2020 started off with such potential and optimism then all of a sudden in March things as we knew it changed dramatically and almost overnight.
Instantly we were faced with a dilemma. How are we supposed to continue with our business and sell our agency services during this time, plus is this even appropriate?There is no definitive right or wrong answer here but what remains is the need to achieve results. The focus needs to be on the long haul, re-evaluating, protecting and diversifying if needed, while maintaining empathy to the current situation and those you deal with.
1. New beginnings
It is more than likely your approach with both clients and candidates will have to change from what it was.
Think about your key messages used and is it still appropriate? 'Quick' decision making or a 'why act now' type of approach is probably not suitable, but highlight how you are successfully working in the current circumstances, what support you still offer and highlight your agency value clearly.
Online booking software offers a quicker, easier, and cheaper way of ensuring that you keep on top of your admin chores, maximising efficiency, reducing risk and compliance worries.
Considering how your clients or candidates may have adapted or issues they are facing, can give you a steer on how to approach and if it is fitting currently. Listen to their challenges and offer genuine support if appropriate. Transparency and understanding can go a long way.
Education is key and your agency brand remaining in the forefront of customers minds a longer term goal.
There are a number of ways in which your new approach can be more flexible. You could consider additional payment models or providing higher value in terms of service. Relax terms of contract if needed in the short term or upfront costs for new clients potentially.
Your clients may not need you to recruit just now, but they may do soon or even later down the line, and maintaining the relationship is crucial for when the time is right for them. By strengthening your existing relationship will ensure you remain their go-to recruiter.
Make certain if you have a team working for you, that they are fully aware and onboard with your intentions and 'softer' approach.
3. Connect, Connect, Connect
Recruitment is all about connections, so although continue to build your network for sure, when reaching out during this time make sure the focus is on connecting genuinely. Making real connections is more important than ever during this time of uncertainty.
How you reach out is also important at present. A LinkedIn message or email may be more fitting initially, with a follow up call or video call if then suitable or when agreed to. A more considerate approach will be remembered and appreciated.
4. Sales approach
With regards to the sales approach itself, a positive approach and preparation is fundamental. Lack of groundwork can kill a conversation from the off!
It is the time to work on building pipeline foundations, as well as maintaining an exceptional level of service for existing clients.
It may mean thinking outside of the box a little with what you can offer / agree to, but ideas such as a referral programme for candidates - offering an incentive to those that recommend you and your services.
When it comes to inbound enquiries, these need to be welcomed of course and dealt with impeccably. Opportunities that come knocking at the moment are to be really appreciated.
In a busy, competitive industry, you need to work harder currently to secure new business while offering the best possible customer service to existing clients.
We have to do the next right thing, remain positive and open to what may come next.
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