The most important word in recruiting (and selling)

By Ernest Falkner III

Zillion Dollar Thinking

If you are a part of recruiting of any kind, or you are in charge of a recruiting program, there is only one word that will determine your success. Just think of all the categories that require recruiting…for example:
  • Teams/coaches
  • Players
  • Churches
  • Salespeople/all categories
  • Clients
  • Professors
  • Students
  • Voters/party members
  • Military
  • All others
As you have probably already concluded, the key word is commitment. But, what many do not tend to think about is when the word is delivered and why that is important.

The timing of a recruiting commitment is generally a pre-agreement and not a post-agreement. Consider the marriage ceremony — still a recruiting issue — and the fact that the presiding official will always ask the obligating question, “do you take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded…” — commitment — before they are pronounced married.

Some commitments are more costly than others. Consider the military commitment. That agreement is often pledged with the ultimate cost on the line, and generally accepted before any assignments are delivered. Point is, no commitment should be taken lightly, and they should be planned for very carefully.

If you live in the sales world, and you are recruiting clients, the same is also true. You will want to solicit all the commitments you can get, just like a coach who is recruiting for the team — and the earlier the better.

With that as your goal, what is often missing in many selling presentations is formally targeting commitments. They work best when they are sequential.

Are they committed to the interview, the fact finding process, your USP, your product or service, working with you, going through all the requirements to complete a transaction, to name a few?

In other words, without certain commitments along your selling path, you could find yourself suddenly lost in the process and beyond repair. Of course, the best kept commitments are the ones that are sealed in writing. These are best suited to high value issues — again, like the military — but they can be important in a sales transaction where a large sum is at stake.

In all, there really is no substitute for a well positioned commitment. We are all selling something, and from this exercise, it seems that we may also be in the recruiting business. There is a verse that says:

“A fitly spoken word is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

If we substitute “commitment” for “word,” the weight and value of this idea becomes more reasonable.