Pushing beyond four “no’s” from a candidate will remind them of all the slick recruiters they encountered in 1999 and will alienate you from what could become a fruitful relationship. But once you have a rapport and get three or four “No’s,” try this last final rebuttal, what I call the “Come ON, Dude!” rebuttal. It only works if you have a strong trust level with a candidate (and you don't even have to talk like a surfer). And just like learning a new dance routine, this hip move can be done in five easy steps, and you will look so cool to all of your other recruiter friends.
Move away from the recruit call. Once they give you their "I'm happy spiel," give them a distraction away from the recruit call. Say “That's fine, Joe. I think it's a fine thing to have loyalty to a company.” Let them get their guard down. You can almost hear them sigh and relax.
Ask a question. And make sure this question has nothing to do with you collecting a fee, even if that's on the forefront of your mind. Talk about geography, the weather where they live, hobbies outside of the business, etc. “How long have you lived in Chicago? Do you ever get out on the lake on the weekends?” “Do you play much golf in Phoenix?” “I hear it rains a lot in Seattle.” Whatever you ask them, keep it light and risk-free.
Find common areas of interest. Is theirs a similar hobby to yours? Do you have a relative that lives where they live? Did you used to work in their industry? Is the weather where you live similar to where they live? Have you ever been to their city? Whatever is common with them must be brought up at this point. Forget about focusing on turning them around. Instead build a rapport by finding common areas of interest. Once you build this rapport, the ensuing trust gives you a deposit into their emotional bank account. You can never make a withdrawal from a bank account that is empty, and it's the same way with people. You can never ask them for anything without first giving them something, and what you are giving them is a reason to trust you. By building this rapport, the trust materializes as a natural byproduct.
Move back to the recruit call. This is what you say after your rapport building “dance move” is finished. Now it’s time for the twirl. Say, “Joe, it might make some sense to keep talking about this for a little bit longer. I just can't help but believe that there is something compelling with my client that is there, but at this point you might not be able to see it. I feel that I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't at least bring it up with you again.” And you have to be sincere about it. Don't say it unless you mean it because they’ll see right through you.
Give them the “Come ON, Dude!” rebuttal. If your trust level is exceptionally high with them, then try this cool move: “Joe, I don’t know you very well, but if I did, I'd say, ‘Come ON, Dude! You really NEED to look at this!’ But I don't know you that well, so I can't say that to you (they might chuckle here). What do you think, Joe? Why not spend some more time talking about this? What do you have to lose?”
Try these five steps and see what happens. But remember, it only works if you have legitimate influence and rapport built up with the candidate. And if you do, your candidate will be thanking you for leading them through your new dance routine.
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