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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   August 2016

Research and Plan to Get Past Voicemail

What do you do when top producers are too busy to take your recruiting call?

Everyone wants actively employed candidates with a book of business they can bring with them. How do you recruit people when they are too busy to even take your call? How do you differentiate yourself so you can get your foot in the door? The truth is that great recruiters find candidates before they have made the decision to move. To do that, you have to study potential recruits, garner an introduction, and offer something they currently lack.

With the current load of business coming at top producers, strong prospects don’t have the time to get out there and find out what is available. So, if all you’re doing is posting jobs online and running ads on social media and radio, you may need to reassess your methods.

The truth of the matter is that even candidates who are considering a change are so busy that they need you to come to them. To do that, you have to get to know them so you can establish a rapport quickly when you finally land a meeting.

Today, everybody is on LinkedIn, the social network for professionals. This is a great resource for locating and learning about candidates. Where has your potential recruit worked? What schools did he or she attend? Do you have any common associates or interests? You can find all of this information on LinkedIn with just a few keystrokes.

Be aware, however, that some people actually dumb down their LinkedIn profiles to remove themselves from the continual barrage of recruiting calls. If you think some prospective recruits are short-selling their accomplishments, widen your search. Look for blogs they have written or insightful tweets they have posted. Find out if they are active in their local mortgage associations. In short, do your homework before you engage a candidate.

After you learn about prospective recruits, you need to find a way to get past their voicemail. One way is to hang with your tribe. Are the people you are looking at attending the same coaching events you attend? If they are, that may be the perfect place to introduce yourself. Plus, you know those recruits are continually improving their craft, which makes them even more valuable.

People are more receptive to taking your call if you have a mutual acquaintance, paired interest or united causes you believe in. This is where your research comes in handy. Perhaps a shared connection on LinkedIn can give you an introduction. Maybe you can bump into your prospect at a non-work event. You can essentially turn a cold lead into a warm lead by planning your first contact with purpose.

If you do make contact via the phone or online resources, you will want to move that online relationship offline as soon as possible. In other words, work to develop a real relationship with your prospects through a quiet, off-the-books visit. Meet at a coffee shop, go out for a beer or attend a fashion show together — whatever makes the most sense. You are looking to build synergy and momentum from the initial contact to a face-to-face meeting through a real-life activity.

When you get that face-to-face meeting, be prepared to answer your recruit’s most pressing question: “Why should I come work for you?” Only you know the answer to that question, but you should be prepared to discuss several important topics: transition, support and leadership.

Many prospects will want to know that you will take care of them during the transition. They should understand it will be disruptive for a short period of time, which cannot be avoided, but you need to give your recruits the confidence that you will work to keep the disruption to a minimum and that you will support them through it.

Knowing an originator’s annual production can help. You can cite your recruit’s numbers and describe the support you have available to handle this production. Obviously, the needs of a $1 million a month producer are different from those of a $5 million a month producer. Be realistic with yourself as well as your recruit. Know what your company can handle. You easily could blow up your branch if you bring on a $10 million a month producer without the appropriate team to support that increase.

Your recruits also will want to make sure you are the right person to lead them forward as they make a change in their career. The face-to-face meeting will give prospects a chance to evaluate you and your leadership skills, because much of leading is the ability to communicate effectively and to motivate people through personality and persuasion. These qualities should be evident in your meeting.

Unfortunately, these are qualities you will have to develop for yourself. They typically cannot be taught. As a leader in a mortgage company, you should know how to lead effectively. You must be able to find ways to engage the people on your team. If you cannot do that, it will not matter if they pick up the phone or not. 


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