Harry Joiner, the Marketing Headhunter, used to be in a rock band and he's still a showman. He starts every cold call like this:
HARRY: Hi Mary. Do you know who I am?
HARRY: So, you have NO idea who I am?
HARRY: Huh. You know nothing about me …
MARY: No [but now she's racking her brain to figure out who he is because it sounds like she should know].
HARRY: Okay. It happens. I’m Harry Joiner, and I’m a marketing headhunter specializing in ecommerce and new media. In fact, … are you online right now? … Okay, Google “marketing headhunter” … Last year I closed VP-level deals for some of America’s best loved brands, like X, Y, and Z …”
Comment: Harry claims that his boast makes people feel like they are doing their friends a favor by introducing them to him. And I'm sure that this works -- for Harry. But, again, he's a showman with a special talent for communicating . Most people could not pull this off.
When Obama was spending time, at the beginning of the campaign, discussing policy, he was euthanizing his campaign. There is no policy wonking when he is speaking to the tens of thousands in rallies that make lesser candidates green the envy. -- Charles Adler, National Post
The moral of this story: dreams inspire, technical discussions don't. Recruiters are often advised to sell the sizzle when they present a job to a potential candidate. But, in fact, what are their dreams made of but opportunties to use their technical expertise.
A top salesperson is a child, a bottomless pit of craving for ego-validation from sales and public recognition for her victories. She operates on instinct like an animal and will say anything necessary to get her prey.
She doesn't care too much about product knowledge because facts are not the main basis of her sales. And, someone who acts without conscious thought cannot teach anyone else to do what she does.
The second-rate salesman, on the other hand, wants to help his client. He doesn't tell the client what to do, he doesn't pitch; he asks a lot of questions and uses product knowledge to help the client make a well-informed decision.
This consultant-type sales person does not have a ravenous hunger so his priority is solving customers' problems, not persuading them to buy. And, he isn't a natural so he has to think about what he does and, because of that, can explain it to someone else. Also, being less of an egotist, he can enjoy letting his students shine.
Summary: Scotty advises you to use some substance plus a lot of sales bafflegab in your approach to potential candidates.
He claims that you have 15 seconds to grab attention in a cold call. And you do that by offering something. So, what does he offer?
Don't say: "Hi pally, my name is Danny Aiello. I'm a recruiter with ABC. I'm networking for a software engineer and thought maybe you could help me."
Try this: "Hello, my name is Harry Swanson, a recruiter with ABC Company. I'm currently representing a fast-growing, highly successful software firm looking to add new talent to its team. It's a really good position, and the company has many benefits for its employees. It offers three weeks of yearly training, has an excellent employee value proposition, and is currently designing the next generation of software for the XYZ industry. Do you have any friends, family, or colleagues who might benefit from knowing about this great opportunity?"
What did you offer? Not much. Some info about the software and training. The other stuff is vague fluff like: "It's a really good position".
Scotty says you can also start off by describing a benefits package or new product launch. But expect a 90% "no interest" rate.
Reply with: "OK, thank you for your time. I respect that decision and don't expect you to leave your job at the drop of a hat. If you ever want to explore your options, please give me a call."
After the first two calls, says Scotty, you will be in "a zone". Notice that he doesn't say which one. Scotty, please!
60 Minutes had a report on an amazing drug that relieves the pain in painful memories. It's called propranolol (pro-pra-no-lol).
The theory is that your memory is like jello. It takes time to set. What makes a memory memorable is adrenaline a chemical released by your body during fight or flight situations.
Propranolol protects your brain from the effect of adrenaline so that the painful memories are not encouraged to set. It also seems to undo the effects the adrenaline has had on your memory in the past.
So let's imagine that you are a fearful person. In an interview, you will be so busy protecting yourself from some imaginary danger that you will not be able to perform at your best. So you leave downhearted and even more afraid than you were before.
But what if your fear is caused by painful emotions associated with the memory of some specific events in the past. And what if you could take a drug that allows you to forget those emotions. You would finally be free of your inordinate fear.
Now, imagine that you are afraid of making cold calls because the person at the other end of the phone might not like you. Your discomfort is irrational as you can't really get hurt but it is nevertheless severe. And let's say that it's based on some bad experiences in the past. Take a little Propranolol and poof, the chains of bad memory disappear and so does the irrational fear that held you back.
You should watch the 60 Minute report. It's incredible.
He proceeded to tell me that he was not only completely uninterested in talking to me, but that our firm had no concept of the needs of smaller businesses and therefore he would never consider us as a service or product provider.
I countered by telling him that that was exactly why we wanted to meet with him, to prove that we did indeed understand his business and his industry....
He agreed to the meeting. I suspect it had more to do with curiosity than addressing an actual need, but the purpose was to secure an appointment so that we could begin to build trust by sharing something of value to him.
After 13 months of careful nurturing, we signed a six figure agreement with this CIO