Reference checking is a great way to make a warm call into a new company. The process begins as a reference check call but with a dual purpose to ‘flip’ into either a recruiting or marketing call for new business. The call itself is one that is easily executed, because you will not encounter much resistance when you are calling to facilitate a reference check. You then build credibility because this prospective client now knows the caliber of both candidates and opportunities that you represent. However, most hiring authorities are savvy to this approach, and it’s best executed when you introduce the dual purpose of the call up front. This is typically received more openly than when you flip to marketing midway through the call, with no prior notice.
There are three MPC approaches that will be covered in this section: The “Most Placeable Candidate” Presentation, the “Generic MPC” Presentation, and “Yourself as the MPC” Presentation.
The Most Placeable Candidate approach revolves around sharing a potential individual to a potential client in hopes of not only securing an interview for that candidate, but also demonstrate your credibility and capabilities as evidenced by the type of candidate you can present. The candidate is leveraged as a “hook” to interest the client early in the conversation and compel them to continue the dialogue. This is a proven technique that allows you to demonstrate the quality of candidates with whom you work. The key is to select a candidate whom you can market to multiple prospect companies.
Your challenge as a recruiter is to bridge the gap between the professional fees you charge and the value or perceived value that you provide for companies. One of the best ways to bridge the value gap with both clients and candidates is to develop true expertise in a very specific industry or niche: this is called Market Mastery. By gaining in-depth industry insight beyond the obvious, you position yourself to bring unique knowledge to the marketplace – knowledge worthy of your professional fees.
There are two ways to look at the Consultant Approach to Marketing, covered in both the descriptions below as well as the example scripts and video clips.
The first angle to approaching your clients from a consultative standpoint revolves around the quote, “prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” This angle is based on asking questions designed to gain insight and understanding before making any recommendations or asking for any business. This is a great approach when you have a solid compelling introduction to the call; if you’ve not positioned yourself with enough value that they want to engage with you, your ultimate success with this approach will not exist since you won’t be able to ask them even your first question. Your introduction must differentiate why you have earned the right to this conversation, and why you are different than other recruiters from which they hear. This angle lends itself to a higher chance for new business, since you are able to first diagnose and then prescribe a medication that is targeted specifically to their pain.
No different than we can use an indirect approach when recruiting a candidate, we can use this same approach when pursuing new client development. This approach can be used to demonstrate market mastery and consultative questioning, as well as allows the opportunity for a client to volunteer themselves or their own needs. This is a great approach to use when you have a specific client in mind that you would like to target and partner with. Perhaps you know that they have done projects with your target client in the past, or they used to work at a firm you are targeting, or sit on a board with the leadership of your target client. This call can not only arm you with plenty of information to approach your target client and have a higher level of differentiation than all other recruiters.
The merger and acquisition marketing approach is one that delivers strategic growth solutions to firms who are interested in gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace through M&A services to grow their market share. Instead of placing a single candidate, you can facilitate an introduction for an entire organization to integrate their business into that of your client. Your fee is based on a percentage of the overall sale of the firm. Not only does this approach lend itself to large fees, but it also provides a platform for some high-level strategic business conversations with the ultimate owners and decision makers.