External Communications

In all industries, professionals need to communicate externally. From organising meetings, gathering information or simply introducing yourself, the need is there. However, industries are full of professionals who find this challenging – recruitment being one! The ability to get a strong response rate from your external communications will always be beneficial.

Initially, let’s look at some facts;

  • On average, only 60% of a company’s employees engage externally, and only 10% of that is by phone.
  • Social Talent research shows that a clear majority of people prefer to use electronic means to make initial contact, while only a mere 6% use the telephone.

A good recruiter is known for wanting to speak rather than email. It isn’t because they love to talk – by picking up the phone, your chances of engagement increases from 10% to 60%. Already you have diverted the blanket approach and made an active approach – this is perceived as direct and personal. It makes the person at the other end of the phone instantly engaged, and you have your opening.

The positives to even get to this stage are evident; you can get the answers you want instantly, any questions or doubts can be resolved straightaway and your work can then move at an increased pace. Additionally, you start to build a network that you can reach back out to at any point and create stronger relationships.

If they don’t answer, you then use electronic methods as a follow-up. Utilising text, email or even a LinkedIn message to notify them who has called and to why. We have all had calls from an unknown/unrecognised number – I never call them back! If I have a message informing me to whom that number belongs to, at very least I will reply.

Now you have picked up the phone, they’ve answered – it’s vital you communicate correctly.

I specifically remember a few calls from unengaging people at the other end…. I didn’t speak to them for long, even if what they had to say was interesting, however, applying simple techniques could have changed those calls entirely. This is as simple as removing fillers, such as; ‘Um’, ‘in all honesty’, ‘Umhm’ and ‘like’ (which we all are guilty of). Removing these can instantly make your listener more engaged, being able to follow you with ease and understand the meaning behind you call – it also gives what you are saying much more credibility.

Tactical wording or ‘mirroring’ the person can also have a positive effect. If someone is being blunt and doesn’t have time to speak, don’t try to open up the conversation – read the room, respect that they are busy, follow up with an email and try calling again at a later date!

In summary, the power of the phone will never be replaced – make the phone a priority in your communication strategy and the benefits will be significant!

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