21 August 2012

Are you sold on yourself?

‘The first sale is always with yourself. If you are not sold, no one else will be.

Your work before the sales meeting is to make sure you are sold – energetically you need to be convinced that what you are selling is going to provide value to the right client.

Effective sales conversations happen when your heart, your mind and your mouth are all saying the same thing … and this only comes from a deep conviction. If you aren’t sold on yourself, you’re not ready to have a sales meeting. You need to go back to work on your product or your offer until you’re in love with it.’

From: A Sales Revolution! By Matt Church and Peter Cook (Thought Leaders, 2012), page 9

After writing last week’s lead article The first 4 weeks: Start your new recruiter powerfully, I received a couple of emails asking me when was an appropriate time for a new consultant to start undertaking their own client and prospect visits.

My answer; as soon as the consultant is sold on themselves.

Selling recruitment services is first and foremost about selling yourself. Recruiters provide a service, not a product. The tangible nature of a product means that a salesperson has the product to fall back on as a crutch in the sales conversation.

Not so for recruiters, and many other people who sell what's intangible - services.

No matter what the size of the agency that the recruiter is working for and whether that agency has strong brand recognition or not, the client’s decision to provide an opportunity to one recruiter ahead of another is almost always based on the individual that they have spoken to (in most cases, have also met)

Currently I am planning to have part of the back yard concreted. Looking at one slab of concrete or another, won’t help me make a decision about which concreter to use. My meetings with the various concreters will, almost certainly, be the key factor (prices being roughly the same) in who I select.

How do clients make a decision on which recruiter to use? I haven’t seen any comprehensive local research on this topic but I suspect the recruiter who is most sold on the service they provide, gets the client’s nod 95% of the time.

How many unenthusiastic, passive top billers do you know in recruitment?

I thought so.

Me too.

The role of the new recruiter’s leader is to make sure that the recruiter is equipped to undertake an effective prospect visit, which is much more than just being able to ask the right questions and explain their terms of business. The new recruiter must be absolutely sold on themselves and what they provide and until they are, they shouldn’t be meeting any prospective clients.

This doesn’t mean that this level of self belief is the only thing required for success in a prospect meeting, far from it, but it is the starting point and without that self belief, your new recruiter will almost certainly never generate results beyond the average.

Looking back critically on my first two or three years as a recruiter, I would regard my technical capability as slightly above average, nothing better. What helped me get through that challenging learning period was my enthusiastic belief in myself and the service I provided.

Would you buy what your new recruiter is selling?
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