Biggest cold calling mistakes recruiters make and how to avoid them.


It’s part of the job something that we recruiters have to do everyday – cold call. Weather you like it or not, it’s still the best way to win a new client and qualify new candidates. I think the key is to be as effective as possible. Review yourself, see what your doing or what your not doing and what you can improve. Here are a few tips that will help:

  1. State of mind – Cold calling success comes down to mindset.Whats your mindset to be on top of your game to cold call? – confident? energetic? motivated? It’s not really effective or good enough to cold call when your in one of those moods. You have to be able to call on cue. Put yourself in the frame of mind when you best cold call, relax and go for it. Visualise the result, it helps a lot.
  2. Objective – What is it you want from the call? A vacancy? Interview? client meeting? Have a clear objective in mind and go for it.
  3. Preparation – “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” … know what your going to say on the call. Have a script and work from it instead of “winging” it. I’m not saying read from it, but its better to have something to work from. When your on the call you don’t want to spend your time thinking of what to say, but instead building amazing rapport as you have something to work from.
  4. Opening – Your first 10 – 20 seconds will determine the rest of your call. Write down a strong opening statement something that will catch the attention of the person your calling, ensure you include your name, company and a key benefit before moving on.
  5. Closed questions – I never understand why recruiters do this. The idea of a cold call is to build rapport and take from the call what you want – a new vacancy, interview etc. Getting yes or no answers is not going to help and definitely not build rapport. Ask open questions lots of “what” and “how”. Put it this way when we meet new people and want to build a rapport we do exactly these things, we demonstrate an interest in them and and ask open questions to him or her.
  6. Decision maker – Speaking to the wrong person pitching a secretary is not going to get you anywhere, for sure they can say “no” but ultimately they cant say yes. Go and target a Line Manager or a Managing Director ,start top – down, if the MD refers you to someone else, well that’s your in “I was referred by your MD to speak to you regarding …” don’t assume you always have to go to HR.
  7. Targets – Set targets for yourself – how many calls to make, how many vacancy’s to pull, how many meetings to set up, how many candidate you want to speak to. Setting KPI’s will give you a benchmark and will track your development. It will also show what area’s you need to work on and improve.
  8. Persistent – Don’t give up. Remember that you may not get a “yes” on the first call. However what you have done is made them aware your there and built some rapport. Now the key is to carry on building that relationship and not have them forget you. You have already done the cold call once, now every call you make will be warm. Don’t give up.

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