recruiter developer

Don’t let ‘referral fear’ impact on your sales results

In the past when coaching Recruiters around the sales elements of their role one of the first things I looked at are their conversion ratios and activity levels. This is a powerful exercise of understanding where the weak link in the sales chain may be.  Almost without exception when I tackled the subject of referrals, I am reassured that they are being asked for consistently.  But when you start to closely examine the actual activities there were gaps, big gaps.   Sure, they may have had the best of intentions but the commitment shows through actions and nothing else. The activities did not often demonstrate a real commitment to making referrals happen.

Referrals (and by a long shot) is one of the most effective ways to increase new business and get a bigger market share of existing business.  One of the many advantages of referrals is that the sales conversion rate is much higher.  In Sales Prospecting for Dummies, author Tom Hopkins claims that the average sales closing ratio for non-qualified leads is only 10% compared to a 60% close ratio for referred leads.

It’s not difficult to understand this better conversion rate.

A referral has built-in credibility that reduces the risk new clients might feel in doing business with you.

The client is half-sold on doing business with you even before contacting your business.

So why is it that most people are not fully committed to being proactive with referrals?

Simple! It’s fear.

Here are the 2 biggest fears that I hear:


  1. Asking clients for referrals will hurt my relationship with them

No it won’t!  Not if you ask in the right way – one that simply doesn’t hurt relationships.

When you use a client centred approach to ask a client for referrals, the client will either give you referrals when you ask, give them later or won’t give you referrals at all. But you’ll NEVER hurt the relationship.

2. Asking for referrals will make me look desperate or unsuccessful.

Wrong again!  Ask in the right way and at the right time.

You just need to find a way to ask for referrals in a way that comes from a position of strength; that comes from a position of success. Make it all about the value you bring and the confidence you have in your ability to help people.

If you take just 10 minutes everyday to think about 5 people and they gave you 2 names each.  You instantly have 10 people to call, right now!  Apply the same principle over and over again, and watch your network grow before your eyes… literally.  A bit like LinkedIn but these are real relationships, with real offline people that have the opportunity to add real value to not only you but each other.

Resilience in Recruitment

Resilience in Recruitment

Wednesday’s word is ‘resilience’. Probably the biggest and most important trait in any high performing recruiter. Purely by coincidence, last night we noticed it was Nelson Mandela day today and there’s no greater example of resilience than this man right here! While most of us can’t even imagine the challenges that Mandela himself endured, we all face struggles and stressors of our own, some minor and some major, all of which call into question our own powers to cope.

So today, if you’ve had a put a job on hold, a candidate accept a counter offer, someone no show for a temp job or a client approaching a candidate directly, here are 5 tips to supporting your resilience:

1. Regulate your emotions, don’t let it fester.

2. Practice empathy and try to understand things from someone elses perspective.

3. Reach out and connect with others; colleagues, friends, clients and candidates.

4. Practice Self-Efficacy. First and foremost we have to believe in ourselves and our powers to get things done!

5. Develop your problem solving skills, research suggests that people who are able to come up with solutions to a problem are better able to cope with problems than those who cannot.

#recruiterdeveloper #recruitmenttraining #recruiter #resilience #mandeladay

Here are 5 lessons from Mandela on resilience by Jan Bruce from meQuilibrium




Many people find it difficult to reach out to strangers even if it’s just about sharing pleasantries. What happens when you also want that stranger to not only listen to you but to trust you with the important task of their next career move or charging a placement fee to find someone for their business? Yes, the task becomes order of magnitudes difficult. That’s why recruiters in my opinion, are courageous people who are not afraid to connect and ask the right questions. Here are a few tips that will help you be more courageous in recruitment.

Don’t Fear Rejection

One of the top most concerns of any novice recruiter is what if the candidate/client/prospect shoots me down from the word go. Look, you miss hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. Living in the fear of rejection is akin to giving up. If you don’t have enough courage to take no for an answer, you’re not going to become a recruiter, let alone a great recruiter.

More Action & Less Thinking

Many recruiters fall prey to meticulous planning so much so that it takes a great chunk of their time. While planning ahead and researching is important, overdoing thinking can actually be counter-productive. Devise a reasonably effective plan and follow through with it. Recruitment is about connecting people and quickly! Be courageous enough to be the first.

Don’t Shy Away From Difficult Questions

Whether it’s written or verbal expression, you’re going to sell with your words. Prepare yourself for answering tough questions and you will all know what type of tough questions I am talking about. You must have answers ready. Part of being courageous is about how prepared you are. Tell the client/candidate/prospect how your service more than justifies the price and how any perceived weakness is overshadowed by the value you and your service offers.

Don’t be afraid of asking tough questions yourself. It tells your customer you’re in this for mutual benefit instead of just taking making a placement.

Set Tough Goals

One of the key indicators of great recruiters is how they push the boundaries of comfort zones. If your regular target has become a walk in the park, it’s time to challenge yourself and assign even tougher targets. Recruitment isn’t a profession where you can sit on your laurels, apart from fierce competition, there is always a chance of someone coming along who could do one better. Only courage can take you toward becoming the best at what you do.

So whether you are a business owner, a seasoned recruiter or a new comer to the industry practice courage everyday.

Recruitment Contributor

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Want to be part of a really cool community of passionate recruiters? We are enlisting guest speakers, co-presenters, bloggers, vloggers & newsletter writers. So if you’re an avid writer, a seasoned presenter or an up and coming recruitment star with lots to say contact us hello@recdev.com.au to explore some options.

Recruitment Coach

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We are looking to create ANZ’s biggest network of recruitment training specialists. You can advertise your services, host your training and leverage from a leading industry brand.

Contact us at hello@recdev.com.au or call Amanda directly on 0449 593 933 to talk options 🙂

Dean Brennan

Creative Director
Dean knows absolutely nothing about recruitment and we couldn’t LOVE that more about him. This has translated into the fact that he isn’t bound by any preconceived ideas about what is the norm and thinks about concepts from a creative mind.

He is however, a talented photographer and award winning director and short film maker, with an impressive line of credits to his name. Being an all round creative soul, Dean’s unique skill set helps our clients with bringing their vision to life. Including:

Full production capability for training, marketing and recruiting (EVP) video’s.

Corporate photography for ad campaigns, social media profiles, brochures and training content.

You can see his work at play in our social and training material 🙂

Contact Dean

Amanda Brennan

Owner and Managing Director
Amanda is the brains behind the team and we could tell you that she used to be a billion dollar biller or that she sold her recruitment business for gazillions but that’s not true or entirely relevant to being a kick arse trainer! Amanda has been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, she’s also a qualified trainer, certified coach, serial business owner and she’s really, really, really good at developing recruiters #truestory

For the last 10 years she has been a specialist recruitment and sales trainer in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. During this time she has helped recruiters and recruitment business owners with organisational development and performance by developing recruiter skills, behaviours and processes to improve profitability, efficiency and retention.

Contact Amanda

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