Some restaurant management recruiters, once they get past the register operator or the hostess and on to the manager, get this initial rush of excitement, "Oh boy! I've got a live body on the other line, I can't believe my luck!" Then the crash occurs, when they realize they weren't prepared, and think "now what do I say?" This crash happens more often than you think, I've even seen experienced recruiters get tripped up in what to tell a potential candidate once they get them on the phone to pique their interest.
The answer is simple; be prepared to talk about their business. Too many recruiters don't do enough homework on the company they're calling, and then are surprised when they don't have anything substantive to say. Every call can be warmed up if you are knowledgeable enough about their restaurant concept.
The best place to start, and that's the key word here, start, is by looking at the company website. Find out something about their operation…look at how what they do in their restaurants translates to the restaurant company you are calling for. As a former restaurant manager, use your knowledge to help you relate to what that manager does, in order to more comfortably speak to them. That will give you a starting point in talking shop with the potential restaurant management candidate, but don't stop there. KNOW THE COMPANY YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR! Be ready with facts...not opinions... about the client that you can use in a quick conversation that would breed interest in a potential candidate. Too many restaurant management recruiters do not take the time to “think about how to explain the benefits” of their client to a potential candidate in a cold call.
Once you're armed with this information, you'll be more effective in getting the potential candidates attention. From there it's much easier to build rapport, as you'll be seen as an expert in their industry, as well as knowledgeable about their company. This alone will put you above and beyond the other 5 cold calling recruiters that called in the past week that have not done their homework.
An example of warming up the call using this information:
Hello Mister “Potential Candidate”, this is M.R. Recruiter with Martin and Associates. I'm an executive restaurant management recruiter, and work with “some of your competitors”. I am conducting a search in your area for a “???? Position” there and as a seasoned restaurant manager myself I know that your duties and knowledge translate well to my client. I admire your (style of operation…your company…etc.) Because of (use your knowledge of the company here) and I have found in the past that managers from your company have been of interest to (my client) because of (?).
There are three things you've done in that opening statement. #1) You've introduced yourself as an industry leader, #2) You've let them know you're working with their competition. Good restaurant managers always want to know about what their competitors are doing. And #3) It compliments them by calling their company one of the leaders in the industry.
Now that you've gotten their attention, turn it back to what you want to do. Go ahead and talk about your client and what you can do to help them or someone they know meet their career goals. ALWAYS ASK FOR A REFERRAL!!
It's really quite simple.
Finally, recruiters slow down! Take time to plan, think and then execute your cold call searches.
Then, don’t rush through a call. Slow down long enough to connect with a potential candidate.