Saturday, March 8, 2008

do you know your clients?

I have been encouraging our Account Managers to increase their face time with clients. Our market – the recruiting market has some very client particular indicators that are hard to read in an email. When the economy was kicking our clients were an easier read –desperate for talent and needing us to be working the candidate market hard for them. We are lucky to have some great clients, and a good number are still in high gear, but as the economy cools it is much more important for us to be connected to our clients’ strategic, tactical and immediate needs. The obvious reason for this is the competitive nature of the recruiting market but the true reason is that our business is contingent recruiting so we have a vested interest in having an intimate understanding of our clients needs. If we don’t understand something then we aren’t successful and will not get paid. In our recent management meeting I was fairly ambiguous about what information need to gather from our clients –This is fairly uniform regardless of the service you offer and should include:

Are there any new or upcoming strategic initiatives impacting their business?
Are they getting a ROI on the service (people) we have provided?
What are the biggest factors impacting their business and what type of person would make the biggest impact.

Meetings can be a great source of value for both client and vendor. If you have the right clients they should look forward to seeing you (this is a good test of who you choose to have as a client). If the information you receive is documented and collected in a database and is shared with all the members of your team then you have significantly enhanced you ability to get to the next level. Congrats.

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