By definition, a tie down question is one that requires a response that clarifies (ties down) the position of the one answering the question. Asking the right tie down questions at each step of the search and placement process is one of the earmarks of a top producer.
The two primary benefits of asking tie down questions are:
- The answers provide you with information needed to better control and direct the process toward a successful conclusion.
- The answers, by their very nature, define the level of commitment and positional flexibility of the one answering the question.
In the jargon of sales training, tie down questions are also referred to as closing questions. In our business, we need to be asking tie down questions (closing questions) at every step of our process. At no point is this more critical than when we begin our process with a client. In fact, many recruiters who fail to ask the proper tie down questions at that time eventually discover they are trying to work with a client who really has little or no desire to work with them. This represents an almost perfect definition of a waste of time.
Therefore, here are three examples of tie down questions that can be asked at the outset of your discussions with a client if you have any doubt whatsoever about their willingness to work with you. These examples are simple in their wording but leave no room for ambiguity in their answers.