I Hate Salesmen

Hi Danny,

I hate salesmen. I don’t want to be a “salesman”. Yet I got into sales because when I believe in something, I can sell it easily. And for years people told me I would be a good salesman. I’m not bad. I can close. But I’m not great. I want to be great! Right now I’m 3 months into my new career in recruiting. I have closed 3 deals in 2.5 months. I have no recruiting experience prior to 3mo ago. I want to last. I’m working a niche in senior care recruiting medical executives.
My goal is to be billing at least 200k my 1st year. My question(s) to you is:

For someone who has never recruited but has the personality to headhunt, what are some daily habits that will bring me up to par with top billers?

Should I learn their medical jargon?
Should I learn every aspect I can of their industry (because I don’t know much)?
Should I be making more than 100 calls a day?
Have you had rookies, who have never recruited, bill more than 200k their first year?
Is discipline key? Persistence? Working more than 8 hrs a day? Where should a rookie be most focused?
Do you have some rookie basics 101? Good discipline for rookies? Rookie etiquette? Do’s and don’ts?
What is key for rookie success (billing 200k/year)?

I find myself chasing people who don’t send me resumes (I know I shouldn’t be chasing someone to give them an opportunity), they should be chasing me!!
I don’t want to be a cheesy salesman stalking candidates, I want to be a realistic/down to earth recruiter who presents opportunities…

Danny's response:

When you say you “hate salesmen” and don’t want to be one, I get it. You don’t want to be perceived as manipulative and self-serving, you conjure up stereotypes of a guy in a plaid jacket and a gold toothy grin saying, “What’s it gonna take to get you in a car today?!” Groan.

So here’s my rule. I’m not a salesperson, I’m a story teller. I “read” the narrative that is my company’s story, and then I spread the word. Evangelically!! I NEED people to know what I know about this company. I feel I’m Robin Hood. I take the good people from the bad companies and bring them to the good companies. And I would never, ever work a job where I didn’t feel it was a good job, a great company, and a genuine opportunity. And guess what? When I feel that way, it allows me to push, nudge, use hyperbole (a little), and yes even employ manipulation, because manipulation gets a bad rap. Some people are afraid to move even though they should, some are just lazy, so do I have guilt and fear and other forms of positive manipulation in my arsenal? Damn straight. And in the end, they thank me for it. So first get in the right mindset…okay, your other questions.

Medical jargon. Yes and no. You need to know your niche, but get your education from the internet by reading in your spare time, and from candidates when interviewing. I’m an English Major who first placed engineers, and I was constantly asking candidates, “What is extrusion of plastics?” “When you say, CNC machining, what is that?”…did I risk being ignorant and looking unqualified? Yes, but candidates love to talk about their work, and they don’t pay my fee. I bluff with clients and come clean with candidates and after a while I know enough to be a subject matter expert. 200K first year. Absolutely. It’s a stretch but I see it every year.

100 calls. Today’s desk is a multi-channel approach. We see a one to one relationship of emails to calls. In general, 60 calls and 60 emails gets you to 200k faster than 100 calls. Not everyone will respond to a call. You may have to start in email. So hone your skills in writing as well as the scripts you use on the phone. (You have several typos in your question, so proof!)

Discipline. My oldest, truest friend. It is the single best indicator of success in life, more than IQ, more than natural talent. Given a choice between a super talented but lazy recruiter with a gift of gab who wastes half his day and a less talented “drone” type who bangs out his calls and emails and I PROMISE you I’ll make the drone rich and the super talented guy is out of the biz in 3 years. (while of course blaming others) This, ultimately, is a biz for the scrappy.
You are an ATD member, you should make it part of your work week to dedicate one hour a week to the 1400 page training website you have at your disposal. Read every Ask Danny in the archives, watch every video…then listen to the Listen In’s or watch the webcasts. Repetition is the mother of learning. I promise you every scenario you are likely to face is addressed in the website, and every question you have has been asked and answered by an Ask Danny.

Lastly, don’t give up. And don’t be influenced by anyone around you who says you can’t do it. Misery doesn’t just love company, it throws parties. Surround yourself with people who want to be great, and you’ll become great by association.

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Ask Danny Email Report

We have hundreds of great questions and answer blogs from Danny and the recruiters he has trained. Look for emails highlighting these questions.