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Telling isn’t Selling

An infomercial is a lecture. The problem with lectures is they aren’t interactive. Sure, Billie Mays tried to ask and answer the questions he thought you might have. But you didn’t get to interact. Now we’ll never know if Oxi-Clean can erase dried on Mighty Putty. 

But that’s just one question I might have as a consumer. I do online research, and try to educate myself, but sometimes, I just end up asking someone. All sales training will tell you to ask questions, not lecture about products.

In the recruiting industry, there’s one major thing that we almost all do… and it counts as lecturing.

I read a lot of recruiters’ emails. I especially read the ones directed at me, as opposed to for me to review. Those recruiters who’ve “found my LinkedIn Profile very interesting” and proceed to tell me about them, their company, and the job they want me to fill for them.

Forgive me if this sounds a bit like a rant. I’m not the kind of person who spends a lot of time on the internet reading “about us” pages. Nor company history pages, not even the pages that list their past clients. And I don’t want yours emailed to me. If you do email that to me, it better be amazing. The best thing I will read. I mean truly Hugo/Oscar/Pulitzer worthy material.

We (recruiters largely, not you dear reader specifically) are sending out sales funnels and e-blasts meant to inform and educate our clients and candidates about our services. You may have a standard script you use when leaving a first voicemail. Something meant to introduce you, your company, blah, blah, blah.

That’s a lecture. On behalf of every potential client and candidate in the universe, I do not want a lecture. I don’t know anyone who has ever said, “right now, I want to be lectured!”

Instead, cut out that long, boring monologue. Your first introduction should not be an essay on why your company is cool. Create some curiosity. Make me want to interact with you. Be fun and playful. Or be bright and informative. Or be quirky, yet kind. Most importantly, be you. Not a commercial.

Sorry for the lecture. For more ways on getting clients to engage with you, click here.

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Jason Thibeault, acclaimed recruiter, trainer, coach, and superhero. Jason brings decades of experience in search, and is also a published author, a black belt martial artist and a former chess champ. His specialty is getting into the minds of people and unlocking the big picture and clearing the next obstacle. You’ll have so much fun with him; it won’t feel like work. 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sharol Wilson

    Jason, thank you for clarifying something I have always known to be damaging in the recruiting field – sounding like a scripted actor.

    I know as an Executive Headhunter, I have to engage with candidates and potential clients because I am building a relationship.

    I have spoken with Tricia and I know I need a coach.
    Moore Essentials is definitely on the top of my list.

    Thanks for sharing invaluable information that can only help me as a recruiter get better at doing this.

    Have a very positive day!

  2. Pat

    I’ve noticed similar trends; specifically, content marketing seems to have been blown out of proportion at this day and age of sales/marketing.

    Try scrolling through Linkedin for 15 seconds and not feel bombarded with what are essentially advertisements (all of which require your full contact info and a download) — despite having the face of just “deep industry expert” “content”.

    What’s on the opposite end of content marketing? (I don’t know the answer)

    That’s what is now “different”…

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