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How to Increase Your Sales Activity

Do you ever procrastinate when it comes to prospecting? I know I certainly do. It’s human nature to avoid tasks that we find uncomfortable.

Yet most recruiters would agree that developing new business is absolutely essential for success in recruitment, especially in the current climate. So how can we get ourselves to pick up the phone and make those marketing calls consistently, instead of waiting until we’re in the mood (which is never)?

The solution is to make prospecting part of your daily routine; something you do habitually, without hesitation.

The Power of a Standing Appointment

Cold calling is like going to the gym — short-term pain for long term gain! I find that the longer it’s been since my last workout, the harder it is to get back into the gym. On the other hand, when you’re in the habit of exercising regularly, the whole process feels natural and even enjoyable.

The key is sticking to a routine — exercising at the same time, on the same days, every week. Many people prefer to exercise in the morning, because they start the day feeling great and there’s less chance of skipping their workout if they get “too busy” later!

Similarly, we can defeat procrastination by setting a “standing appointment” for telephone selling. In other words, set yourself specific time slots for making business development calls. By locking those core calling times into your diary, you remove the decision of “if/when” to call and are therefore less prone to procrastination.

10 before 10:00

Here’s a simple, yet effective formula that has worked well for me and my coaching clients. It’s called “10 before 10:00” and here’s how it works…

  1. Set yourself the goal of reaching 10 prospects before 10:00am every single day.
  2. Schedule this activity in your calendar as a recurring appointment.
  3. Start dialling at 8.30am (or 9:00am at the latest) and stay on the phone until you reach 10 prospects or until you get a qualified job order.
  4. The only calls that count are conversations with decision-makers. Voicemail messages don’t count!
  5. Remove all distractions. Turn off your email and screen your mobile phone calls mercilessly. Unless the call is critical for closing a deal, let it go to voicemail.
  6. Don’t replace the handset between calls, just disconnect and dial the next number. Keep up the intensity! Don’t update your database in-between calls, learn to type and talk at the same time. And save sending follow-up emails until you’ve finished all your calls.
  7. You’ll need to plan your calls the night before, and have the names and numbers of 25-30 prospects to phone because you’ll only reach 30-40% of the people on your list.
  8. Start with your hottest leads (companies that are currently hiring) and/or MPC calls (selling-in your “most placeable candidates”). Then move to call-backs and cold-calls.
  9. Don’t just go through the motions — give every call your full effort.

Of course, if your market is extremely candidate-driven, and you’re lucky enough to have more job orders than you can handle, then you can adapt the “10 before 10:00am” formula and make recruiting calls instead.

Imagine how fantastic you’ll feel knowing that by 10:00am you’ve already achieved so much! This simple little idea of “10 before 10:00” has helped me enormously in my own business. I challenge you to try it for yourself starting today and judge the results for yourself. If you stick to it for the next 2-3 weeks, I’m confident that you’ll experience a big boost in productivity and motivation.

Mark Whitby
 

Mark Whitby is one of the world's leading coaches for the recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. Mark has helped recruiters to double or triple their billings and owners to increase their team's sales by 67% in 90 days.

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