10 questions you can ask in a client meeting/call to get more business
1. When can you meet in person [again] so we can create a solid long-term strategy?
We love open questions in recruitment (obviously) and this one is useful in a number of ways.
Firstly, it establishes to your client that you see this beyond a “one-time” thing and instils confidence that you value long-term partnerships and want to invest time into making it work.
Secondly, using language such as “long-term” and “strategy” moves you away from the traditional recruitment jargon such as “placing” someone – and instead enables you to present yourself as a true consultant.
Off the back of this question, you can explain what a long-term strategy could look like for them.
You want to make your clients’ lives easy, so do the legwork and subtly show this by asking a question like the above.
2. What other projects can I help with? We can currently cover X,Y, and Z.
Basic, but effective. Recruiters underestimate the power of just asking for more business whilst also clearly stating what they (or others in the agency) can do.
Never assume that hiring managers know what you can cover. They are inundated with calls on a daily basis, so again – make their lives easier.
3. What are your plans over the next quarter, and how are you being supported with these?
Always assume that your client is going to continuously hire, even if they’re a small business and you’re working on one role that is “business-critical”.
Support doesn’t necessarily have to specifically mean recruitment, either.
It could be how they present their brand online, or what their current talent team has in place.
It opens up the opportunity for you to consult on future projects – whether you win them or not.
It shows that you care!
4. What skill sets do you often find hard to source for generally?
This question is great because it gives you more insight into what your client finds difficult.
And, if it’s an area where you (or another consultant) has a solid network, you can start demonstrating this to them immediately, whether it’s responding with a case study or simply saying “don’t worry, we are experienced in this and I’ll send you some examples of whom we’ve placed so you can see our expertise” – do the leg-work for them!
5. Where have recruitment partners let you down in the past?
This will not be an immediate business-generating question, but it lays the foundations that you want to do right by your client, and will also give you insight into how difficult they could be (or how easy they could be) to work with.
Find out their pain points, sell against them, build a stronger relationship = win more biz.
6. Who else can we meet to make this partnership more meaningful?
Especially if you’ve got terms signed or already placed with this client, you want to make sure that you’re plugged in with multiple individuals in the business.
Asking for an intro to a hiring manager may feel a bit too “out there” for some recruiters, so instead – use the above language in your questioning.
It taps into the fact that you care, you want the partnership to be meaningful – but for this to be successful, you need to meet more people.
7. What else can we be doing to give you the best service?
Feedback is crucial, so finding out specifically what you should be doing to improve is vital.
8. We would love to continue this as a regular long-term partnership. What steps do we need to take to make this successful?
To the point, without being pushy – sometimes asking straight-up (and stating what you want from the relationship with the client) is effective.
With this line of questioning, you’ll know when it feels right to use it.
There are some hiring managers, CEO’s and heads of talent who prefer a softer approach, whereas others simply want you to ask outright.
This is a great question to use in this instance.
9. We have seen that [x] has live roles, which we can help with – how can we get connected with them?
Another great, direct question to ask which enables you to receive an introduction.
You state you can already help and have demonstrated you’ve done the research to see that they have live roles available.
10. We have [x] service available [search, RPO, embedded, contract, perm etc] and this could fit across your whole business depending on your needs. What springs to mind that you may need for the future?
Cross-selling is your bread and butter.
Remind them what you can do – ingrain it in their brain!
Whether it’s a contract role their colleague has or a big team build next year, make sure that you’re always flying the flag for all your service lines.