How to consistently get exclusive jobs…
There are two parts to this: Mindset, and technical skill.
It starts with your internal monologue
Getting exclusive jobs sounds easy on paper, but the reality of getting exclusive jobs can be difficult if you struggle with your internal monologue when conducting a BD call – so let me elaborate on this.
We all have an internal monologue, which is how we talk to ourselves and how we position ourselves in our heads when speaking to a client for the first time.
If your internal monologue is already negative – AKA “I’m never going to get this job exclusive” – you’re more likely to accept a less attractive role and terms from your client.
If you go in with a positive internal monologue – AKA “I’m going to get this job exclusively and have a great partnership with that client” – you’re more likely to have better boundaries and see an exclusive job as a long-term goal, rather than something you’ll immediately get on a first call.
Eliminate the biases you have against yourself (and the reputation of recruiters)
Just like your internal monologue, you have to confront the biases you have against yourself (and the reputation of the recruitment industry) before you start requesting exclusive roles.
We’ve all seen the posts online: recruiters are terrible, we flake on candidates, and the part we play in organisations isn’t critical.
When, the reality is – most organisations would be lost without great recruitment partners.
Look at some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world: Tesla, Apple, and Meta to name a few.
They have relied on some of the best headhunters globally to find them exceptional talent so they can get to that level.
As long as you know that you do a good job, care about what you do, and will provide an exceptional service to your clients – that’s when you can start to eliminate the biases you have against the industry that you work in.
If a client can’t see how valuable you are – show them.
If they still don’t believe you – there are plenty of clients out there who will see your value, and ultimately, you’d rather spend your time winning exclusive work from them than from clients who will never see your value!
As far as your clients are concerned, you are booked and BUSY
And finally, you need to create urgency on calls with clients.
Why would they give someone with no jobs an exclusive role?
This all comes back to boundary setting and confidence.
As far as your clients are concerned, you are busy with exclusive jobs and exclusive jobs only.
For you to take on and provide an excellent service, a competitive role right now simply would not be possible.
Explain the benefits of them using you exclusively – what do they get from it service-wise? What access do they get that their competitors who only offer competitive roles don’t?
Technical skill – Know when it’s time to compromise
The likelihood of you getting 5 exclusive roles on your first-ever BD call is highly unlikely – but it’s not impossible.
A great skill to master is knowing when it’s time to compromise.
If you have done everything possible to try and get an exclusive role on that call and it hasn’t worked, what are you willing to compromise if you look at the long-term value of that client?
If you see the potential, is it worth you taking on a competitive role (without compromising other jobs you have on) and proving your worth to that client?
Or, is the compromise walking away from the competitive work and calling them for exclusive work in the future?
Open the call with the intention of only securing exclusive work
Linking mindset to technical skill, start changing the language you use on BD calls which will help you to secure more exclusive work.
For example, get comfortable with saying “At [company], we only take on exclusive business due to how we like to form partnerships with clients & it consistently produces the best results for our existing clients. Competitive work creates a barrier and also dilutes your brand image and can affect the candidate experience.”
OR, you could say…
“I only work exclusively with clients due to the competitiveness of the market and the type of service we provide to our candidates.
We only work with our clients on a partnership basis because it will provide you with the best possible results & when we treat this relationship like a transaction often times clients tell us that they are left frustrated with their external recruitment partners!”
These are just a couple of ideas that you could use but experiment with it & find out what resonates best with your clients.
Include exclusive business in your pitch
And finally, master the skill of talking about exclusive business in your pitches if you conduct your business development in person!
Just like on a call, if you go on a lot of client meetings, create a pitch deck that is just centred around exclusive business.
Not only does it make the conversation about exclusive business easier, but it leaves less room for the client to opt for competitive – as you haven’t given them that option.
Now, you just have to wow them in person…
Again, you want to ensure you link why you want to work with them on an exclusive basis back to how this will benefit them and the results they can expect to achieve working this way.
If you make them feel like working this way will take away the pain surrounding hiring away, then why wouldn’t they partner with you in this way?
And finally – this goes without saying…
If you consistently pitch exclusive on opportunities you aren’t confident you can deliver on, you’re only setting yourself up to fail and become another external recruitment partner that didn’t deliver.
You have to make sure you pitch exclusivity on job opportunities and with clients that you truly believe you can deliver on.
The best recruiters don’t pitch exclusively on work that they feel 50/50 on if they can fill!