Rule 1 of Social Selling: Make Every Interaction Count

I’ve posted a couple of times recently on Social Selling, or more broadly, how Social Media helps your recruitment agency, or organisation in general; win new business.

I’m communicating a lot at the moment, about the rules of how Social Selling works best. Hopefully they are things that can most naturally apply to the recruitment agency world, and business as a whole.

The theme of this article, and the most simple rule, is:

Make Every Interaction Matter. 

If we are going to make Social Media work for us, we need to successfully and authentically feed a reputation driven environment. Social Selling is less about outbound sales, it’s about inbound marketing and driving word-of-mouth behaviours.

boy flowerThe only way anyone is going to recommend you, or your business – is by you leaving an impression that inspires people to want to do so. Every ‘candidate’, ‘client’ or contact – online or offline – written or spoken.

At CloudNine, it was a mantra of how we operated. We prioritised no-one, and placed equal importance on the newest graduate as we did any industry leader. Most importantly; we strived never to categorise ‘client’ or ‘candidate’ and treated both as the same. The avenues of ‘influence’ are often not dictated by a job title. 

I haven’t made a sales call for 10 years. This is because the measurement of whether we deserved work, was placed in the hands of the people we served. If they were to recommend us, then we were worthy. If they didn’t, then we would miss out.

90-100% of our business was recommendation or visibility driven – the big chunk of that, that was recommendation driven was because we treated people well. Here’s the key rules:

  • Be Nice. It takes nothing to be polite, amiable, generous and warm. People recommend people – but usually they recommend good people.
  • Be Interesting. Recruiters can be so boring sometimes, saving their personality for the pub, and letting their existence be personified & dictated by a serious of droning and onerous sales calls or job pitches. Have more layers to your business credibility – look like you mean it.
  • Be Knowledgable. It helps if you *understand* what your industry is talking about. Be on the pulse, be in the conversation, be revered for it and respected as a true industry component. Lead, don’t follow.
  • Be Generous. Sometimes recruitment can be contentious. Does the client deserve a fee? Did you go outside your terms? Are we going to court? – stop and think about it. Sit down with the client, and see if you can form a resolution. It’s an economic model, that sometimes you have to lose a little up front, to gain a lot. Sometimes making concessions open doors that build relationships – those heels get awfully worn down by constantly digging them in.
  • Be Advisors. I am constantly irked by recruiters who say “It’s not my job to give career advice”. Rubbish. For god sake, help the person who is sat in front of you, or on the phone. If you can’t help them with a job, then help them help themselves to get a job. That person with no experience that you helped onto the first rung, will sing your praises as they are working their way up the ladder.
  • Be A Mentor. This is something you don’t offer. It’s something you earn, by having the credibility and gravitas to be asked. Helping develop and empower raw talent into their careers and through each stage, whether it involves a fee or not, is valuable contribution to the ecosystem in which you serve. Never stop buying the coffees, providing the encouragement and support to those who ask it. These people chose you. You left your mark. You should be proud.

I have sat in recruitment companies that talk about maximising every moment. In this they mean steering clear of ‘time-wasters’. This is good advice. The bad execution of this advice, is misunderstanding what a time-waster is, and cutting off the wrong people.

The people we interacted with were our greatest sales people at CloudNine. And now, after 6 months of not being CloudNineI still get the inbound traffic. In the 30 minutes or so I have been writing this blog; my phone has 5 new notifications of people emailing or messaging me with something akin to “I hear you are the person to talk to about…”

On at least 6 occasions I have been presented with variations of the comment“You are nice bloke… for a recruiter”. In this social media driven world, that means a lot.

Nice guys do alright, you know. Try it.

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