Reel In More Recruitment Revenue (pt. 1)
RAS Recruitment Systems' John Mitton Helps You Bait the Hook

About the Author:

John Mitton is President of RAS Recruitment Training Systems. He has 16 years experience in creating and selling Employment Classifieds on Radio and, more recently, on the Internet. John is recognized nationally for his expertise in creating and selling broadcast classifieds. In addition to conducting recruitment-sales workshops for broadcasters, John also speaks to several human-resources and Fortune-500 professional organizations about the benefits of recruitment advertising on Radio. You can contact John by e-mail at or call him at 713-528-2013.

Reel In More Recruitment Revenue (pt. 1)
RAS Recruitment Systems' John Mitton Helps You Bait the Hook
Editor’s Note: this is part one of a two-part article by John Mitton of RAS Recruitment Systems.

Life on the road can be tedious, monotonous, and boring. It also can be productive. Not too long ago, after a full day of recruitment workshop training and sales calls in the field, I found myself back in the hotel room surfing the local television channels. The batteries in the remote control died just as it clicked on one of those "fishing" TV shows. (Don’t say a word!)

"Too many salespeople give up when they're just
one recruitment sales call away from success.
If what you're doing isn't working, try something else."

-- John Mitton, Pres., RAS Recruitment Systems

Anyway, the host was describing seven key essentials for catching fish with an artificial lure. As I watched, I was struck by the many similarities between being successful with an artificial lure and being successful selling Radio recruitment. Here’s what I noticed:

#1: The Approach
Approaching a fish in shallow water requires a change in your casting style. If you try to use the same casting strategy in the shallows that you use in deeper water, the fish will get scared and leave.

If you approach a Human Resource Director the same way you approach a media buyer or direct retail customer, you’ll scare them off. You have to change your approach if you’re going to hook recruitment business.

I once witnessed a Radio salesperson lose a substantial recruitment sale because he tried to sell recruitment like he sold retail. The salesperson’s proposal included traditional "qualitative" information. Although appropriate for a retail media buyer, the information was totally unrelated to helping the client recruit qualified applicants. Confused and flustered, the HR person shut down. She said she had made a mistake and asked the Radio salesperson to leave.

I’m happy to report the salesperson learned from this experience and is now one of the top recruitment producers at the station. And you can be sure not one more piece of unrelated qualitative information has ever appeared again in his recruitment proposals.

#2: Depth
The most successful fishermen offer bait at the exact depth where fish are suspended. No higher, no lower: at the same depth.

I once made the mistake of presenting a 26-week proposal to a new recruitment prospect. The client had told me during our initial interview that she wanted to be more consistent with her recruitment advertising. Hey, if 13 weeks was consistent, 26 weeks would be really, really consistent!

My proposal almost brought on CCA (Client Cardiac Arrest). The HR Director’s definition of "consistent" was different than mine. It was my error for not determining the correct "depth" of the opportunity. What happened next? I did what any normal Radio salesperson would do: I blamed my greedy sales manager for making me present a 26-week contract! Then I created a solution that matched the depth of the prospect’s situation — and then I closed the sale.

#3: Presentation
A successful fisherman makes sure the lure presentation is perfect. How? He or she researches the water temperature, underwater structure, retrieval patterns, and other pertinent details.

How much research and preparation do you put into your recruitment presentation? A successful recruitment salesperson researches the client’s demographic target, appropriate dayparts, compelling hiring challenges, and other interests that need to be satisfied.

The successful recruitment salesperson sees things through the eyes of an HR Director. When scripting questions or writing solution presentations, the salesperson should always try to take the viewpoint of: "will the HR person see this as meeting a need, making life easier, or delivering a better ROI for their recruitment budget?"

#4: Experiment
If the fish aren’t biting, a good fisherman experiments with different combinations until he or she finds one that gets results.

One thing we’ve noticed about salespeople at our recruitment workshops is that the most successful are the ones who aren’t afraid to experiment. They try different scripts to close the appointment, send various kinds of "lumpy envelopes" to prospects, and try different styles of recruitment commercials.

Too many salespeople give up when they’re one recruitment sales call away from success. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. If HR Directors aren’t biting, it’s your job to find out what’s missing. Become more client-focused in your efforts and you should soon discover the missing link.

Part Two of this article, scheduled to run in the March 2, 2000 issue of Radio Sales Today, will cover the key essentials of Focus, Learning, and Confidence, as well as some final observations from the author.