There are many arguments about selling the sniper versus the scattergun approach and I can see the relative merits of the two. I can see the pitfalls too. Take the scattergun, because it’s hit and miss. Throw enough mud at the wall and some of it will stick.
When I was a recruiter, I was very cocky about this. I pride myself on doing a good job, carefully honing my hit list before picking up the phone, confident that I’ve done the right research to talk to the right people. Credibility is the name of the game in a market that has a reputation as anything. And it works well, to a certain extent. I can have meaningful conversations with 90% of the good people and I enjoy the challenge of turning someone who was initially hostile into someone who respects me and what I’m trying to do. I made it and could happily pick up the phone to these guys time and time again, share industry knowledge, learn more each time, and earn a reputation as one of the good girls.
In markets where you really want to develop a niche and become a ‘go-to’, this approach works well. I carefully groom myself and believe that I am adding value over time.
However, this level of caution and research requires time and time is a valuable commodity.
On the other side of the fence is the less-than-scrupulous and fast-paced recruiter style who ‘machine gun style’ repeatedly picks up the phone as soon as they put it down and attacks the market without a care in the world. They may have left a trail of destruction in their wake and a bad taste in some people’s mouths, but here’s the thing, nothing is just as effective!
The answer is time. People will always venture on the path of least resistance. I can have a likable relationship with someone that I have carefully built over months and confirmed that they would rather use me than anyone else. However if my daily calls (scheduled to occur every quarter or so) fail to connect with them by the time they are actually looking to move in, or looking to hire someone, then chances are the opportunity will be missed and they will simply respond to whoever is calling at the time. that instead of bothering to dig into my details.
This doesn’t always happen as there are plenty of clients I’ve worked with over the years who will always pick up my phone first, but it does happen often enough to leave me feeling frustrated and, if I’m being honest, a little hurt!
Often they would fall foul later and I would help them to pick up the pieces but in a market that relies on lady luck as much as any other force, the scatter brigade gets enough time for it to get annoying.
While every market has its nuances, there are certain laws that are always true and the laws of time are laws that cannot be ignored.
Technology has progressed now since I was a kid and with the advent of bulk SMS text messaging I was wondering how I would implement this, if it was available to me in my recruiter days. The answer that surprised me was that I would use bulk SMS in a special way.
The ‘bulk’ nature allows you to target lots of people at once and regularly so as not to miss an opportunity, but if you do it in a niche then you can adapt your message to fit better and get the best of both worlds, credibility intact.
Doing more with less is the name of the game and bulk texting lets you do just that, efficiently targeting more people in less time and hopefully (most importantly), at the right time!
Nicola Wilson is a mother, freelance writer for Esendex, entrepreneur, business coach, and writer with several years of experience working as a headhunter in the IT sector.