In terms of being at the top of your niche market, you only need to be slightly better than your competitors to be the premier recruiting firm in your area.
You’ve heard the phrase â€œlittle things mean a lotâ€ but in terms of client relations, little things donâ€™t mean a lot- they mean everything. Our clients are not looking for â€œadequateâ€ service or even â€œgoodâ€ service — they are looking for firms that can surprise them with exceptional service.
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
Here are some ideas for small steps that can make a big difference:
- Send them a high-quality newsletter on a regular schedule. If you produce a newsletter, focus on content that is of interest to your client. Avoid the brag, brag, and more bragging garbage that some firms produce and you will make a better impression.
- Conduct complimentary salary comparisons for loyal clients. Clients love this! I have several clients who call me annually and give me the names, titles, and salaries for everyone in their group and ask me for my thoughts. I spend a short amount of time comparing their numbers to past assignments Iâ€™ve worked on, my candidate salaries, and their competitorâ€™s job postings. This extra care builds tremendous loyalty.
- Offer sincere appreciation for your client. At the end of a search process, take the time to thank the client for something specific that they did. Were they prompt in calling you back? A pleasure to deal with? Let them know what makes them unique- everyone craves sincere appreciation.
- Provide relevant â€œstreet levelâ€ information. You know more than you may realize and this information is more valuable than you may think. For instance, do you know which of your clients’ competitors are the most attractive to job seekers? Do you know the reasons for this? Which firms are getting ready to reduce their staff? Which are keeping staff happy and through what incentives? Offer to be your clients’ â€œeyes and earsâ€ in the marketplace.
- Personalize gifts and make them fun. The more personal you can make this, the better. I have a coaching client who is a recruiting firm owner who purchased a bunch of zip zap cars last Christmas, personalized them with his clients’ logos, and then sent them as gifts. Department heads were racing these little cars down the halls and telling their co-workers about the recruiting firm that had sent these fun toys. Not a bad return for a $14 gift.
- Get to know your client as a person. No matter how high-tech our communication may become, nothing can take the place of a face-to-face meeting. How much do you know about your clients? Their background? Family life? Hobbies? If your competitor knows your client on a deeper level than you do, he will have a major advantage over you when it comes time to review their vendor list.
- Provide professional training. What can you train clients on? Interview techniques? â€œThe top 10 interview questions they must ask,â€ â€œThe top 10 things they should never do on an interview,â€ â€œ7 ways to improve team cohesion,â€ etc. They will be inclined to see you as a close advisor if you have provided value-added training for them in the past. This also allows you to display your expertise in a non-sales environment.
- Under promise and over-deliver. Integrity is a characteristic that can help to separate your firm from the pack. Integrity is expressed in all of the small things that you do and donâ€™t do for your clients. Keep your word, tell the truth, and deliver more than you promise and you will make a strong impression.
- Send them regular, relevant articles with a hand-written note. This allows you to provide value to your client, stay in front of him, and display the fact that you are an â€œinsiderâ€ in regards to current events and trends. One article can be sent to 100 clients and prospects so you can get a lot of mileage out of this one idea.
- Educate clients on how to make the right choice when selecting a search partner. Can you develop a report on this topic? How about a 30-minute presentation that you can deliver to a prospect or association? Give them real information that they could not get elsewhere on what to look for and what to avoid.
- Continually innovate/improve your services. This gives you another reason to stay in close contact with prospects and clients. Contact them to let them know about a new program, service, report, survey, guarantee, etc. Having something new to offer keeps your service fresh in the minds of your clients.
- Send them reports that your firm has produced on relevant topics. Provide them reports on motivating staff, increasing productivity, reducing cost per hire, leadership, management, hiring, and any other topics that are relevant to them. You only need to develop these once and then you can use them over and over with clients and prospects.