Recruiters and headhunters play a key role in determining the success of a salesperson’s career. The sales recruiter with whom you choose to team up has the potential to connect you with the right people and get you the position of your dreams. As such, your choice for a recruiter can either make or break your career. Since the best recruiters typically represent top companies, it follows that their bar is very high with regard to the sales team that they select. Average is therefore not enough. The sales candidate has to be exceptional; effectively positioning him/herself as irresistible to recruiters and sales companies.
When reaching out to a sales recruiter, the initial strategy is geared towards putting you in their radar. Sales recruitment professionals usually get approached by hundreds or thousands of potential candidates on a monthly basis. The challenge for the individual therefore, is to figure out how to catch and keep the recruiter’s attention. Here are some essential keys:
As a sales candidate, you are more likely to find the right recruiter if you are specific about the industry. Seek out recruiters in the sales industry as opposed to reaching out to generic recruitment professionals. As representatives of top companies, recruiters are responsible for finding the candidate who would best suit their sales team. In order to immediately capture the attention of the recruiter, your communication should reflect that you know something about either the recruiter, or the company that they are representing.
2. Email and Follow-up
Once you have identified the sales recruiter whom you would like to approach, the next step is to determine the method to use in approaching them. Sending emails is very effective for this. When contacting a recruiter whom you have never met, the main keys are:
- Brevity: Make your email brief
- Directness: Be clear in your communication about what you would like from them. For instance, if you have discovered in the course of your research that the recruiter is working on behalf of a particular company, you may mention it in the email e.g. “I am very interested in working at….”
- Authenticity: Do not try to sound the way you think the recruiter would like you to sound. Be yourself; the best possible version of yourself, but yourself nonetheless. Recruiters can sniff out a phony a mile away.
Once you have sent the initial email, it is often wise to follow up with a phone call. The line here can be blurry at times as you need to follow up without becoming a nag. An effective tactic is to ask the recruiter what method of follow-up they prefer.
3. Expressing Interest in Potential Positions
There are instances where you need to reach out to a recruiter, but may not know of any positions that they are looking to fill. In circumstances such as these, the best approach to take with your email is:
a) Introduce yourself by name
b) State where you are working currently. If you are unemployed, state what you are an expert at and/or experienced in.
c) Express your desire to explore other positions within the industry