The Phone Isn’t Dead Yet!

phone-499991_640This is my 19th year in staffing and for the last five years, I keep reading more e-mails and articles proclaiming that trying to initiate and conduct staffing transactions through phone conversation is hapless.

It’s true that there is a larger menu of selections to choose from regarding how to connect with managers, but the phone is still a very viable source in terms of generating success.For example, I think that many salespeople use this reasoning as an excuse because of the frustration that comes with the number of attempts and messages that you have to make in order to make one connection.

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There is a reminder that I keep taped on my wall by my desk that indicates that it takes a sales person (regardless of the industry) five to 12 attempts to make 80% of his/her sales. This is reinforced regarding a client’s HR manager that I’ve been calling on for over three years and finally had remarkable success, but it was predicated on constant communication and us both being from the area (Raleigh’s one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country due to new transplants) and we both like similar social events. I would always discuss things this HR manager was doing in the area and would share what I had in common.

Two years ago, I asked why we haven’t been able to work on any of the company’s initiatives, and I was told that they had an incumbent provider that had been their primary staffing source for years. Remember, I’ve been in constant contact with this same contact for years and counting; I told her it was OK and I didn’t look at it as a waste of my time but I would like to stay on the company’s radar in case they ever changed paths.

Three months ago, I got a call from the HR manager asking if we could get involved in a direct hire position they were having difficulty trying to fill (Remember my earlier conversation in which I mentioned the reason that they had a go-to recruiting company they always deferred to and why were they finally using us). I was told that the position had been open for a long time and the other staffing firm had been sending less-than-stellar candidates and the hiring company hadn’t received any recently. The manager needed this position filled immediately because it was a priority for the department and the company. I told HR that we would make this position a priority and would try to have good candidates over for review shortly.

We filled that position and shortly after received another one and filled that as well. As of this writing, we’ve filled four of the five positions that have been given to us; the only one we didn’t fill was due to a direct candidate referral from an internal employee.

I hone in on this because the winning formula for this client was constant phone communication, performing when you get that sole opportunity and realizing that no contact is truly wasted if you’re strategic about it.

MORE: How to ensure your staffing firm is up to date

Michael Barefoot

Michael Barefoot
Michael Barefoot is senior account executive at Red Zone Resources. He can be reached at mikeb (at ) redzoneresources (dot) com.

Michael Barefoot

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