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Sunday, May 07, 2006

The other day I had an amusing cold-call from a recruitment company. I'll not mention their name, but they bill themselves as "specialising in placing and training graduates for high-profile sales and marketing jobs". Yeah, right.

Anyway, this guy calls me up, let's call him James, and from the start he's not listening.

ME: Hello, David Regler.

JAMES: Can I speak with Mr Regler please?

ME: This is Mr Regler.

JAMES: Er...er...(He recovers and launches into his pitch) We're a UK Recruitment company specialising in placing and training graduates for high-profile sales and marketing jobs. I want to arrange a meeting with you...yadda, yadda....synergies....explore relationships...yadda, yadda....

He goes on for a couple of minutes and I don't say a word (apparantly the more he talks the more I'm convinced). His pitch is just the usual canned waffle. Eventually, he closes me for an appointment with probably the oldest one in the book.

JAMES: I'm going to be in your area either May 8th or 11th, which is best for you?

ME: James, I don't understand why you want to meet me (I ignored the fact that he obviously didn't know where my area was and I seriously doubt whether he was going to ever be in it).

JAMES: Er...er....

ME: You're a recruitment company right?


ME: Well...we don't employ anyone.

JAMES: Er...er...(this was obviously not an objection on his script)...I don't understand...er...

ME: We work on an associate model, that means we don't employ anyone. So why would you want to waste your time meeting me?

Talk about lack of qualification. If he'd taken one minute to look at my website he'd have found that out. I mean, the clue is in the name: Maine Associates ;-)

I went on to question James about his company, got to find out that he'd been there 6 months and had been through their intensive sales training which included, wait for it, cold calling. His target was to make 6 appointments a week; obviously it didn't matter what appointment it was - the company didn't have to meet some basic criteria, such as do they hire sales people ;-). If he just wanted an appointment he should have gone to the doctor.

I emailed his MD and suggested that if they wanted to run a real training course on "cold calling" they should give me a call. I'll not hold my breath on that one.

Needless to say, James' approach is not unique. In fact, it's pretty much the standard out there. And while people like James are doing such a bad job, our life is so much easier.

When we contact prospects they instantly know that we are different - and that's what makes the difference.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:53 am |   | Links to this post  

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