Recruitment Matters

Decision makers and people involved within the recruitment process get called by recruiters day in day out – sometimes, quite literally, several times a day depending on the size of their organisation and the market they are in. Those telephone calls come from recruiters just like you, all wanting their share of the action.

So why do some get the chance to work a vacancy and others get the cold shoulder? Why do some guys get an exclusive role at the full fee and others get a “no thanks” and a “please don’t call back” response?

Well, it could be the recruiter’s ability to handle the difficult rebuff that can turn things around. Yet when your contact says “We have a PSL,” do they really mean there is no way in for you or is it simply a quick put down to get you off the phone? Why do they say that, if in reality they potentially could do with some help? I’d like you to consider this:

Getting a negative reaction may have quite a lot to do with the initial impression that you create – what your opening is and how much homework you have done. If you have a compelling opening, a good reason to speak to them and ‘sponsorship’ to call, then maybe, just maybe, you won’t even get the objection or negative reaction.

So what is ‘sponsorship’ in this scenario? Why cold call a stranger saying “You don’t know me, I’m a recruiter…” if, instead, you can say that the reason for your call is that you have been speaking with a current or previous contact of theirs – obviously name dropping your sponsor as you do so – and tell them that the person suggested that it would be a good idea for both of you to speak? Now, you have to agree that’s a far warmer opening and, therefore, a much more compelling reason to call with that all-important sponsorship. Even if you do get the “we have a PSL” reaction, you can at least be more sure that is a genuine response and not something said to fob you off.

So, an ongoing project for you has to be to try to find someone who can give you the sponsorship to call a new prospect.


Either find an organisation you want to do business with and explore who you might know, who has a contact there, and whose name you can use to get you in. Or speak to your existing contacts as to who they would recommend you call within their business, within a different department or office within their organisation or who they know outside of their organisation.

Working hard at that may well mean that 80% of your introductory calls to potential clients have that all-important sponsorship. Now, of course, that means you will get fewer objections, but it also means that, if you do get one from a sponsored contact, they are more likely to be genuine. And that’s a good frame of mind to get yourself into. Whether it is a cold call or a sponsored introduction, start to believe that they would use you if they could, and it’s just circumstance, purse strings, satisfaction with their current provider or any other VALID reason. In that way, when you give your response, you will sound more reasonable, respectful and professional.

Good luck – go get those sponsors!

Contributor: Ken Kemp, MD, Recruitment Matters International +44 (0)1529 410586

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