about your prospect’s competitors that they don’t have? If so, offer to share it. For example, you may know the salaries and benefit programs other companies are offering to attract and retain top talent. By sharing that information, you become a valuable resource for planning hiring strategies.
5. Thank you’s – cards, gifts, calls
People like to be appreciated. Taking the time to say “thank you” is a simple, but too often overlooked, way to nurture a relationship.
Teach people how, when and why to use your services. Show people the types of problems you can solve, and how easy (and cost-effective) it is to use your services. This technique is especially important if you are selling to smaller companies who may not be sophisticated consumers of the services you offer.
A good joke can be a great relationship builder. Just keep it appropriate and don’t over-do it. I had a friend who used to share some really funny e-mails with me, but when he began to send them daily, I quickly lost interest. Humor is best when used sparingly.
8. Case studies
Show how real companies are solving real problems using the services you provide. People like to see case studies for two reasons:
1. They prove the value you have to offer.
2. They make people feel more comfortable that someone else has tried the solutions you’re recommending.
9. Puzzles, brain-teasers and trivia
While these may seem irrelevant, providing occasional “fun breaks” can be a great way to create involvement and get people to respond to you. Like humor, this type of information is best used with restraint. In the past, we’ve had good success by adding a brain-teaser to a reply card and by sending out an annual trivia challenge.
10. Training and professional development
Teach your clients and prospects relevant skills (e.g., how to hire) that help them become better consumers of your services. This can be done through seminars, direct mail, e-mail, webcasts or teleconferences. Through the process of teaching a skill, you build trust, you position yourself as an expert in that skill, and you get to spend considerable time with your prospects.
If you don’t want to do the training, consider partnering with other firms who would—so long as there is no cost to you. This type of co-marketing adds value for your customers while demonstrating your caring, commitment, and understanding of the issues that are important to your customers.
These are great openers for both sales people and Recruiters. Finding and sharing relevant information is easy. With just a little bit of effort your candidates and clients will see you as a valued information source. When this happens it will become easier to reach anyone anytime.