In last week’s blog (Part 1 of 3), we looked at “connecting.” In this post (Part 2 of 3) let’s look at “convincing” and see how these study findings can be useful for recruiters who want to enhance their own excellence – finishing as the “winner” and not “second place”.
In the RAIN study of more than 700 sales calls, the winners were adept at persuading buyers that they would actually achieve worthwhile results (with the vendors’ solutions). They helped minimize risk by building trust and confidence and demonstrating solid experience.
In the study, those who were able to effectively convince buyers were also less likely to encounter a “no decision” or lose out to competitors. When able to effectively convince, the winning sellers in the study solidified their position as the only viable solution worth considering.
Winning sellers were able to define and effectively communicate the value the buyer would realize by purchasing this product or service.
Implication for recruiting
As we look a little deeper into the skill of convincing, there are some key implications for recruiters. First, it’s worth noting that convincing involves helping your prospects or candidates feel confident in your ability to “deliver on what you are promising”. To inspire confidence, you must be skillful at asking great questions that help you understand what’s of value to your candidate or prospect. And you must be an attentive, interested and curious listener. You won’t be able to convince anyone (especially your passive prospects) if they don’t think you have taken time to adequately understand what’s most important to them.
So often the temptation is to sell too quickly. In this case, if you go into “pitch mode” without building trust in your ability to have the best interest of the other person at heart, you won’t be very convincing. Your prospects – especially your passive candidates – will sniff you out as “just another recruiter”. And once you become a commodity you will have a very, very difficult time of recovering.
Second, you need to help your prospect or candidate think through key factors associated with making a big decision – like a career move. Sometimes, people just need someone who can help them see a decision from all angles and raise important questions – as well as avoid possible pitfalls.
Nothing inspires trust and respect like being honest and open about your opportunities. You won’t convince anyone if they think you are more interested in “closing an open REQ” or getting a “big commission” than you are in helping a person make a great, informed decision. Afterall, people want to minimize risk when it comes to career decisions, and your ability to help them process the decision goes a long way to inspiring trust – and to helping you become more convincing.
Your prospects are going to want to do everything they can to avoid (or at least minimize) risk. No pain, no change, as they always say. However, if the risks of change seem too high, your prospects will resign themselves to “living with pain”.
Third, it’s important to not just be persuasive – but to do so with passion and conviction. Once you have instilled confidence and built a trusting relationship with your prospect or candidate, you need to “sell the vision” with enthusiasm. For example, have some encouraging and positive stories handy – stories of others who were just like your prospect and who achieved success. Don’t hold back when it comes to painting the picture of the bright future that awaits your prospect.
Sell with energy, paying particular attention to carefully aligning what you are describing with what’s most important to your prospect. A powerful vision, along with trust and respect, can be highly convincing and persuasive.
And finally, do your homework about your competition. Know how you stand, competitively speaking. Be ready to address common objections and be diligent in asking great questions about other opportunities your prospect or candidate may be evaluating.
In the study, winners were twice as likely to be able to create the perception that the overall value they offer beat the competitors. The second-place finishers didn’t create that perception. Again, when you think of developing perception of “overall value” you need to be highly tuned into what is important to your prospect. Begin with your understanding of what is of value, then keep aligning your opportunity or company with what’s of value to your prospect.
In Part 3 I will unpack the third level that distinguishes winners from second-place finishers: collaborating.