Q: What is the best way to try to get appointments with hiring managers when you are checking references?
A: Reference checks can be a great sales tool–but be CAREFUL! If you go into your reference check with the objective of making a sales call, you’re going to offend and upset many prospects. And that’s no way to build trust and start a relationship.
My suggestion is that you should be upfront and transparent in your calls. When you get a hiring manager on the phone, tell the person who you are, why you are calling, and provide a BRIEF explanation of your goals for the reference check.
For example, you might say something like “Hi, this is Dave Smith, and I am a recruiter with ABC Staffing. I am calling you about John Doe. I understand John worked for you in the past, and as part of evaluating candidates for our clients, we always try to get a better understanding of each candidate’s skills, work performance, and fit with their past teams.”
At the end of the call, thank the manager for his or her time, and if appropriate, you might ask for an extra minute to introduce your firm. You might also want to ask for the person’s email address so you can send a small thank you gift. Then follow-up with an email containing a thank you note, your contact information, an overview of your firm’s services, and some form of electronic gift–which could range from an Amazon gift card to a PDF booklet offering useful ideas on hiring.
If you’d like any more ideas on how to get decision maker’s attention and land appointments, give me a call at 888.696.2900.
I would be happy to help!