Cold Calling: When You Get Punched In The Face

Mike Tyson – “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”

Wise words from the always eloquently articulate Mike Tyson, and I do agree. It’s true that for most of us, we turn to mush when something aggressive and unexpected comes out of the blue.

Like a punch in the face, or a deviously blunt rejection to your cold call.

I’m sure as a recruiter (or any sales representative out there on the ‘front line’) you will be exposed to rejection on a daily basis, especially if you’re sole purpose is to bring in new clientele. Hey, if it was an easy job everyone would be doing it!

You cannot always plan for every situation, but it’s a good idea to try.

In my training and the training I provide to others, running through scripts and role-plays is essential. Slipping up and making a bumbling mess of yourself in front of your colleagues in practice, is far better than doing so when dealing with new clients or headhunting candidates. I have heard experienced consultants say things like, “oh you use a script! Pffft, I left that behind ages ago. I know what to say”. I am not bound by a script, but I always have one to hand, in front of me, on my desk, just in case I have a mental block or freeze for no reason (as sometimes happens).

When we leave scripted thought out answers behind, we a far more vulnerable to falling into our comfort zone. For example, only asking questions we like asking or shying away from rejection.

Here are some typical examples of rejections in my day-to-day life, and a few cheeky phrases to come back with:

“Speak to HR”

  • “I understand that your recruitment process is done in HR, in fact I have spoken with <insert HR name here>. I want a technical briefing from yourself so I don’t waste your time by sending you an unsuitable CV. What is your main reason to reject a CV?”

“Send me a CV”

  • The problem here is that you will send it and they throw it in the bin
  • “Fantastic. I will send the candidate over shortly and call you at XX:XX today to receive some feedback. If you like the candidate, when are you available for interview?”

We have a strict PSL”

  • “Many of my clients work through a PSL, as there goal is simply to attain top talent. How does this work for you?”
  • “I understand and that makes sense. I’m not trying to get on your PSL here, I simply wanted to flag up this candidate to you. What do you make of them?”

Keep working with what has worked for you in the past, and don’t be afraid to try out new ones. There is always room for improvement!

3 thoughts on “Cold Calling: When You Get Punched In The Face

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