Finding clients in a new market and positioning yourself as an expert

By Steve Beckitt, Founder, SourceBreaker

Diversifying is not a new concept in recruitment. As an industry, we pride ourselves on our ability to perform a quick pivot so we can take advantage of a hot new market. 

As the pace of change in the world accelerates, markets fluctuate and different industries rise to prominence, your ability to diversify is going to be essential to ensuring your agency’s success far into the future. 

 I will be hosting a webinar with Dean Kelly on 23rd July at 2pm, providing real life insights into diversifying into new markets.

Before the webinar takes place, I have created three articles that cover the three core areas to consider when moving into a new market. From identifying our market through to winning new clients and finding new candidates.

Last time we gave you the 5 things to consider when diversifying into new markets. For our next step we’re looking at things to consider when finding your first clients in a new market,  and position yourself as an expert. 

Finding your first clients

Once you’ve chosen a market to enter, the next step is to identify your target clients.

Work out which companies are likely to be hiring right now 

When choosing your market you’ll have spent time mapping the key businesses within that space. Equally important is identifying the companies that are not only the ones you want to work with, but that are going to be hiring right now. 

Work out the hot sectors where there is a current high demand for talent. Sectors like Fintech and EdTech are a good bet as both tend to be well funded and have an ongoing need for talent.

The biggest businesses in the market probably aren’t going to be your best bet at this stage. 

Their hiring process is almost certainly too lengthy and well-guarded for what you need right now. It’s worth keeping them in your pipeline of companies, but expecting that this will likely be a longer play. 

There will of course be situations where you can break into a larger company quickly, but in most cases the internal talent teams, stricter PSLs, and longer buying cycles are all reasons why going for the SMEs is often a more productive bet in the short term. 

Look for companies that have a low barrier to entry.

Use data on funding rounds, “fastest growing” and award winning”  lists as a way to quickly identify companies that are on an upward trajectory. Typically, smaller companies that are well funded and/or growing fast are going to have ongoing hiring needs in good volumes, with far lower barriers to entry. 

They also tend to be more appealing brands to work for and therefore easier to hire for, as they’re able to demonstrate that they’re an up and coming business.

Any company looking to make an immediate hire and under time-pressure will probably also have a low barrier to entry.

They will have fewer steps in their recruitment process too, which means less time before you start making money from the placement. 

Having put together a list of potential clients, positioning yourself as an expert in their particular field so you can gain the trust needed to secure their business is critical.

The perfect partner position

Think about how you can position yourself as the perfect partner to your prospective customer. Get them to see you in this way and you’re far more likely to win the role than the standard niche recruiter of that particular skill set.

Blindly cold calling or emailing your prospect isn’t smart

Any hiring manager will be able to see an underprepared call or generic email.  It’s imperative that you do your research before speaking to people and tailor your messaging to their business, as you may only have one chance.

Find out the latest news on the company before you call

What are they up to? Have they won any awards recently? What challenges are they facing? Who are their key competitors or businesses they aspire to be like? Is there a recent blog post you can reference? 

This doesn’t have to be especially time consuming and is usually as  simple as visiting the prospect’s website or twitter page and having a read while dialling. 

If you’ve done your research and have a reason for calling your customer will be far more receptive to you as you’ve shown genuine interest and clearly know a little bit about them. 

Study the latest industry trends and average salaries within your market.

Look at funding data too, find out which companies in the space have recently received funding and who is likely to be worthy competition to your prospect.

Possessing this kind of knowledge will set you apart from your competitors, demonstrate your expertise and position you as a subject matter expert. 

This will help the conversation to take the form of a consultation rather than just trying to convince the client to work with you. It’s a stronger position to sell from and you are guaranteed far greater results using this approach.

Now you’ve secured the client, in the next post, I’ll cover key things to consider when finding candidates and how to quickly understand the language of your new market. 

Want to learn how to put these skills into practice? 

Sign up to our webinar where myself and Dean Kelly will take you through the best practice guide on diversifying your recruitment market with real life examples.