Regular fees, repeat sales, prestigious customers and business credibility these are just some of the benefits of securing business with a corporate customer and in the current economic climate prized by most businesses operating in Recruitment.
In these troubled times there are many businesses not just those in recruitment who are asking this question -How do we win Corporate clients? So often these are businesses that have thrived in the good economy but really struggling now.
So how do you open these corporate customers up when every door appears to be closed and they no longer want to talk particularly as everyone is chasing them?
Well there are ways but for many it requires a whole new set of skills,relationship selling skills,but most importantly of all, it requires a mindset that has to be totally different.
Firstly you need to focus more on your clients’ needs rather than your needs. Sales people especially, those in contingency recruitment sales, are very self focused. When we all start out in sales we all tend to think of our needs and wants before our customers. To establish long term relationships with corporate customers you need to turn that around and think more of your clients needs rather than your own. That does not mean abandoning your needs totally but shift the focus
Secondly you must genuinely want a WIN/WIN Relationship. Not, “I will discount so long as I can get my pound of flesh” attitude. Integrity and sincerity are something you must feel not fake. You must abandon your opportunistic attitude of making a quick buck in favour of building trust, confidence and making sure your client wins too.
Thirdly there are many ways to do this but in my experience the easiest is to offer true value to your customers over and above what everyone else is offering. That means you have to get to know them. Learn to speak their language. Make yourself an expert in their business and market sector. Learn to understand their terminology and language. What their business problems, challenges and plans are. Where they are going and then be creative, work out where you can offer genuine solutions to their challenges. This is easy to say but it is massively difficult to achieve. It’s why so many people fail because they are unable to make the mindset shift or go on special training courses.
Finally if you do all of these things you will find you can start to build rapport and trust in your client without which you will sell nothing. In many cases it can take months if not years to achieve with some clients.. It is however the bedrock of truly long term business relationships.
Back in 1985 when I started in recruitment sales, I courted Clerical Medical in Bristol. It took me six months of calling every day to get to speak to my client contact and a further three months before I sold anything however here we are 30+ years later and Clerical Medical still deal with my old company so the effort is worth it in the long term.
After 30+ years, involving working through three recessions/downturns, it is my opinion that if you are to survive, or even grow your business in these market conditions, then having a successful corporate client strategy is fundamental. Sadly for so many businesses they find it is too hard to break into the corporate clients so they give up. In my first hand experience of selling to the major banks, IT systems integrators, retailers, public sector bodies and government departments there is no other way than adopting the approach I suggest.
Believe me you cannot deceive people to win this type of business, before you can start to apply other strategies and techniques to open your clients up, many of which we can teach, you must adopt a genuine, sincere and true approach to your clients as well as yourself.
If you cannot then I suggest you prepare for the long tough fight ahead or examine where your future lies.