Clearing Out Your Prospect Clutter


(Prefer to read? Here is the transcription. Please excuse any typos.)


Did you know that one of the best things that you can do as a business owner is to actually say goodbye to some people or finally draw a line under whether a client or a candidate is worth pursuing, or whether they’ll ever eventually work with you? It’s a very cathartic process actually and that’s what the subject of today’s podcast is all about.


Well, I’m recording today’s podcast on a very cold winter’s day up in the Lake District and it’s time for that end of year clear out and quite profound for us as well at the moment because we are changing our CRM system and we are also changing our email system as well. So we’re having a really good assessment of – Is it time to say goodbye or should we continue being in contact with this particular person?


You know, we have had one or two conversations with them, are they really a fit and a match for our business? Should we keep going? Should we just put them on a sort email system so they get some nice, regular, warm contact with us and then when they are ready to convert that would be great?

Now all things being equal here’s a fact for you. It can take anywhere between 7 and 15, sometimes more, points of contact before a potential prospect converts and by convert that would mean become a client or to engage you and your recruitment organisation, or for in the case of a candidate, that they actually start to decide that they are gonna move company and that you are the recruitment company for them. So it can take that many points of contact.

Now the good news is in today’s internet-driven world, those points of contact can vary they don’t have to be picking up the phone and speaking to them, they could be any point of contact. That’s one of the reasons why we’re so keen on encouraging people to use social media. It could be a connection that they’ve had with you on LinkedIn. They could have responded to one of your tweets. They could have read one of your blog posts. They could have opened one of your emails. Email is a great way to build relationships with clients and candidates.

So they could have had a whole number of points of contact with you before they actually convert. So that’s a really good thing. However, that still brings us back to the point – Are they still worth pursuing? Now, well the truth is, maybe…. maybe not. It depends on your business and your business model.

How it may or may not have changed during the year, what your vision is, what your priorities are, and is this person or is this client still a fit and a match for what you want to do? Because at some point as we all have done I am sure, we can chase and chase and chase when in fact they probably are not right for our business or we need to really reflect on this and think “Well, who is right for our business?”

So what can you do when it comes to situations like that? Well, I was thinking it’s a great thing at the end of the year to just go through your database. Go through your CRM system and just have a look at all the different people that maybe you have been in communication with and you know these type of people that we’re talking about?

You know, the ones that never quite pick up the phone or when they do pick up the phone, they ask if you can call back or there’s a lot of stalling going on. And what’s probably happened with these sort of individuals is – They may not be the right individual for you. They may not be the right type of client for you. You may not be able to have that face-to-face conversation with them. It’s just might not be right at that point in time.

Now, something I’ve experienced is doing the process that I’m going to share with you. The end of the year is a great way to either getting closure or at least set the dial again and say “Okay you know, I think they are worthwhile pursuing but let’s just see where they’re at.”


A great thing to do is send a communication and that communication can be an email. It’s less, I would say, threatening for them. Title it, you know, Re: Your recruitment needs… We connected earlier in the year… That is going to prick somebody’s conscience and they’re gonna open that email.


You’re giving them a get out clause you just say “Obviously, we had a connection earlier in the year. You said you were quite interested in using us as a recruitment provider and I just wondered where you’re at with things. Is this still the case or not? You know, I don’t want to hassle you but just thought I’d have a conversation… reach out to you and let me know where you’re at with things.”


I find that is a great email to send to people so you can either get closure. Often people say “You know what, I literally  wasn’t ready earlier in the year but yeah, you know, put me in the diary and give me a call next year in January or whenever.” So that way you can set that up. Or it could be that someone says “You know what, you know I’m not interested.” That’s fine.


In honesty, it’s rare that happens what tends to happen is that you get no response and at least that way you know. You don’t really want to be working with a client like that anyway. At least that way you know that “You know what, let’s just remove that person out of the database. It’s gonna be unlikely that they’re gonna connect with us others and that we’re gonna be able to provide any level of service for them.”


However, with the people that do respond, maybe the opportunity has been opened again and as we mentioned earlier it’s about 7 points of contact so it’s “Okay, well now, we got a line of communication open again. Let’s think about what we can do around that. Let’s have a plan in place for our communication and content strategy with that individual.”


So that’s a really useful way to spend some of your time when you’re considering planning or get one of your team members to that… actually go through your database. Well, hang on a minute here. I know a lot of recruiters will have a conversation about “Well, if we haven’t placed in that account in the last six months then maybe, you know, that’s not the account for us or we can reactivate it.”


You all have your individual criteria but now is a time to really consider and reflect on what you can do about that and whether you can actually start that as a process because it’s a very cathartic process that “You know what, let’s not bother with these. Let’s just, you know…”


It’s a funny thing isn’t it? I always find that I’ve got like leads ignoring the way in the back of my head sometimes thinking “Well, you know I’ve got this sort of 10, 15 people that have connected with me on LinkedIn and they said they’re really interested but you know I never seem to be able to get hold of them. You know, maybe the time isn’t right for them. Let’s just send out the… I call it the reactivation email. See if they are ready to move. If they’re not, at least we know – Well, that’s a no. That’s not a fit and a match for us now. Let’s move on.” – very cathartic process.


So that’s the tip for today as we move towards… very rapidly towards the end of the year. It’s about clearing out the clutter. It’s about getting yourself organised and all ready to make the most of an amazing 2014.





Click To Tweet: [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]Did you know that one of the best things that you can do as a business owner is to actually say goodbye to some people?[/inlinetweet]

Click To Tweet: [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]Is your client still a fit and match for what you want to do?[/inlinetweet]


This podcast was hosted by Denise Oyston. Visit our Google + Page!



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