Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Cold Calling

Cold Calling, Jeff's On Call!

3 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper


The first and most important thing a recruiter must do is get through the gatekeeper to the prospective client. Smiling and dialing is fine for voicemails you hang up on, but placements aren’t made that way. You might as well be talking to your kids.

If you follow me, I’ll show you where the secret passages are to get past the guards at Placeland.

1. Find the Hiring Authority

More placements are lost by calling the wrong person than any other reason. That’s why the recruiter’s bumper sticker reads, “So many sendouts, so few offers.”

Cold Calling, Jeff's On Call!, Relationships

How To Turn Client Criticism Into A Win

Placements and the law logo

Although it’s rarely discussed openly, the most pervasive problem in doing search is internalizing criticism from employers. It causes recruiter burnout, limits options, stifles creativity and results in low self-esteem.

That is why overcoming objections is such an important part of any placement training program. But overcoming objections doesn’t overcome the effects of destructive criticism. This PTL column will show you how to do so and improve your bottom line.

Let’s start with your role in the placement process. With few exceptions, the relationships between the recruiter and the client are transitory. You’re in a “what have you done for me lately” business. You’re only as good as your last placement. Don’t perform, suffer a massive ego stroke, or overcharge and you’ll be history. This is a reality of business; it’s a value-for-value relationship. That’s why you charge for your services, and that’s why they pay. For this reason, satisfied clients are the key to a satisfied, successful you.

Business Development, Cold Calling

Your Pitch Will Stand Out When It’s About Them


elevatorpitchDoes your elevator pitch sound anything like this? Hi, I’m Bob and I recruit the smartest people who can hit the ground running for the best companies in the area. And I can do the same for you.”

Not too bad?

Wrong, says Ian Altman. “The best elevator pitch shouldn’t explain what you do,” he says, “if your elevator pitch talks about WHAT you do instead of WHY people might need what you do, then your message is likely falling on deaf ears.”

Cold Calling

Hi! Here’s How to Leave Voicemails Guaranteed To


telephoneWhat’s the one question that every recruiter asks themselves when cold calling? Do I leave a voicemail? If so, what do I say and how much information do I share?

Later, you wonder, “Why don’t I get any call backs?”

If you were to ask 100 recruiters whether or not they leave a voicemail when cold calling I’m willing to bet you’d get a split right down the middle.

My answer to that question is a solid “Yes.” Simply stated, it’s a matter of dangling the carrot, so to speak, to elicit a response. I’ve used a special VM

Cold Calling, How-To

Working With Gatekeepers and Candidates

2-minute coaching

Editor’s note: Monthly in The Fordyce Letter Gary Stauble addresses issues of importance to every recruiter. In this column reprinted from the March issue, Gary tackles gatekeepers and presentations.

Topic #1: Getting Past the Gatekeeper

So you’ve done the work of tracking down the name of a key individual and now you’re about to make that all important call but you’re worried about being questioned by a gatekeeper. Here are some ideas for making sure that your call gets put through:

Business Development, Cold Calling, How-To

If the Front Door Doesn’t Open, Try Going Around Back

Listening ear girl - free digital

Spying eye - freedigitalThere are numerous definitions for the term “back channels” if you were to look this up on the internet. A back channel can be as simple as students or conference attendees using IRC or instant chat to discuss a lecture among themselves. The lecture or talk is the “front channel” (formal presentation) while the chatter being the back channel.

A back channel can also be attendees of a webinar or conference posting comments to each other as the speaker is presenting.

Taking a publicly posted commentary on Facebook, and continuing the dialogue on instant messaging (Facebook messaging) can be another back channel. I’d venture to guess there’s more dialogue going on via private messaging than there is in the visible status update sections as behind-the-scenes people are willing to divulge their opinions more openly and discuss topics of a sensitive nature.

As a result the conversations are often livelier and more informative in the back channels than they are in the formal mode. The military and federal government state departments use back channels for obtaining tips from informants.

Cold Calling, Motivation

How Spinning Can Make You A Better Recruiter

spin class recruiting

spin class recruitingFor the past few months I have been engaged as a consultant/mentor to a team of 35 IT recruiters, and I’ve been trying to figure out the activities that separate top performers from their less successful colleagues.

I think I’ve cracked it:

Uncomfortable is where the rewards are.

Funnily enough, it came to me in a spinning class (indoor cycling). I am a spinning instructor in my spare time, and teach three classes a week at Almaden Valley Athletic Club in San Jose.

Now, anyone can sit on a spin bike (or at a desk) and look like they are working. But to truly experience the magical powers of indoor cycling you need to get outside of your comfort zone and really pick up the pace. The payoff is huge: lower blood pressure, cardiovascular supremacy, rapid weight loss, improved strength and endurance, high self-esteem, improved appearance, to name a few. And you learn to love it because you love the results.

Bit what could this possibly have to do with recruiting?

Cold Calling

‘No’ Could Mean ‘Yes’, So Just Talk to Me

Marigold hotel

Marigold hotel”Just talk to me.”

I saw a post in a sales group on LinkedIn:

How do you generate leads of potential customers in B2B, industrial products, raw materials or semi-finished products?

Actually it was a poll and 33% said they did geographical screening/searching; 33% said they used fairs, ads, associations, the web and etc.; and 33% said they used “other,” but it didn’t say what “other” was.

I bet it’s cold calling.

I saw a movie a while ago  called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Here’s the trailer.

I loved it and highly recommend it.

It’s about a bunch of financially distressed old farts that travel to Jaipur, India (for various reasons) to spend their golden years in the lap of luxury. When they get there they discover they’ve been taken in by advertising that promised so much more than it delivered.

Or did it?

Cold Calling

Yes’ Could Mean ‘No,’ So Just Talk To Me


Just talk to me.

I saw a post in a sales group on LinkedIn: “How do you generate leads of potential customers in B2B, industrial products, raw materials or semi-finished products?”

Actually it was a poll and 33% said they did geographical screening/searching; 33% said they used fairs, ads, associations, the web and etc.; and 33% said they used “other,” but it didn’t say what “other” was.

I bet it’s cold calling.

You can take the poll here and view the collective wisdom of others immediately.

Business Development, Cold Calling, For Managers

“How do I win your business?” Not By Doing What Everyone Else Does

Try me marketing on billboard

Note: Matt Lowney will be speaking at the upcoming Fordyce Forum 2013. His session So You Want to Sell to Me? Here’s How to Do It will offer firm owners and leaders a look at what it takes to get a client’s business and how best to connect with new clients in today’s highly competitive world. Register now at Fordyce Forum 2013.

“How do I win your business?” It seems like a simple enough request, but ultimately it’s a process that most recruiting agencies do not handle well.

In June I will be speaking on this very topic at the Fordyce Forum in Dallas – winning and keeping business from the perspective of the client. As someone who has utilized every variation of third party recruiter, I know they can add tremendous value, but there are three key areas that agencies should focus on improving to make the vendor-client relationship less tenuous. Let me be clear, this is not a beat-up-the-vendor topic. I want to focus on raising the bar across the board for all recruiting professionals.