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Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Articles tagged 'clientdevelopment'


Dress For Success, Which Could Be Flip-Flops and Shorts

flipflops-James Barker-free

flipflops-James Barker-freeWhen I began my recruiting career in 2010, one of my first strategies was setting myself apart from the competition — the thousands of internal/external tech recruiters around the country.

We’re all chasing 95% of the same candidates to fill the role. With zero background in technology/software engineering or recruiting, I had to approach every single single task differently or I would fail fast in this commission-only job.

One seemingly minor, yet intriguing, tactic was attire. As with so many sales jobs, I found it incredible that some recruiters still wear business formal to meet with clients and candidates; I even felt awkward going business casual or nice casual. Within a few months, I was wearing hand-me-down t-shirts and shorts just to emphasize the unnecessary attire standards encouraged for recruiters. (Yeah, so maybe I also have a problem with authority.)

Ask Barb

Stop Trying To Be Everything For Everyone

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I’ve been in this business for more than 15 years. Now, our sales are decreasing. We have reduced our fees over the years, and our margins were quoted low to beat out our competitors. With increased costs, we are barely breaking even on some business. I understand the low margins on our light industrial and clerical business, but I think we should be charging higher margins for IT and engineering.

We are only filling one out of every 15 orders we write and only one out of every 18 temp assignments. I would like to hire, because the two people I


7 Tips To Connect With Clients During the Holidays


cocktailpartyThis is the time of year when recruiting grinds nearly to a halt. While your rate of new assignments slows down and you focus more on last minute holiday preparations, you still need to connect with your clients and keep your pipeline active.

Here are some of our favorite methods for doing that.

Arrange your New Year meetings now: Get your year off to a great start by scheduling January meetings with prospective clients now. Chances are, when the New Year comes around, you’ll find your hot prospects all booked up. Call them today!

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?

Ask Barb, Business Development, Relationships

Three Questions Your Clients Will Never Ask, But You Have to Answer

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

My owner has me schedule client visits and client lunches to obtain their temp assignments. I almost always leave their office or the restaurant with no orders and feel this is a waste of my time. Do you think face-to-face meetings are important, or do you feel telephone calls can provide you with more results?

Sophie F

Oakbrook IL

Ask Barb

Become A Champion Planner In Three Easy Steps

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I met you at a recent conference. You advised me to get two to three candidates on the final interview on every order I work. As a result, I’ve just had the best quarter of my five years in this business.

My greatest challenge is time management. The day just slips away from me and I constantly find myself switching gears. How can I manage time better when every phone call sees to change my priorities throughout the day?

Amanda H,

Alpharetta, GA

Ask Barb, Business Development

How Many Clients Do I Really Need?

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How many clients do you think a recruiter needs to become a big biller? I have three clients who keep me very busy and therefore I don’t do any client development. If I land another big client, I would not be able to fill the orders written.

Beatrice P.

El Paso, TX

Dear Beatrice:

The majority of recruiters have five clients or less who represent at least 75% of their sales; this is not recession proof. If one or two clients stop hiring and you only have a handful of clients, you would need to scramble to land additional clients.

Ask Barb

Why Your Recruiters Should Brand Themselves

Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I hear you advising that our sales team should personally brand themselves to show our clients and candidates why they should utilize their services. As an owner, my concern is that the loyalty of these clients and candidates is to my recruiters and not my company. My concern is the day that someone leaves and takes my clients with them. I have a non-compete, but also understand if they move far enough away, I can’t enforce it. Why do you think branding is a good idea?

Francis H.

Kansas City, MO

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.