Managing client relationships in a remote world for recruitment businesses
Andrew Jackson-Proes, Recruitment Industry Specialist
You’re working from home and it’s unlikely you will see clients face-to-face for quite some time. So, what can you do to maintain and build your client relationships during this time?
The same principles still apply when you’re trying to build rapport or pitch yourself to a new client remotely. You’re just building relationships in a different way – over the phone, video or email.
Whether in person or not, what is a constant is the need to make sure you’re offering value.
Provide transparent communication
Having a system and a routine for how you keep in touch will offer some consistency and certainty. You don’t want to bombard your clients during an already stressful time, but you also don’t want to sporadically check-in months apart.
Ask your clients how they’d prefer to catch up with you. Would they prefer an email or a phone call? Maybe they live their life on Whatsapp or are newfound fans of Zoom. Perhaps there’s a time of day that is better – first thing before they get caught in meetings, or on a Friday afternoon? Work out what works best for them and track in your recruitment CRM with the relevant alerts to make your life easier.
Focus on building trust
Before you pick up the phone or send that email, don’t focus on the sale, focus only on building trust. Reach out to your clients and prospects when there is nothing in it for you. In the current environment, show your clients that you want to understand what is most important to them. Then help them with that if you are able to.
Offer value and knowledge
Could you offer free online training, webinars or relevant insights about the market? If you are a member of a trade body, such as the REC, TEAM or APSCo, keep abreast of their bulletins and industry reviews so you can talk knowledgeably about matters such as IR35 and the likely impact of Brexit on Right to Work checks.
Share relevant articles, guides, factsheets, infographics or videos. The current situation has brought considerable new challenges which businesses haven’t had to deal with before. Advice and guidance from consultants will be greatly appreciated.
Keep Things Positive
More than ever, now is the time to build human relationships with candidates, clients and your colleagues. You don’t need to pretend like everything’s okay at the moment. You can be positive and uplifting without being unrealistic about the situation. While everything is still filled with uncertainty, let your clients know you’re here for them as a reliable resource.