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Persistence v Annoyance – Getting the balance right.

Posted by: Sharon Dunleavy

Persistence is a key factor for success for the consultants at WRS. It’s not unusual for Consultants, especially at trainee level, to worry that if they are too persistent, they will become annoying to clients and candidates. Even deciding how to communicate can be tricky. At WRS, you can seek support from your mentor, your manager, the L&D team, even the CEO. They are often asked,

  • What is the best way to try and reach customers: phone, email, even social media perhaps?
  • Which one will help me get the result I want and need and most importantly, how can I be persistent without becoming annoying?

We asked two of our Managers, Chris Morton-Collings (Global Business Development Manager) and Zain Hussain (Divisional Manager for Technology) what approach they use when reaching out to new prospective clients, and how they strike the balance of being persistent without being annoying.

  1. What do you feel is the right level of persistence for new clients and existing clients?


    Chris - I don't think there is a clear answer to this. I believe perseverance and positivity are imperative to success in recruitment development. If you don't show the right level of tenacity and engagement, you'll struggle to gain traction with both clients and candidates. However, it's a fine line between perseverance and annoyance and this is something that only the people in the conversations can gauge. That said, I think the reason for a lot of our success over the years is down to chasing leads until they are spent and never giving up. I have BD items on my daily plan that are over 3 months old, but I will still chase them weekly until I know they are definitely closed. You never know when a company is going to be ready to hire again and recruitment is about being in the right place at the right time. If you don't keep yourself in the game, you're never going to win it. 

    Zain - Persistence is key when it comes to recruitment. Like any sales professionals, we must create value and put forward solutions which will have a business impact for our clients. Our data points suggest to win new clients we need to have up to seven conversations with them before they turn into a buying client. Hence, setting key time frames for follow ups and contacting them to keep in touch is crucial, so that when there is a need WRS is a brand they go to. Our success during COVID and as we return back to some normality has been down to constantly keeping in touch with our clients and sharing market information and competitor analysis. This meant our existing clients knew we were sharing the tough times and didn’t forget about them because there were no hiring requirements.

  2. What communication channels do you use and prefer?


    Chris - Face to face meetings trump all other client development in my opinion, however this is not always possible and, with the current COVID-19 situation, even less so. Failing this, I find the phone is always the best channel, a personal conversation beats any other method of correspondence. 

    Zain - Nothing can beat the human touch: meeting clients at their office or for coffee has always been the preferred mode of meeting. However, we live in a very digitally connected world and have success communicating with clients via Zoom and Teams. I have also noticed existing clients are becoming more responsive on WhatsApp instead of traditional email.

  3. How do you stand out?


    Chris – A number of things make WRS stand out: attention to detail, responsiveness, detailed knowledge and experience of the sectors we work in. We’re often able to partner with clients through personal referrals, company reputation, ambition, tenacity, perseverance and positivity. On top of that I have belief in the business and my own capability, coupled with a refusal to give up and caring about what we do.

    ZainDeep industry knowledge and understanding the turnkey technology spectrum from product companies end users to vendors and consultancies. Gone are the days where you call clients and ask if they are recruiting! We undertake a consultative approach, for example a HealthTech client of ours was looking for an analytics and cybersecurity vendor. As we have in depth contacts within these industries, we offered to make an introduction and this resulted in a long term joint venture partnership. Providing a service such as this certainly differentiates us at WRS.

  4. Where do you find leads about potential hiring needs for clients and how do you research these leads?


    Chris - Many different places, but in my opinion, candidates are the best source of information. Industry insider information is always the earliest sign that something is happening. By the time it gets to the web it’s already been around for a while. Knowing your sector and knowing key candidates within it is the best way to keep your ear to the ground on what is happening. 

    Zain - Generating leads in an AI driven world is simple, how you cleanse that data and ensure you are following up at the right moment is what sets you apart from the rest.

  5. What do you feel WRS offers our clients which other companies don’t?


Chris - WRS is a privately owned yet globally capable recruitment business. In short, we can be flexible. We can focus our our recruiters to our client’s needs. Our business is scalable and we have market and industry specialists across a broad discipline spread. This allows us to offer a consultative service bespoke to a client and their requirements. We are constantly looking for new clients and regions to move into as we want to grow alongside the organisations we work with, working as an equal partner supporting all their staffing, contracting, payroll, travel/mobility and HR consultancy requirements. 

Zain - When setting up the WRS Technology division in Singapore, the key focus was to build an experienced team as quickly as possible with the ability to offer tailored talent attraction solutions. We also agreed that we needed to offer a 24 to 48 hour maximum turnaround for key deliverables to our clients. We now have a team of six experienced consultants who have their own specialisation and can service the entire technology spectrum. The WRS Technology division continues to grow, enabling us to provide a total solutions package. With regards to persistence, we are persistent when it comes to letting potential clients know what we offer and it’s in their interest to spend the time to get to know how WRS can support them, so being persistent benefits everyone.

It’s great to hear Chris and Zain’s input on how to approach potential customers and the importance of perseverance. If you want some more food for thought, and inspiration on different communication methods, then take a look at the article in this link.

How to Be Persistent in Sales Without Annoying Your Prospects ( - written by Niti Shah @nitifromboston


WRS can save you time and money by supporting internal resources, providing you with the best pre-qualified candidates when you need them. We are a workforce solutions company with offices in Europe, the Middle East, APAC and the Americas, supporting the needs of businesses around the world. We employ specialist sector consultants, who can help you to identify the expatriate and local personnel you need to keep your business moving forward.

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